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Polluted water tested from the Potomac River affects invasive species plant growth

Chao et al. | Sep 20, 2023

Polluted water tested from the Potomac River affects invasive species plant growth
Image credit: Alex Korolkoff

Here recognizing the potential for pollution to impact the ecosystems of local waterways, the authors investigated the growth of tiger lilies, which are invasive to the Potomac River, in relation to the level of pollution. The authors report that increasing levels of pollution led to increased growth of the invasive species based on their study.

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Nature’s reset: The effect of native and invasive plant forage on honey bee nutrition and survival

Culbert et al. | May 25, 2024

Nature’s reset: The effect of native and invasive plant forage on honey bee nutrition and survival
Image credit: Culbert and Wilson-Rich 2024

As a keystone species, honey bees (Apis mellifera) are pollinators that help sustain our food supply and native ecosystems. Unfortunately, habitat loss and widespread pesticide use are major drivers of pollinator decline. In the case of honey bees, rates of infection and colony collapse have been attributed to several interacting factors, including the loss of forage diversity and abundance. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of plant forage on bee health across apiaries located in multiple US cities. Hives were divided into healthy green zones, average health yellow zones, and unhealthy red zones. We hypothesized that honey bee colony survival would increase with the number of native plants foraged. Using plant DNA metabarcoding of honey samples, qualitative and quantitative analyses revealed hive health variation due to the population of plants foraged upon. Forage from green zones consisted predominantly of native plants and red zones consisted of primarily invasive plants. Furthermore, hives that were exposed to a natural catastrophic event demonstrated a high percentage of native plant forage post-disaster. Our study represents the first investigation of the significance of native and invasive plant forage to overwintering survival for honey bees as well as novel research examining the effect of natural catastrophic events on honey bee foraging. The availability of native and invasive plants plays a critical role in bee health, performance, and fitness, particularly in post-catastrophic event landscapes. By further understanding the unique dynamics between the type of plant forage and honey bee survival, we may be another step closer to unlocking the mysteries that may benefit the health of 200,000 other pollinator species.

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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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Down-regulation of CD44 inhibits Wnt/β-catenin mediated cancer cell migration and invasion in gastric cancer

Baek et al. | May 10, 2021

Down-regulation of CD44 inhibits Wnt/β-catenin mediated cancer cell migration and invasion  in gastric cancer

In this study, we aimed to characterize CD44-mediated regulation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, which promotes cancer invasion and metastasis. We hypothesized that CD44 down-regulation will inhibit gastric cancer cell migration and invasion by leading to down-regulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. We found that CD44 up-regulation was significantly related to poor prognosis in gastric cancer patients. We demonstrated the CD44 down-regulation decreased β-catenin protein expression level. Our results suggest that CD44 down-regulation inhibits cell migration and invasion by down-regulating β-catenin expression level.

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Evaluating machine learning algorithms to classify forest tree species through satellite imagery

Gupta et al. | Mar 18, 2023

Evaluating machine learning algorithms to classify forest tree species through satellite imagery
Image credit: Sergei A

Here, seeking to identify an optimal method to classify tree species through remote sensing, the authors used a few machine learning algorithms to classify forest tree species through multispectral satellite imagery. They found the Random Forest algorithm to most accurately classify tree species, with the potential to improve model training and inference based on the inclusion of other tree properties.

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The Clinical Accuracy of Non-Invasive Glucose Monitoring for ex vivo Artificial Pancreas

Levy et al. | Jul 10, 2016

The Clinical Accuracy of Non-Invasive Glucose Monitoring for <i>ex vivo</i> Artificial Pancreas

Diabetes is a serious worldwide epidemic that affects a growing portion of the population. While the most common method for testing blood glucose levels involves finger pricking, it is painful and inconvenient for patients. The authors test a non-invasive method to measure glucose levels from diabetic patients, and investigate whether the method is clinically accurate and universally applicable.

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The Role of Corresponding Race, Gender, and Species as Incentives for Charitable Giving

Antonides-Jensen et al. | Jul 31, 2019

The Role of Corresponding Race, Gender, and Species as Incentives for Charitable Giving

Inherent bias is often the unconscious driver of human behavior, and the first step towards overcoming these biases is our awareness of them. In this article the authors investigate whether race, gender or species affect the choice of charity by middle class Spaniards. Their conclusions serve as a starting point for further studies that could help charities refine their campaigns in light of these biases effectively transcending them or taking advantage of them to improve their fundraising attempts.

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