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Access to public parks, drinking fountains, and clean public drinking water in the Bay Area is not driven by income

Zaroff et al. | Jul 15, 2021

Access to public parks, drinking fountains, and clean public drinking water in the Bay Area is not driven by income

Access to green space—an area of grass, trees, or other vegetation set apart for recreational or aesthetic purposes in an urban environment—and clean drinking water can be unequally distributed in urban spaces, which are often associated with income inequality. Little is known about public drinking water and green space inequities in the Bay Area. For our study, we sought to understand how public park access, drinking fountain access, and the quality of public drinking water differ across income brackets in the Bay Area. Though we observed smaller-scale instances of inequalities, in the park distribution in the Bay Area as a whole, and in the Southern Bay’s water quality and park distribution, our results indicate that other factors could be influencing water quality, and park and fountain access in the Bay Area.

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Harvesting Atmospheric Water

Greenwald et al. | Jul 10, 2020

Harvesting Atmospheric Water

The objective of this project was to test various materials to determine which ones collect the most atmospheric water when exposed to the same environmental factors. The experiment observed the effect of weather conditions, a material’s surface area and hydrophilicity on atmospheric water collection. The initial hypothesis was that hydrophobic materials with the greatest surface area would collect the most water. The materials were placed in the same outside location each night for twelve trials. The following day, the materials were weighed to see how much water each had collected. On average, ribbed plastic collected 10.8 mL of water per trial, which was over 20% more than any other material. This result partially supported the hypothesis because although hydrophobic materials collected more water, surface area did not have a significant effect on water collection.

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A Cloud-Enabled Communication Strategy for Wildfire Alerts

Vinaithirthan et al. | Jul 19, 2020

A Cloud-Enabled Communication Strategy for Wildfire Alerts

The traditional alert system in California consists of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs), which lack location specificity, and sign-up-based technology which is limited by the number of sign ups. Those who do not have phones or have a silence option on their devices are most at risk from the current alert system. Here the authors developed cloud-enabled crisis connection for disaster alerts (CRISIS-CONNECT) to mitigate problems associated with the current alert system.

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A Simple Printing Solution to Aid Deficit Reduction

Mirchandani et al. | Mar 09, 2014

A Simple Printing Solution to Aid Deficit Reduction

The printing-related expenditure that is budgeted in 2014 for U.S. Federal agencies is $1.8 billion. A sample of five publically available documents produced by various federal agencies is analyzed and the cost savings arising from a change in font type are estimated. The analysis predicts that the Government’s annual savings by switching to Garamond are likely to be about $234 million with worst-case savings of $62 million and best-case savings of $394 million. Indirect benefits arising from a less detrimental impact on the environment due to lower ink production and disposal volumes are not included in these estimates. Times New Roman is not as efficient as Garamond, and the third federally-recommended font, Century Gothic, is actually worse on average than the fonts used in the sample documents.

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Using NLP to ascertain changes in the fast-fashion industry based on UN sustainable development goals

Chadha et al. | Sep 11, 2023

Using NLP to ascertain changes in the fast-fashion industry based on UN sustainable development goals
Image credit: Prudence Earl

Here, the authors sought to evaluate the efforts of fast fashion clothing companies towards sustainability, specifically in regards to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The authors used natural language processing to investigate the sustainability reports of fast fashion companies focusing on terms established by the UN. They found that the most consistently addressed areas were related to sustainable consumption/production, with a focus on health and well-being emerging during the recent pandemic.

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siRNA-dependent KCNMB2 silencing inhibits lung cancer cell proliferation and promotes cell death

Jeong et al. | Nov 01, 2022

siRNA-dependent KCNMB2 silencing inhibits lung cancer cell proliferation and promotes cell death

Here, seeking to better understand the genetic associations underlying non-small cell lung cancer, the authors screened hundreds of genes, identifying that KCNMB2 upregulation was significantly correlated with poor prognoses in lung cancer patients. Based on this, they used small interfering RNA to decrease the expression of KCNMB2 in A549 lung cancer cells, finding decreased cell proliferation and increased lung cancer cell death. They suggest this could lead to a new potential target for lung cancer therapies.

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FCRL3 Gene Association with Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis

Sheikh et al. | Aug 05, 2020

FCRL3 Gene Association with Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis

This study sought to determine if there is an association between the single nucleotide polymorphism rs7528684 of the Fc receptor-like-3 (FCRL3) gene and asthma or allergic rhinitis (AR). Based on previous studies in an Asian population, we hypothesized that participants with an AA genotype of FCRL3 would be more likely to have asthma and/or allergic rhinitis. To test the hypothesis, surveys were administered to participants, and genotyping was performed on spit samples via PCR, restriction digest, and gel electrophoresis.

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Analyzing breath sounds by using deep learning in diagnosing bronchial blockages with artificial lung

Bae et al. | Jan 22, 2024

Analyzing breath sounds by using deep learning in diagnosing bronchial blockages with artificial lung

Many common respiratory illnesses like bronchitis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) lead to bronchial inflammation and, subsequently, a blockage. However, there are many difficulties in measuring the severity of the blockage. A numeric metric to determine the degree of the blockage severity is necessary. To tackle this demand, we aimed to develop a novel human respiratory model and design a deep-learning program that can constantly monitor and report bronchial blockage by recording breath sounds in a non-intrusive way.

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