Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is a plastic used to make food containers and packing materials that poses a threat to the environment. Mealworms can degrade EPS, but at a slow rate. Here, researchers assessed the impact of food waste compost and oats on the speed of EPS consumption by mealworms, superworms, and waxworms. A positive correlation was found between food waste compost supplementation and EPS consumption, especially by mealworms, indicating a potential industrial application.
Each year, over 100,000 patients die from Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). A reliable seizure warning system can help patients stay safe. This work presents a comprehensive, comparative analysis of three different signal processing algorithms for automated seizure/ictal detection. The experimental results show that the proposed methods can be effective for accurate automated seizure detection and monitoring in clinical care.
In this study, the authors utilize an infrared camera to visualize and investigate the exothermic reaction of polyurethane foam, which has many everyday uses including automotive seats, bedding, and insulation.
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.
Lipases are a common class of enzymes that catalyze the breakdown of lipids. Here the authors characterize the the activity of pancreatic lipase in different organic solvents using a choloremetric assay, as well as using molecular dynamic simulations. They report that the activity of pancreatic lipase in 5% methanol is more than 25% higher than in water, despite enzyme stability being comparable in both solvents. This suggests that, for industrial applications, using pancreatic lipase in 5% methanol solution might increase yield, compared to just water.
In an effort to reduce the production of hazardous substances, green chemistry aims to make chemical processes more sustainable. One way to do so is changing solvents in chemical reactions. Here, authors assessed different “green” solvents on the oxidation of (-)-menthol to (-)-menthone using Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, optimizing the solvent system for this reaction.
Berberine, a natural product alkaloid, has been shown to exert biological activity via in situ production of singlet oxygen when photo irradiated. Berberine utilizes singlet oxygen in its putative mechanism of action, wherein it forms an activated complex with DNA and photosensitizes triplet oxygen to singlet oxygen to specifically oxidize guanine residues, thereby halting cell replication and leading to cell death. This has potential application in photodynamic therapy, alongside other such compounds which also act as photosensitizers and produce singlet oxygen in situ. The quantification of singlet oxygen in various photosensitizers, including berberine, is essential for determining their photosensitizer efficiencies. We postulated that the singlet oxygen produced by photoirradiation of berberine would be superior in terms of singlet oxygen production to the aforementioned photosensitizers when irradiated with UV light, but inferior under visible light conditions, due to its strong absorbance of UV wavelengths.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical extracted from cannabis and shown by some studies to alleviate the symptoms of many mental disorders, especially major depressive disorder. The authors hypothesized that chronic treatments with purified CBD through oral administration would relieve depression-associated behaviors in normal healthy rats under adverse conditions. A statistical analysis of the experimental data suggested that long-term consumption of CBD could elicit depression associated symptoms in normal rats without depression. The results imply that people should consume CBD-containing products with extreme caution and highlight the need to carefully monitor the use of CBD in health care products.
With monitoring of climate change and the evolving properties of the atmosphere more critical than ever, the authors of this study take sea salt aerosols into consideration. These sea salt aerosols, sourced from the bubbles found at the surface of the sea, serve as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and are effective for the formation of clouds, light scattering in the atmosphere, and cooling of the climate. With amines being involved in the process of CCN formation, the authors explore the effects of alkylamines on the properties of sea salt aerosols and their potential relevance to climate change.