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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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Behavioral Longevity: The Impact of Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, and Obesity on Life Expectancy

Han et al. | Oct 03, 2019

Behavioral Longevity: The Impact of Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, and Obesity on Life Expectancy

In this article, the authors look into what is already known about the factor affecting longevity and determine the importance of behavioral factors including alcohol consumption, smoking, and obesity on longevity. The authors quantify data from over 150 countries and, interestingly, find that the impact each factor has on longevity is at least in part dependent on the country's economic development status. Overall, they conclude that an average person’s life expectancy can increase by more than 3 years if smoking and alcohol consumption is reduced by a half and weight is decreased by 10%.

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Comparative Analysis of Vital Capacities of Athletes, Singers and Other Students of Age 13-14 Years: A Cross-Sectional Observational Study

Taneja et al. | Sep 30, 2019

Comparative Analysis of Vital Capacities of Athletes, Singers and Other Students of Age 13-14 Years: A Cross-Sectional Observational Study

Physical activity when performed regularly has beneficial effects on all systems of the body, including pulmonary functions. This study, conducted at Springdales School in Dhaula Kuan, New Delhi, aimed to determine the effect of sports and singing on the vital capacity (the maximum amount of air a person can expel from the lungs after a maximum inhalation), an important measure of pulmonary health.

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The Bioactive Ingredients in Niuli Lactucis Agrestibus Possess Anticancer Effects

Zhu et al. | Sep 17, 2019

The Bioactive Ingredients in Niuli Lactucis Agrestibus Possess Anticancer Effects

In​ the​ field​ of​ medicine,​ natural​ treatments​ are​ becoming ​increasingly ​vital ​towards ​the ​cure ​of ​cancer. Zhu et al. wanted to investigate the effects of lettuce extract on cancer cell survival and proliferation. They used an adenocarcinoma cell line, COLO320DM, to determine whether crude extract from a lettuce species called Niuli​ Lactucis Agrestibus​ would affect cancer cell survival, migration, and proliferation. They found that Niuli extract inhibited cancer cell survival, increased expression of cell cycle inhibitors p21 and p27, and inhibited migration. However, Niuli extract did not have these effects on healthy cells. This work reveals important findings about a potential new source of anti-colorectal cancer compounds.

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Repulsion of Ants Using Non-Toxic Household Products

Ambati et al. | Sep 10, 2019

Repulsion of Ants Using Non-Toxic Household Products

Ant invasion causes damage exceeding $5 billion annually in North America. In this study, Ambati and Duvvuri aim to identify natural products with ant-repelling properties using a custom ring apparatus designed to quantify ant-repellence. They report that cinnamon and lemon were the most effective ant repellents of the tested products. These data suggest that compounds found in non-toxic household products, such as cinnamon oil and lemon juice, could be used in low-dose combinations as potent, effective, eco-friendly, and safe ant repellents.

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An Analysis of Soil Microhabitats in Revolutionary War, Civil War, and Modern Graveyards on Long Island, NY

Caputo et al. | May 05, 2019

An Analysis of Soil Microhabitats in Revolutionary War, Civil War, and Modern Graveyards on Long Island, NY

Previously established data indicate that cemeteries have contributed to groundwater and soil pollution, as embalming fluids can impact the microbiomes that exist in decomposing remains. In this study, Caputo et al hypothesized that microbial variation would be high between cemeteries from different eras due to dissimilarities between embalming techniques employed, and furthermore, that specific microbes would act as an indication for certain contaminants. Overall, they found that there is a variation in the microbiomes of the different eras’ cemeteries according to the concentrations of the phyla and their more specific taxa.

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A Taste of Sweetness in Bioplastics

Tsai et al. | Apr 05, 2019

A Taste of Sweetness in Bioplastics

Sweet potatoes are one of the most common starches in Taiwan, and sweet potato peels hold significant potential to make biodegradable plastics which can alleviate the environmental impact of conventional petroleum-based plastics. In this paper, Tsai et al created starch-based bioplastics derived from sweet potato peels and manipulated the amount of added glycerol to alter the plastic’s strength and flexibility properties. Their results indicated that higher concentrations of glycerol yield more malleable plastics, providing insights into how recycled agricultural waste material might be used to slow down the rate of pollution caused by widespread production of conventional plastics.

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Performance of Panicum virgatum Cultivars in Competition With Bromus inermis and Differing Amounts of N Fertilizer

Ferris et al. | Mar 04, 2019

Performance of <em>Panicum virgatum</em> Cultivars in Competition With <em>Bromus inermis</em> and Differing Amounts of N Fertilizer

With growing demands for ethanol, many researchers are turning to Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) as a feedstock of cellulosic ethanol. In this study, Ferris and Gillan examine the germination, biomass, nitrogen, survival, and chlorophyll absorbance of two switchgrass cultivars of grown in competition with Bromus inermis (smooth brome) with two varying levels of nitrogen fertilizer. Results presented indicate that during establishment, competition from other species has a greater effect than nitrogen fertilizer.

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A Quantitative Analysis of the Proliferation of Microplastics in Williamston’s Waterways

Schafer et al. | Feb 17, 2019

A Quantitative Analysis of the Proliferation of Microplastics in Williamston’s Waterways

Plastic debris can disrupt marine ecosystems, spread contaminants, and take years to naturally degrade. In this study, Wu et al aim to establish an understanding of the scope of Williamston, Michigan’s microplastics problem, as well as to attempt to find the source of these plastics. Initially, the authors hypothesize that the Williamston Wastewater Treatment Plant was the primary contributor to Williamston’s microplastics pollution. Although they find a general trend of increasing concentrations of microplastics from upstream to downstream, they do not pinpoint the source of Williamston’s microplastics pollution in the present research.

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