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Fire and dry grass: Effects of Pennisetum villosum on a California native, Nassella pulchra, in drought times

Chang et al. | Jan 23, 2022

Fire and dry grass: Effects of <i>Pennisetum villosum</i> on a California native, <i>Nassella pulchra</i>, in drought times

Invasive species pose a significant threat to many ecosystems, whether by outcompeting native species and disturbing food webs, or through increasing risks of natural disasters like flooding and wildfires. The ornamental grass species Pennisetum villosum R. Br. was previously identified by the California Invasive Plant Council as being potentially invasive; this experiment was conducted to determine if P. villosum displays characteristics of an invasive species when grown in a California chaparral environment. Reults found that in both conditions, the two species had similar germination rates, and that P. villosum grew significantly larger than N. pulchra for around 95 days.

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Access to public parks, drinking fountains, and clean public drinking water in the Bay Area is not driven by income

Zaroff et al. | Jul 15, 2021

Access to public parks, drinking fountains, and clean public drinking water in the Bay Area is not driven by income

Access to green space—an area of grass, trees, or other vegetation set apart for recreational or aesthetic purposes in an urban environment—and clean drinking water can be unequally distributed in urban spaces, which are often associated with income inequality. Little is known about public drinking water and green space inequities in the Bay Area. For our study, we sought to understand how public park access, drinking fountain access, and the quality of public drinking water differ across income brackets in the Bay Area. Though we observed smaller-scale instances of inequalities, in the park distribution in the Bay Area as a whole, and in the Southern Bay’s water quality and park distribution, our results indicate that other factors could be influencing water quality, and park and fountain access in the Bay Area.

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Assessing and Improving Machine Learning Model Predictions of Polymer Glass Transition Temperatures

Ramprasad et al. | Mar 18, 2020

Assessing and Improving Machine Learning Model Predictions of Polymer Glass Transition Temperatures

In this study, the authors test whether providing a larger dataset of glass transition temperatures (Tg) to train the machine-learning platform Polymer Genome would improve its accuracy. Polymer Genome is a machine learning based data-driven informatics platform for polymer property prediction and Tg is one property needed to design new polymers in silico. They found that training the model with their larger, curated dataset improved the algorithm's Tg, providing valuable improvements to this useful platform.

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Antibacterial Effects of Copper Surfaces

Mulukutla et al. | May 19, 2020

Antibacterial Effects of Copper Surfaces

This study examined the ability of copper and copper alloy surfaces to inhibit bacterial growth, which may be help prevent healthcare-associated infections. The authors exposed two non-pathogenic strains of bacteria to different metal plates for varying degrees of time and measured bacterial growth.

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Cytokine Treatment for Myocarditis May Directly Impact Cardiomyocytes Negatively

Kasner et al. | Apr 26, 2019

Cytokine Treatment for Myocarditis May Directly Impact Cardiomyocytes Negatively

The purpose of our study was to determine if direct administration of CXCL1/KC to cardiomyocytes causes negative changes to cell density or proliferation. This molecule has been shown to reduce inflammation in certain instances. Homocysteine models the direct effect of an inflammatory agent on cardiomyocytes. Our question was whether these molecules directly impact cell density through an interaction with the cell proliferation process. We hypothesized that cells treated with CXCL1/KC would maintain the same cell density as untreated cells. In contrast, cells treated with Homocysteine or both Homocysteine and CXCL1/KC, were expected to have a higher cell density that than that of untreated cells.

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