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Breaking the Ice: A Scientific Take on the Ice Melting Abilities of Household Salts

Sehgal et al. | Dec 04, 2017

Figure2

The use of salt to melt ice is a common and important practice to keep roadways safe during winter months. However, various subtypes of salt differ in their chemical and physical properties, as well as their environmental impact. In this study, the authors measure the effectiveness of different salts at disrupting ice structures and identify calcium chloride as the most effective.

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Phytoplankton Plastid Proteomics: Cracking open Diatoms to Understand Plastid Biochemistry under Iron Limitation

Nunn et al. | Feb 10, 2017

Nunn

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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Effectiveness of Biodegradable Plastic in Preventing Food Spoilage

Zhang et al. | Mar 20, 2012

Zhang 2012 stock

Most people put little thought into the type of plastic wrap they use to store their leftovers. This study investigates the differences between biodegradable plastic wrap and non-biodegradable plastic wrap in their ability to prevent food spoilage. Does one work better than the other? Read more to find out!

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Purification of Water by Aloe

Sharma et al. | Aug 19, 2016

Sharma

The authors test the ability of aloe vera gel to purify water of four separate contaminants. Aloe reduced the levels of copper, iron, and phosphate, but not nitrate. Potential applications of this purification system are discussed.

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The Development and Maximization of a Novel Photosynthetic Microbial Fuel Cell Using Rhodospirillum rubrum

Gomez et al. | Mar 02, 2014

Gomez 0

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are bio-electrochemical systems that utilize bacteria and are promising forms of alternative energy. Similar to chemical fuel cells, MFCs employ both an anode (accepts electrons) and a cathode (donates electrons), but in these devices the live bacteria donate the electrons necessary for current. In this study, the authors assess the functionality of a photosynthetic MFC that utilizes a purple non-sulfur bacterium. The MFC prototype they constructed was found to function over a range of environmental conditions, suggesting its potential use in industrial models.

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The Effect of Different Concentrations of Iron on the Growth of Egeria (Elodea) Densa

Hu et al. | Jan 08, 2015

Hu 2015

Minerals such as iron are essential for life, but too much of a good thing can be poisonous. Here the authors investigate the effect of iron concentrations on the growth of an aquatic plant and find that supplementing small amounts of iron can help, but adding too much can be bad for the plant. These results should help inform decisions on allowable iron concentrations in the environment, aquatic farming, and even home aquariums.

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The Effect of Concentration on the Pressure of a Sodium Chloride Solution Inside Dialysis Tubing

Dye et al. | Nov 13, 2018

Black blood pressure gauge blood pressure meter 33258

In this study, the authors investigate the effects of sodium levels on blood pressure, one of the most common medical problems worldwide. They used a simulated blood vessel constructed from dialysis tubing to carefully analyze pressure changes resulting from various levels of sodium in the external solution. They found that when the sodium concentration in the simulated blood vessel was higher than the external fluid, internal pressure increased, while the reverse was true when the sodium concentration was lower than in the surrounding environment. These results highlight the potential for sodium concentration to have a significant effect on blood pressure in humans by affecting the rate of osmosis across the boundaries of actual blood vessels.

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