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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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Cathodal Galvanotaxis: The Effect of Voltage on the distribution of Tetrahymena pyriformis

Zheng et al. | Jun 10, 2019

Cathodal Galvanotaxis: The Effect of Voltage on the distribution of <em>Tetrahymena pyriformis</em>

The surface of the unicellular eukaryote, Tetrahymena pyriformis, is covered with thousands of hair-like cilia. These cilia are very similar to cilia of the human olfactory and respiratory tracts making them model organisms for studying cilia function and pathology. The authors of this study investigated the effect of voltage on T. pyriformis galvanotaxis, the movement towards an electrical stimulus. They observed galvanotaxis towards the cathode at voltages over 4V which plateau, indicating opening of voltage gated-ion channels to trigger movement.

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Developing a Portable, Reusable, and Inexpensive Magnesium-Air Fuel Cell

Tota et al. | Mar 28, 2019

Developing a Portable, Reusable, and Inexpensive Magnesium-Air Fuel Cell

One of the greatest challenges we face today is the sustainable production, storage, and distribution of electrical power. One emerging technology with great promise in this area is that of metal-air fuel cells—a long-term and reusable electricity storage system made from a reactive metal anode and a saline solution. In this study the authors tested several different types of metal to determine which was the most suitable for this application. They found that a fuel cell with a magnesium anode was superior to fuel cells made from aluminum or zinc, producing a voltage and current sufficient for real-world applications such as charging a mobile phone.

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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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The Cilium- and Centrosome-Associated Protein CCDC11 Is Required for Cytokinesis via Midbody Recruitment of the ESCRT- III Membrane Scission Complex Subunit CHMP2A

Ahmed et al. | Mar 14, 2018

The Cilium- and Centrosome-Associated Protein CCDC11 Is Required for Cytokinesis via Midbody Recruitment of the ESCRT- III Membrane Scission Complex Subunit CHMP2A

In order for cells to successfully multiply, a number of proteins are needed to correctly coordinate the replication and division process. In this study, students use fluorescence microscopy and molecular methods to study CCDC11, a protein critical in the formation of cilia. Interestingly, they uncover a new role for CCDC11, critical in the cell division across multiple human cell lines.

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Mapping the Electromagnetic Field in Front of a Microwave Oven

Xiang et al. | Sep 21, 2019

Mapping the Electromagnetic Field in Front of a Microwave Oven

There is limited evidence that extended exposure to an electromagnetic field (EMF) has negative health effects on humans. The authors measured the power density and strength of EMF at different distances and directions in front of a microwave oven, and they discuss the safety of different distances.

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The Effect of Font Type on a School’s Ink Cost

Mirchandani et al. | May 10, 2013

The Effect of Font Type on a School’s Ink Cost

Your choice of font can impact more than style. Here the authors demonstrate that font choice can affect the amount of ink a given print-out requires. The authors estimate that a switch to Garamond font, size 12, by all teachers in his school district would save almost $21,000 annually.

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