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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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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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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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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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Correlation between shutdowns and CO levels across the United States.

Gupta et al. | Dec 05, 2021

Correlation between shutdowns and CO levels across the United States.

Concerns regarding the rapid spread of Sars-CoV2 in early 2020 led company and local governmental officials in many states to ask people to work from home and avoid leaving their homes; measures commonly referred to as shutdowns. Here, the authors investigate how shutdowns affected carbon monoxide (CO) levels in 15 US states using publicly available data. Their results suggest that CO levels decreased as a result of these measures over the course of 2020, a trend which started to reverse after shutdowns ended.

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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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The Effects of Ultraviolet Light on Escherichia coli

Kodoth et al. | Sep 07, 2015

The Effects of Ultraviolet Light on <em>Escherichia coli</em>

In this study E. coli bacteria was exposed to small UV lights currently used in school laboratories to see the effect on colony growth. This project explores how UV radiation methods could be applied in common households to inhibit bacterial growth.

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Investigation of Everyday Locations for Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Maggio et al. | Dec 12, 2019

Investigation of Everyday Locations for Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Cambridge, Massachusetts

In this study, the authors investigate whether antibiotic-resistant bacteria can be found in everyday locations. To do this, they collected samples from multiple high-trafficked areas in Cambridge, MA and grew them in the presence and absence of antibiotics. Interestingly, they grew bacterial colonies from many locations' samples, but not all could grow in the presence of ampicillin. These findings are intriguing and relevant given the rising concern about antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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