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The Analysis of the Effects of Smoke and Water Vapor on Insect Pheromone Communication and Physical Condition: An Investigation of the Causes of Colony Collapse Disorder

Delatorre et al. | May 20, 2015

The Analysis of the Effects of Smoke and Water Vapor on Insect Pheromone Communication and Physical Condition:  An Investigation of the Causes of Colony Collapse Disorder

The cause of insect colony collapse disorder (CCD) is still a mystery. In this study, the authors aimed to test the effects of two environmental factors, water vapor and smoke levels, on the social behavior and physical condition of insects. Their findings could help shed light on how changing environmental factors can contribute to CCD.

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More Efficient Helicopter Blades Based on Whale Tubercles

Weitzman et al. | Dec 22, 2013

More Efficient Helicopter Blades Based on Whale Tubercles

Biomimicry is the practice of applying models and systems found in nature to improve the efficiency and usefulness of human technologies. In this study, the authors designed helicopter blades with tubercle structures similar to those found on the tails of humpback whales. The authors found that certain arrangements of these tubercle structures improved the windspeed and efficiency of a model helicopter.

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Music's Effect on Dogs’ Heart Rates

Aubin et al. | Oct 03, 2017

Music's Effect on Dogs’ Heart Rates

Music can affect the behavior of humans and other animals. In this study, the authors studied five types of music with different tempos and demonstrated how each one affected dogs' heart rates.

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On the Relationship Between Viscosity and Surface Tension

Wei et al. | Sep 16, 2014

On the Relationship Between Viscosity and Surface Tension

Surface tension and viscosity are both measures of how "sticky" a liquid is, but are they related? The authors here investigate the surface tension and viscosity of mixtures of water with different concentrations of agar agar, flour, or detergent. Surprisingly, they find that the least viscous mixtures had the strongest surface tensions, indicating that the two properties are not linked.

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Bacterial Richness of Soil Samples from Southern New Hampshire

Chalasani et al. | Sep 21, 2016

Bacterial Richness of Soil Samples from Southern New Hampshire

Advancement in DNA sequencing technology has greatly increased our understanding about the role of bacteria in soil. The authors of this study examine the microbial content of soil samples taken from three locations in southern New Hampshire with varying pH and plant composition.

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Friend or Foe: Investigating the Relationship between a Corn Crop and a Native Ragweed Population

Wainwright et al. | May 07, 2014

Friend or Foe: Investigating the Relationship between a Corn Crop and a Native Ragweed Population

Farmers will need to increase crop yields to feed the world's growing population efficiently. The authors here investigate the effects of growing corn in the presence or absence of ragweed, an invasive weed found in many fields and gardens. Surprisingly, the authors found that corn grown in the presence of weeds grew taller and were more productive than corn that had weeds removed. This may help gardeners rethink the necessity of weeding, and may point a way to improve farm yields in the future.

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Ant Colony Optimization Algorithms with Multiple Simulated Colonies Offer Potential Advantages for Solving the Traveling Salesman Problem and, by Extension, Other Optimization Problems

Wildenhain et al. | May 22, 2015

Ant Colony Optimization Algorithms with Multiple Simulated Colonies Offer Potential Advantages for Solving the Traveling Salesman Problem and, by Extension, Other Optimization Problems

Ant colony optimization algorithms simulate ants moving from point to point on a graph and coordinate their actions, similar to ants laying down pheromones to strengthen a path as it is used more frequently. These ACO algorithms can be applied to the classic traveling salesman problem, which aims to determine the lowest-cost path through a given set of points on a graph. In this study, a novel multiple-colony system was developed that uses multiple simulated ant colonies to generate improved solutions to the traveling salesman problem.

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