Air pollution has detrimental effects on both the environment and humans. Here, researchers use graphene oxide to filter particulate matter from the air. Graphene oxide filters performed better than commercially available filters, effectively removing particulate matter from the air.
Zeolithic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) is a specific metal-organic framework that has favorable qualities for use in an air filter and is known to be capable of adsorbing particulate matter. Therefore, the objective of this experiment was to determine the effectiveness of ZIF-8 in adsorbing polar, gaseous air pollutants, specifically nitrogen dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. In order to determine effectiveness, the percent change in concentration for various gases after the application of ZIF-8 crystals was measured via Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The work highlights crystals as a potentially promising alternative or addition to current filter materials to reduce atmospheric pollution.
Recognizing the need for a method to filter microplastics from polluted water the authors sought to use nonpolar solvents, palm oil and palm kernel oil, to filter microplastics out of model seawater. By relying on the separation of polar and nonpolar solvents followed by freezing the nonpolar solvent, they reported that microplastics could be extracted with percentages ranging from 96.2% to 94.2%. They also provided an estimation to use this method as part of container ships to clean the Pacific Ocean of microplastics.
Seeking an approach to address the increasing levels of methane and chlorinated hydrocarbons that threaten the environment, the authors worked to develop a novel, low-cost biotrickling filter for use as an ex situ method tailored to marine environments. By using methanotrophic bacteria in the filter, they observed methane degradation, suggesting the feasibility of chlorinated hydrocarbon degradation.
With advancements in machine learning a large data scale, high throughput virtual screening has become a more attractive method for screening drug candidates. This study compared the accuracy of molecular descriptors from two cheminformatics Mordred and PaDEL, software libraries, in characterizing the chemo-structural composition of 53 compounds from the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI) class. The classification model built with the filtered set of descriptors from Mordred was superior to the model using PaDEL descriptors. This approach can accelerate the identification of hit compounds and improve the efficiency of the drug discovery pipeline.
A key barrier to adoption of solar energy technology is the low efficiency of solar cells converting solar energy into electricity. Sims and Sims tackle this problem by coding a Raspberry Pi as a multimeter to determine which wavelength of light generates the most voltage and current from a solar panel.
The application of machine learning techniques has facilitated the automatic annotation of behavior in video sequences, offering a promising approach for ethological studies by reducing the manual effort required for annotating each video frame. Nevertheless, before solely relying on machine-generated annotations, it is essential to evaluate the accuracy of these annotations to ensure their reliability and applicability. While it is conventionally accepted that there cannot be a perfect annotation, the degree of error associated with machine-generated annotations should be commensurate with the error between different human annotators. We hypothesized that machine learning supervised with adequate human annotations would be able to accurately predict body parts from video sequences. Here, we conducted a comparative analysis of the quality of annotations generated by humans and machines for the body parts of sheep during treadmill walking. For human annotation, two annotators manually labeled six body parts of sheep in 300 frames. To generate machine annotations, we employed the state-of-the-art pose-estimating library, DeepLabCut, which was trained using the frames annotated by human annotators. As expected, the human annotations demonstrated high consistency between annotators. Notably, the machine learning algorithm also generated accurate predictions, with errors comparable to those between humans. We also observed that abnormal annotations with a high error could be revised by introducing Kalman Filtering, which interpolates the trajectory of body parts over the time series, enhancing robustness. Our results suggest that conventional transfer learning methods can generate behavior annotations as accurate as those made by humans, presenting great potential for further research.
In the United States, there are currently 17.8 million affected by atopic dermatitis (AD), commonly known as eczema. It is characterized by itching and skin inflammation. AD patients are at higher risk for infections, depression, cancer, and suicide. Genetics, environment, and stress are some of the causes of the disease. With the rise of personalized medicine and the acceptance of gene-editing technologies, AD-related variations need to be identified for treatment. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have associated the Filaggrin (FLG) gene with AD but have not identified specific problematic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This research aimed to refine known SNPs of FLG for gene editing technologies to establish a causal link between specific SNPs and the diseases and to target the polymorphisms. The research utilized R and its Bioconductor packages to refine data from the National Center for Biotechnology Information's (NCBI's) Variation Viewer. The algorithm filtered the dataset by coding regions and conserved domains. The algorithm also removed synonymous variations and treated non-synonymous, frameshift, and nonsense separately. The non-synonymous variations were refined and ordered by the BLOSUM62 substitution matrix. Overall, the analysis removed 96.65% of data, which was redundant or not the focus of the research and ordered the remaining relevant data by impact. The code for the project can also be repurposed as a tool for other diseases. The research can help solve GWAS's imprecise identification challenge. This research is the first step in providing the refined databases required for gene-editing treatment.
One-third of the world's people do not have access to clean drinking water. Nadella and Nadella tackle this issue by testing a low-cost filtration system for removing heavy metal and bacteria from water.
Using the European Space Agency’s Gaia dataset, the authors analyzed the relationship between white dwarfs’ magnitudes and proper motions. They hypothesized that older white dwarf stars may have different velocities than younger ones, possibly that stars slow down as they age. They found that the white dwarfs in the dataset were substantially redder and higher magnitude (traits traditionally associated with older stars) as compared to their non-fast counterparts.