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Measuring Exoplanetary Radii Using Transit Photometry

Tang et al. | May 07, 2019

Measuring Exoplanetary Radii Using Transit Photometry

Studying exoplanets, or planets that orbit a star other than the Sun, is critical to a greater understanding the formation of planets and how Earth's solar system differs from others. In this study the authors analyze the transit light curves of three hot Jupiter exoplanets to ultimately determine if and how these planets have changed since their discovery.

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Characterizing Quorum Sensing-Induced Bioluminescence in Variable Volumes With Vibrio fischeri Using Computer Processing Methods

Abdel-Azim et al. | Jun 22, 2020

Characterizing Quorum Sensing-Induced Bioluminescence in Variable Volumes With <em>Vibrio fischeri</em> Using Computer Processing Methods

Understanding how bacteria respond to other bacteria could facilitate their ability to initiate and maintain their infectiousness. The phenomenon by which bacteria signal to each other via chemical signals is called quorum sensing, which could be targeted to deter bacterial infection in some cases if better understood. In this article, the authors study how a bacterium called V. fischeri uses quorum sensing to change bioluminescence, an easy readout that facilitates studying quorum sensing in this strain.

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Nintendo Da Vinci: A Novel Control System to Improve Performance in Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Al-Akash et al. | Oct 26, 2019

Nintendo Da Vinci: A Novel Control System to Improve Performance in Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Complications of robotic-assisted surgery are on the rise, partly due to surgeons not receiving proper training. Al-Akash and Al-Akash hypothesized Nintendo JoyCon controls would improve surgical performance compared to the FDA-approved Da Vinci Surgical System with two user groups (doctor and gamer). Their results show that implementing a Nintendo JoyCon control system is associated with improved surgical performance and learning rate compared to the Da Vinci Surgical System.

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Heavy Metal Contamination of Hand-Pressed Well Water in HuNan, China

Long et al. | Oct 20, 2019

Heavy Metal Contamination of Hand-Pressed Well Water in HuNan, China

Unprocessed water from hand-pressed wells is still commonly used as a source of drinking water in Chenzhou, the “Nonferrous Metal Village” of China. Long et al. conducted a study to measure the heavy metal contamination levels and potential health effects in this area. Water samples were analyzed through Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICPOES) and the concentrations of 20 metal elements. Results showed that although none of the samples had dangerous levels of heavy metals, the concentrations of Al, Fe, and Mn in many locations substantially exceeded those suggested in the Chinese Drinking Water Standard and the maximum contaminant levels of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The authors have made an important discovery regarding the water safety in HuNan and their suggestions to install water treatment systems would greatly benefit the community.

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Molecular Alterations in a High-Fat Mouse Model Before the Onset of Diet–Induced Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Lee et al. | Sep 20, 2016

Molecular Alterations in a High-Fat Mouse Model Before the Onset of Diet–Induced Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most prevalent chronic liver diseases worldwide, but there are few studied warning signs for early detection of the disease. Here, researchers study alterations that occur in a mouse model of NAFLD, which indicate the onset of NAFLD sooner. Earlier detection of diseases can lead to better prevention and treatment.

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Differentiation of Waste Plastic Pyrolysis Fuels to Conventional Diesel Fuel

Jewison et al. | May 25, 2018

Differentiation of Waste Plastic Pyrolysis Fuels to Conventional Diesel Fuel

Plastic pollution and energy shortages are pressing issues in today’s world. The authors examined whether waste plastic pyrolysis fuels are similar to conventional diesel and, thus, a plausible alternative fuel. Results showed that waste plastic pyrolysis fuels did not match up to diesel overall, though several fuels came close in calorific value.

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The Effect of Music on Heart Rate

Agrawal et al. | Apr 25, 2013

The Effect of Music on Heart Rate

Different songs can seem to evoke different emotions. Here the authors demonstrate that different songs can have a significant effect on the heart rate of listeners. A slower song slows heart rate, and a faster song increases it.

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Redesigning an Experiment to Determine the Coefficient of Friction

Hu et al. | Jun 27, 2016

Redesigning an Experiment to Determine the Coefficient of Friction

In a common high school experiment to measure friction coefficients, a weighted mass attached to a spring scale is dragged across a surface at a constant velocity. While the constant velocity is necessary for an accurate measurement, it can be difficult to maintain and this can lead to large errors. Here, the authors designed a new experiment to measure friction coefficients in the classroom using only static force and show that their method has a lower standard deviation than the traditional experiment.

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