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Mutation of the Catalytic Cysteine in Anopheles gambiae Transglutaminase 3 (AgTG3) Abolishes Plugin Crosslinking Activity without Disrupting Protein Folding Properties

Pham et al. | May 02, 2014

Mutation of the Catalytic Cysteine in <em>Anopheles gambiae</em> Transglutaminase 3 (AgTG3) Abolishes Plugin Crosslinking Activity without Disrupting Protein Folding Properties

Malaria is a major public health issue, especially in developing countries, and vector control is a major facet of malaria eradication efforts. Recently, sterile insect technique (SIT), or the release of sterile mosquitoes into the wild, has shown significant promise as a method of keeping vector populations under control. In this study, the authors investigate the Anopheles gambiae transglutaminase 3 protein (AgT3), which is essential to the mating of the Anopheles mosquito. They show that an active site mutation is able to abolish the activity of the AgT3 enzyme and propose it as a potential target for chemosterilant inhibitors.

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Assigning Lightning Seasons to Different Regions in the United States

Hawkins et al. | Sep 07, 2020

Assigning Lightning Seasons to Different Regions in the United States

Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency of severe thunderstorm events in coming years. In this study, the authors hypothesized that (i) the majority of severe thunderstorm events will occur in the summer months in all states examined for all years analyzed, (ii) climate change will cause an unusual number of severe thunderstorm events in winter months in all states, (iii) thundersnow would be observed in Colorado, and (iv.) there would be no difference in the number of severe thunderstorm events between states in any given year examined. They classified lightning seasons in all states observed, with the most severe thunderstorm events occurring in May, June, July, and August. Colorado, New Jersey, Washington, and West Virginia were found to have severe thunderstorm events in the winter, which could be explained by increased winter storms due to climate change (1). Overall, they highlight the importance of quantifying when lightning seasons occur to avoid lightning-related injuries or death.

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Geographic Distribution of Scripps National Spelling Bee Spellers Resembles Geographic Distribution of Child Population in US States upon Implementation of the RSVBee “Wildcard” Program

Kannankeril et al. | Aug 17, 2020

Geographic Distribution of Scripps National Spelling Bee Spellers Resembles Geographic Distribution of Child Population in US States upon Implementation of the RSVBee “Wildcard” Program

The Scripps National Spelling Bee (SNSB) is an iconic academic competition for United States (US) schoolchildren, held annually since 1925. However, the sizes and geographic distributions of sponsored regions are uneven. One state may send more than twice as many spellers as another state, despite similar numbers in child population. In 2018, the SNSB introduced a wildcard program known as RSVBee, which allowed students to apply to compete as a national finalist, even if they did not win their regional spelling bee. In this study, the authors tested the hypothesis that the geographic distribution of SNSB national finalists more closely matched the child population of the US after RSVBee was implemented.

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Leveraging E-Waste to Enhance Water Condensation by Effective Use of Solid-state Thermoelectric Cooling

Joshi et al. | Dec 02, 2020

Leveraging E-Waste to Enhance Water Condensation by Effective Use of Solid-state Thermoelectric Cooling

Water scarcity affects upwards of a billion people worldwide today. This project leverages the potential of capturing humidity to build a high-efficiency water condensation device that can generate water and be used for personal and commercial purposes. This compact environment-friendly device would have low power requirements, which would potentially allow it to utilize renewable energy sources and collect water at the most needed location.

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The Effect of Poverty on Mosquito-borne Illness Across the United States

Kar et al. | Feb 25, 2021

The Effect of Poverty on Mosquito-borne Illness Across the United States

Mosquito-borne diseases are a major issue across the world, and the objective for this project was to determine the characteristics that make some communities more susceptible to these diseases than others. The authors identified and studied characteristics that make communities susceptible to mosquito-borne diseases, including water in square miles, average temperature, population, population density, and poverty rates per county. They found that the population of a county is the best indicator of the prevalence of mosquito-borne diseases.

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A Retrospective Study of Research Data on End Stage Renal Disease

Ponnaluri et al. | Mar 09, 2016

A Retrospective Study of Research Data on End Stage Renal Disease

End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) is a growing health concern in the United States. The authors of this study present a study of ESRD incidence over a 32-year period, providing an in-depth look at the contributions of age, race, gender, and underlying medical factors to this disease.

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Emotional and Psychological Effect of Music on People

Nolt et al. | Jan 03, 2019

Emotional and Psychological Effect of Music on People

Nolt and Elwonger examine how different types of music impact our emotional and physical states. They found that music can influence a subject's emotional state, with sad music inspiring sadness and exciting music bringing excitement. They were not able to find a clear relationship between heart rate and music type. Music's effect on emotional state can be useful when designing novel therapies for emotional and mental disorders.

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Effects of an Informational Waste Management App on a User’s Waste Disposal Habits

Rao et al. | Apr 28, 2021

Effects of an Informational Waste Management App on a User’s Waste Disposal Habits

While 75% of waste in the United States is stated to be recyclable, only about 34% truly is. This project takes a stance to combat the pillars of mismanaged waste through a modern means of convenience: the TracedWaste app. The purpose of this study was to identify how individuals' waste disposal habits improved and knowledge increased (i.e. correctly disposing of waste, understanding negative incorrect waste disposal) due to their use of an informational waste management app as measured by a survey using a 1-5 Likert Scale. The results showed that the TracedWaste app helped conserve abundant resources such as energy and wood, decrease carbon emissions, and minimize financial toll all through reducing individual impact.

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