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The Development and Maximization of a Novel Photosynthetic Microbial Fuel Cell Using Rhodospirillum rubrum

Gomez et al. | Mar 02, 2014

The Development and Maximization of a Novel Photosynthetic Microbial Fuel Cell Using <em>Rhodospirillum rubrum</em>

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are bio-electrochemical systems that utilize bacteria and are promising forms of alternative energy. Similar to chemical fuel cells, MFCs employ both an anode (accepts electrons) and a cathode (donates electrons), but in these devices the live bacteria donate the electrons necessary for current. In this study, the authors assess the functionality of a photosynthetic MFC that utilizes a purple non-sulfur bacterium. The MFC prototype they constructed was found to function over a range of environmental conditions, suggesting its potential use in industrial models.

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Testing Epoxy Strength: The High Strength Claims of Selleys’s Araldite Epoxy Glues

Nguyen et al. | Jul 14, 2020

Testing Epoxy Strength: The High Strength Claims of Selleys’s Araldite Epoxy Glues

Understanding the techniques used to improve the adhesion strength of the epoxy resin is important especially for consumer applications such as repairing car parts, bonding aluminum sheeting, and repairing furniture or applications within the aviation or civil industry. Selleys Araldite epoxy makes specific strength claims emphasizing that the load or weight that can be supported by the adhesive is 72 kg/cm2. Nguyen and Clarke aimed to test the strength claims of Selley’s Araldite Epoxy by gluing two steel adhesion surfaces: a steel tube and bracket. Results showed that there is a lack of consideration by Selleys for adhesion loss mechanisms and environmental factors when accounting for consumer use of the product leading to disputable claims.

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Mitigating microplastic exposure from water consumption in junior high students and teachers

Chow et al. | May 10, 2024

Mitigating microplastic exposure from water consumption in junior high students and teachers
Image credit: Pixabay

Microplastics (MPs) are inorganic material that have been observed within items destined for human consumption, including water, and may pose a potential health hazard. Here we estimated the average amount of MPs junior high students and teachers consumed from different water sources and determined whether promoting awareness of microplastic (MP) exposure influenced choice of water source and potential MPs consumed.

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Analysis of electrodialysis as a method of producing potable water

Shen et al. | May 03, 2024

Analysis of electrodialysis as a method of producing potable water

Here, seeking a way to convert the vast quantity of seawater to drinking water, the authors investigated the purification of seawater to drinking water through electrodialysis. Using total dissolved solids (TDS) as their measure, they found that electrodialysis was able to produce deionized water with TDS values under the acceptable range for consumable water.

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Enhancing marine debris identification with convolutional neural networks

Wahlig et al. | Apr 03, 2024

Enhancing marine debris identification with convolutional neural networks
Image credit: The authors

Plastic pollution in the ocean is a major global concern. Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) have promise for removing debris from the ocean, but more research is needed to achieve full effectiveness of the ROV technology. Wahlig and Gonzales tackle this issue by developing a deep learning model to distinguish trash from the environment in ROV images.

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Investigating ecosystem resiliency in different flood zones of south Brooklyn, New York

Ng et al. | Mar 23, 2024

Investigating ecosystem resiliency in different flood zones of south Brooklyn, New York
Image credit: Ng and Zheng et al 2024

With climate change and rising sea levels, south Brooklyn is exposed to massive flooding and intense precipitation. Previous research discovered that flooding shifts plant species distribution, decreases soil pH, and increases salt concentration, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium levels. The authors predicted a decreasing trend from Zone 1 to 6: high-pH, high-salt, and high-nutrients in more flood-prone areas to low-pH, low-salt, and low-nutrient in less flood-prone regions. They performed DNA barcoding to identify plant species inhabiting flood zones with expectations of decreasing salt tolerance and moisture uptake by plants' soil from Zones 1-6. Furthermore, they predicted an increase in invasive species, ultimately resulting in a decrease in biodiversity. After barcoding, they researched existing information regarding invasiveness, ideal soil, pH tolerance, and salt tolerance. They performed soil analyses to identify pH, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) levels. For N and P levels, we discovered a general decreasing trend from Zone 1 to 6 with low and moderate statistical significance respectively. Previous studies found that soil moisture can increase N and P uptake, helping plants adopt efficient resource-use strategies and reduce water stress from flooding. Although characteristics of plants were distributed throughout all zones, demonstrating overall diversity, the soil analyses hinted at the possibility of a rising trend of plants adapting to the increase in flooding. Future expansive research is needed to comprehensively map these trends. Ultimately, investigating trends between flood zones and the prevalence of different species will assist in guiding solutions to weathering climate change and protecting biodiversity in Brooklyn.

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Impact of carbon number and atom number on cc-pVTZ Hartree-Fock Energy and program runtime of alkanes

Pan et al. | Mar 06, 2024

Impact of carbon number and atom number on cc-pVTZ Hartree-Fock Energy and program runtime of alkanes
Image credit: The authors

It's time-consuming to complete the calculations that are used to study nuclear reactions and energy. To uncover which computational chemistry tools are useful for this challenge, Pan, Vaiyakarnam, Li, and McMahan investigated whether the Python-based Simulations of Chemistry Framework’s Hartree-Fock (PySCF) method is an efficient and accurate way to assess alkane molecules.

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