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Evaluating cinnamaldehyde as an antibacterial agent in a produce wash for leafy greens

Drennan et al. | Oct 28, 2021

Evaluating cinnamaldehyde as an antibacterial agent in a produce wash for leafy greens

Recognizing a growing demand for organic produce, the authors sought to investigate plant-based antibiotic solutions to meet growing consumer demand for safe produce and also meet microbial standards of the USDA. The authors investigated the use of cinnamaldehyde as an antibacterial again E. coli, finding that lettuce treated with cinnamaldehyde displayed significantly lower colony-forming units of E. coli when compared to lettuce treated with chlorine bleach.

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Different volumes of acetic acid affect the oxygen production of spinach leaves during photosynthesis

Wang et al. | Feb 24, 2023

Different volumes of acetic acid affect the oxygen production of spinach leaves during photosynthesis

The burning of fossil fuels, leading to an increased amount of carbon emissions, is the main cause of acid rain. Acid rain affects the process of photosynthesis, which makes the topic valuable to investigate. Our group utilizes plants to further investigate the relationship between pH value and photosynthesis. In this experiment, our group hypothesized that rain with a lower pH will decrease the rate of photosynthesis, causing less oxygen to be produced in the reaction.

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Creating a Phenology Trail Around Central Park Pond

Flynn et al. | Jul 16, 2020

Creating a Phenology Trail Around Central Park Pond

This study aimed to determine whether the life cycle stages, or phenophases, of some plants in the urban environment of Central Park, New York, differ from the typical phenophases of the same plant species. The authors hypothesized that the phenophases of the thirteen plants we studied would differ from their typical phenophases due to the urban heat island effect. Although the phenophases of five plants matched up with typical trends, there were distinct changes in the phenophases of the other eight, possibly resulting from the urban heat island effect.

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A Novel Alzheimer's Disease Therapeutic Model: Attenuating Hyperphosphorylated Tau and Amyloid β (Aβ) Aggregates by Characterizing Antioxidative, Anti-Inflammatory, and Neuroprotective Properties of Natural Extracts

Pokkunuri et al. | Jul 25, 2022

A Novel Alzheimer's Disease Therapeutic Model: Attenuating Hyperphosphorylated Tau and Amyloid β (Aβ) Aggregates by Characterizing Antioxidative, Anti-Inflammatory, and Neuroprotective Properties of Natural Extracts

Oxidative damage and neuro-inflammation were the key pathways implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. In this study, 30 natural extracts from plant roots and leaves with extensive anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties were consumed by Drosophila melanogaster. Several assays were performed to evaluate the efficacy of these combinational extracts on delaying the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The experimental group showed increased motor activity, improved associative memory, and decreased lifespan decline relative to the control group.

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Detection and Control of Spoilage Fungi in Refrigerated Vegetables and Fruits

Chari et al. | May 16, 2021

Detection and Control of Spoilage Fungi in Refrigerated Vegetables and Fruits

Food spoilage leads to a significant loss in agricultural produce each year. Here, the authors investigate whether certain essential oils can protect against fungus-mediated spoilage of fruits and vegetables. Their results suggest that the compounds they tested might indeed inhibit fungal growth, at various temperatures, a promising result that could reduce food wasting.

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Fire and dry grass: Effects of Pennisetum villosum on a California native, Nassella pulchra, in drought times

Chang et al. | Jan 23, 2022

Fire and dry grass: Effects of <i>Pennisetum villosum</i> on a California native, <i>Nassella pulchra</i>, in drought times

Invasive species pose a significant threat to many ecosystems, whether by outcompeting native species and disturbing food webs, or through increasing risks of natural disasters like flooding and wildfires. The ornamental grass species Pennisetum villosum R. Br. was previously identified by the California Invasive Plant Council as being potentially invasive; this experiment was conducted to determine if P. villosum displays characteristics of an invasive species when grown in a California chaparral environment. Reults found that in both conditions, the two species had similar germination rates, and that P. villosum grew significantly larger than N. pulchra for around 95 days.

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Phytoplankton Plastid Proteomics: Cracking Open Diatoms to Understand Plastid Biochemistry Under Iron Limitation

Nunn et al. | Feb 10, 2017

Phytoplankton Plastid Proteomics: Cracking Open Diatoms to Understand Plastid Biochemistry Under Iron Limitation

In many areas of the world’s oceans, diatoms such as Thalassiosira pseudonana are limited in growth by the availability of iron (Fe), which is an essential nutrient for diatoms. The authors of this study examined if Fe-limitation makes a significant difference in the proteins expressed within the chloroplast, the power source for diatoms, utilizing a new plastid isolation technique specific to diatoms and completing 14 mass spectrometry experiments.

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The Effect of Neem on Common Nosocomial Infection-Causing Organisms

Shah et al. | Jan 27, 2020

The Effect of Neem on Common Nosocomial Infection-Causing Organisms

Nosocomial infections acquired in hospitals pose a risk to patients, a risk compounded by resistant microorganisms. To combat this problem, researchers have turned to bioactive compounds from medicinal plants such as the widely used neem. In the present study, researchers sought to determine the effectiveness of different neem preparations against several hospital acquired human pathogens. Neem powder in water successfully inhibited microorganism growth making it a potential agent to combat these infections.

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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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