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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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3D Printed Polymer Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Regeneration

Jayatissa et al. | Apr 26, 2019

3D Printed Polymer Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Regeneration

Scientists are always on the quest to improve the body's healing abilities and broken bones are no exception. In this article, the authors investigate properties of 3D-printed biocompatible polymers used to improve bone healing. With such efforts, we can hope to, one day, improve bone scaffolding materials in ways that make the natural healing processes more efficient, reducing the time needed for recovery from bone fractures.

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The Effects of Post-Consumer Waste Polystyrene on the Rate of Mealworm Consumption

Green et al. | Nov 29, 2018

The Effects of Post-Consumer Waste Polystyrene on the Rate of Mealworm Consumption

In a world where plastic waste accumulation is threatening both land and sea life, Green et al. investigate the ability of mealworms to breakdown polystyrene, a non-recyclable form of petrochemical-based polymer we use in our daily lives. They confirm that these organisms, can degrade various forms of polystyrene, even after it has been put to use in our daily lives. Although the efficiency of the degradation process still requires improvement, the good news is, the worms are tiny and themselves are biodegradable, so we can use plenty of them without worrying about space and how to get rid of them. This is very promising and certainly good news for the planet.

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The Cohesiveness of the Oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction

Gottlieb et al. | Dec 18, 2018

The Cohesiveness of the Oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction

In this study the author undertakes a careful characterization of a special type of chemical reaction, called an oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky (or B-Z) reaction, which has a number of existing applications in biomedical engineering as well as the potential to be useful in future developments in other fields of science and engineering. Specifically, she uses experimental measurements in combination with computational analysis to investigate whether the reaction is cohesive – that is, whether the oscillations between chemical states will remain consistent or change over time as the reaction progresses. Her results indicate that the reaction is not cohesive, providing an important foundation for the development of future technologies using B-Z reactions.

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The Effect of Common Cations on DNA Degradation

Larina et al. | Nov 06, 2016

The Effect of Common Cations on DNA Degradation

Heating of DNA-containing solutions is a part of many experiment protocols, but it can also cause damage and degradation of the DNA molecules, potentially leading to error in the experimental results. The authors of this paper investigate whether the presence of certain cations during heating can stabilize the DNA polymer and aid the preservation of the molecule.

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A Taste of Sweetness in Bioplastics

Tsai et al. | Apr 05, 2019

A Taste of Sweetness in Bioplastics

Sweet potatoes are one of the most common starches in Taiwan, and sweet potato peels hold significant potential to make biodegradable plastics which can alleviate the environmental impact of conventional petroleum-based plastics. In this paper, Tsai et al created starch-based bioplastics derived from sweet potato peels and manipulated the amount of added glycerol to alter the plastic’s strength and flexibility properties. Their results indicated that higher concentrations of glycerol yield more malleable plastics, providing insights into how recycled agricultural waste material might be used to slow down the rate of pollution caused by widespread production of conventional plastics.

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DyGS: a dynamic gene searching algorithm for cancer detection

Wang et al. | Jun 05, 2018

DyGS: a dynamic gene searching algorithm for cancer detection

Wang and Gong developed a novel dynamic gene-searching algorithm called Dynamic Gene Search (DyGS) to create a gene panel for each of the 12 cancers with the highest annual incidence and death rate. The 12 gene panels the DyGS algorithm selected used only 3.5% of the original gene mutation pool, while covering every patient sample. About 40% of each gene panel is druggable, which indicates that the DyGS-generated gene panels can be used for early cancer detection as well as therapeutic targets in treatment methods.

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Do Attractants Bias the Results of Malaise Trap Research?

Martinez et al. | Jan 22, 2020

Do Attractants Bias the Results of Malaise Trap Research?

Malaise traps are commonly used to collect flying insects for a variety of research. In this study, researchers hypothesized the attractants used in these traps may create bias in insect studies that could lead to misinterpreted data. To test this hypothesis two different kinds of attractant were used in malaise traps, and insect diversity was assessed. Attractants were found to alter the dispersion of insects caught in traps. These findings can inform future malaise traps studies on insect diversity.

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