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Heavy Metal Contamination of Hand-Pressed Well Water in HuNan, China

Long et al. | Oct 20, 2019

Heavy Metal Contamination of Hand-Pressed Well Water in HuNan, China

Unprocessed water from hand-pressed wells is still commonly used as a source of drinking water in Chenzhou, the “Nonferrous Metal Village” of China. Long et al. conducted a study to measure the heavy metal contamination levels and potential health effects in this area. Water samples were analyzed through Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICPOES) and the concentrations of 20 metal elements. Results showed that although none of the samples had dangerous levels of heavy metals, the concentrations of Al, Fe, and Mn in many locations substantially exceeded those suggested in the Chinese Drinking Water Standard and the maximum contaminant levels of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The authors have made an important discovery regarding the water safety in HuNan and their suggestions to install water treatment systems would greatly benefit the community.

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Investigating KNOX Gene Expression in Aquilegia Petal Spur Development

Hossain et al. | Feb 03, 2014

Investigating KNOX Gene Expression in Aquilegia Petal Spur Development

Plants, and all other multi-cellular organisms, develop through the coordinated action of many sets of genes. The authors here investigate the genes, in a class named KNOX, potentially responsible for organizing a certain part of Aquilegia (columbine) flowers called petal spurs. Through the technique Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), they find that certain KNOX genes are expressed non-uniformly in petal spurs, suggesting that they may be involved, perhaps in a cell-specific manner. This research will help guide future efforts toward understanding how many beautiful flowers develop their unique shapes.

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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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The Effect of Ethanol Concentration on Beta-Cell Development in Zebrafish

Payne et al. | Jan 15, 2014

The Effect of Ethanol Concentration on Beta-Cell Development in Zebrafish

Alcohol is known to cause various developmental diseases including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Here the authors investigate the effect of ethanol on the development of zebrafish beta cells, the part of the pancreas associated with Type 1 Diabetes. They find that exposure to ethanol does adversely affect beta-cell development, suggesting that alcohol ingestion during pregnancy may be linked to diabetes in newborns.

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Changes for Development of Al2O3 Coated PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) Composite Nonwoven Separator For Improving Thermal and Electrochemical Properties

Kim et al. | Oct 16, 2019

Changes for Development of Al2O3 Coated PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) Composite Nonwoven Separator For Improving Thermal and Electrochemical Properties

Lithium-ion batteries, a breakthrough in chemistry that enabled the electronic revolution we live today have become an essential part of our day-to-day life. A phone battery running out after a heavy day of use with limited opportunities for recharging is a well-known and resented experience by almost everyone. How then can we make batteries more efficient? This paper proposes the use of a different type of separator, that improves the charging and discharging capacities of lithium ions compared to the classical separator. This and similar attempts to improve Lithium-ion battery function could facilitate the development of higher-performance batteries that work longer and withstand harsher use.

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The Effects of Micro-Algae Characteristics on the Bioremediation Rate of Deepwater Horizon Crude Oil

Cao et al. | Jun 17, 2013

The Effects of Micro-Algae Characteristics on the Bioremediation Rate of Deepwater Horizon Crude Oil

Environmental disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill can be devastating to ecosystems for long periods of time. Safer, cheaper, and more effective methods of oil clean-up are needed to clean up oil spills in the future. Here, the authors investigate the ability of natural ocean algae to process crude oil into less toxic chemicals. They identify Coccochloris elabens as a particularly promising algae for future bioremediation efforts.

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Effects of Paan Extracts on Periodontal Ligament and Osteosarcoma Cells

Venkatachalam et al. | Sep 20, 2018

Effects of Paan Extracts on Periodontal Ligament and Osteosarcoma Cells

In South Asian countries, the major cause of oral cancer is reported to be chewing paan, which is comprised of betel leaf daubed with slaked lime paste and areca nut. To investigate how paan may contribute to the onset of cancer, the authors treated two immortalized cell lines with extracts of betel leaf, areca nut, and lime and evaluated how these treatments affected cell proliferation and cell death. Initial results indicate that while betel leaf alone may inhibit cell growth, areca nut promoted cancer cell survival and proliferation, even when co-treated with betel leaf. These data suggest that areca nut could exacerbate the progression of oral cancer in humans.

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