Oil spills are one of the most devastating events for marine life. Finding ways to clean up oil spills without the need for harsh chemicals could help decrease the negative impact of such spills. Here the authors demonstrate that using a combination of several biodegradable substances can effectively adsorb oil in seawater in a laboratory setting. They suggest further exploring the potential of such a combination as a possible alternative to commonly-used non-biodegradable substances in oil spill management.
In this study, the authors test whether providing a larger dataset of glass transition temperatures (Tg) to train the machine-learning platform Polymer Genome would improve its accuracy. Polymer Genome is a machine learning based data-driven informatics platform for polymer property prediction and Tg is one property needed to design new polymers in silico. They found that training the model with their larger, curated dataset improved the algorithm's Tg, providing valuable improvements to this useful platform.
The authors investigated an important parasite-host relationship between the raccoon roundworm and the raccoon to understand how parasite prevalence is affected by location. They found that the parasite infection was more prevalent in raccoons found closer to human dwellings, though the number of roundworm eggs was not significantly different. These results are important human health, since roundworm infection is lethal to humans and can be transmitted from raccoons to humans - the authors suggest that more research into this parasite and awareness of its prevalence is needed to prevent disease.
In our modern age, the burgeoning use of radios and radars has resulted in competition for electromagnetic spectrum resources. With recent research highlighting solutions to radio and radar mutual interference, there is a desperate need for a cost-effective configuration that permits a radar-radio joint system. In this study, the authors have set out to determine the feasibility of using single-tone continuous-wave radars in a radar-joint system. With this system, they aim to facilitate cost-effective near-field target detection by way of the popularized 2.4-GHz industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) band.
In recent years, usage of interactive electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets has increased dramatically. Many studies have examined the potential adverse effects of excessive usage of such devices on children and adolescents, but the effects on adults are not well understood. In this study, the authors examined the relationship between adult usage of interactive electronic devices and a variety of clinical measures of psychological well-being. They found that according to some metrics, higher usage of interactive electronic devices is associated with several adverse psychological outcomes, suggesting a need for more careful consideration of such usage patterns in clinical settings.
Each day we are flooded with new items that promise us a better experience at a better price. This forces buyers to continuously chose between sticking to what they know, or trying something new. In turn, companies need to be aware of the factors affecting consumer choices, that too within the different fractions of society. In this study the authors investigate the effect of survey-based price setting on profits made based on African American teen purchases, and how African-American teen loyalty to a particular brand affects their willingness to pay a higher price than the market average for their preferred brand items.
While resources on the safety of household cleaning products are plentiful, measures of efficacy of these cleaning chemicals against bacteria and viruses remain without standardization in the consumer market. The COVID pandemic has exasperated this knowledge gap, stoking the growth of misinformation and misuse surrounding household cleaning chemicals. Arriving at a time dire for sanitization standardization, the authors of this paper have created a quantifying framework for consumers by comparing a wide range of household cleaning products in their efficacy against bacteria generated by a safe and easily replicable yogurt model.
Neural machine translation (NMT) is a software that uses neural network techniques to translate text from one language to another. However, one of the most famous NMT models—Google Translate—failed to give an accurate English translation of a famous Korean nursery rhyme, "Airplane" (비행기). The authors fine-tuned a pre-trained model first with a dataset from the lyrics domain, and then with a smaller dataset containing the rhythmical properties, to teach the model to translate rhythmically accurate lyrics. This stacked fine-tuning method resulted in an NMT model that could maintain the rhythmical characteristics of lyrics during translation while single fine-tuned models failed to do so.
Identifying treatments that can stimulate hair growth use could help those struggling with undesirable hair loss. Here, the authors show that Fibroblast Growth Factors can stimulate the division of cells isolated from the mouse hair follicle. Their results suggest that this family of growth factors might be helpful in stimulating hair growth in living animals as well.
Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is the most malignant brain tumor with the highest fraction of genome alterations (FGA), manifesting poor disease-free status (DFS) and overall survival (OS). We explored The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and cBioportal public dataset- Firehose legacy GBM to study DNA repair genes Activating Signal Cointegrator 1 Complex Subunit 3 (ASCC3) and Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase AlkB Homolog 3 (ALKBH3). To test our hypothesis that these genes have correlations with FGA and can better determine prognosis and survival, we sorted the dataset to arrive at 254 patients. Analyzing using RStudio, both ASCC3 and ALKBH3 demonstrated hypomethylation in 82.3% and 61.8% of patients, respectively. Interestingly, low mRNA expression was observed in both these genes. We further conducted correlation tests between both methylation and mRNA expression of these genes with FGA. ASCC3 was found to be negatively correlated, while ALKBH3 was found to be positively correlated, potentially indicating contrasting dysregulation of these two genes. Prognostic analysis showed the following: ASCC3 hypomethylation is significant with DFS and high ASCC3 mRNA expression to be significant with OS, demonstrating ASCC3’s potential as disease prediction marker.