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More Efficient Helicopter Blades Based on Whale Tubercles

Weitzman et al. | Dec 22, 2013

More Efficient Helicopter Blades Based on Whale Tubercles

Biomimicry is the practice of applying models and systems found in nature to improve the efficiency and usefulness of human technologies. In this study, the authors designed helicopter blades with tubercle structures similar to those found on the tails of humpback whales. The authors found that certain arrangements of these tubercle structures improved the windspeed and efficiency of a model helicopter.

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Estimation of cytokines in PHA-activated mononuclear cells isolated from human peripheral and cord blood

Subbiah et al. | Mar 09, 2022

Estimation of cytokines in PHA-activated mononuclear cells isolated from human peripheral and cord blood

In this study, the authors investigated the time-dependent cytokine secretion ability of phyto-hemagglutinin (PHA)-activated T cells derived from human peripheral (PB) and cord blood (CB). They hypothesized that the anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-10, and pro-inflammatory cytokine, TNFα, levels would be higher in PHA-activated T cells obtained from PB as compared to the levels obtained from CB and would decrease over time. Upon PHA-activation, the IL-10 levels were relatively high while the TNFα levels decreased, making these findings applicable in therapeutic treatments e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and organ transplantation.

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The Perks of Watching a Movie: How the Portrayal of Anxiety and Depression in Film Affects Teenagers’ Perception of Anxiety and Depressive Disorders

Wolcott et al. | Sep 11, 2021

The Perks of Watching a Movie: How the Portrayal of Anxiety and Depression in Film Affects Teenagers’ Perception of Anxiety and Depressive Disorders

In film, anxiety and depressive disorders are often depicted inaccurately. When viewers are exposed to these inaccurate portrayals, they collect misinformation about the disorders, as well as people who live with them, leading to stigma. This study used a mixed-method descriptive approach to analyze 16 teenagers’ attitudes towards people with anxiety and depression. Results found that while participants understood how these portrayals create stigma, they did not attribute this to misinformation. These results can be used to help both the film industry and the movie-going public better understand the effects of inaccurate storytelling and the extent to which it informs public perception

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Glyphosate Levels in American Food Products Meet Government Safety Levels Yet Exceed Concentrations Associated with Negative Effects

Lee et al. | Mar 25, 2019

Glyphosate Levels in American Food Products Meet Government Safety Levels Yet Exceed Concentrations Associated with Negative Effects

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, frequently used in the agricultural industry worldwide. Current literature reveals contradictory findings regarding the effects of glyphosate on vertebrates, leading to concerns about human consumption and differing views on safety levels. Here, authors sought to measure glyphosate levels in common commercially available food products. While some product levels exceed the thresholds at which negative effects have been observed, none exceed government limits.

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Sepia bandensis ink inhibits polymerase chain reactions

Novoselov et al. | Sep 21, 2020

<em>Sepia bandensis</em> ink inhibits polymerase chain reactions

While cephalopods play significant roles in both ecosystems and medical research, there is currently no assembled genome. In an attempt to sequence the Sepia bandensis genome, it was found that there was inhibition from the organism during DNA extraction, resulting in PCR failure. In this study, researchers tested the hypothesis that S. bandensis ink inhibits PCR. They then assessed the impact of ink on multiple methods of DNA extraction

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A Crossover Study Comparing the Effect of a Processed vs. Unprocessed Diet on the Spatial Learning Ability of Zebrafish

Banga et al. | Sep 18, 2022

A Crossover Study Comparing the Effect of a Processed vs. Unprocessed Diet on the Spatial Learning Ability of Zebrafish

The authors compared the short-term effects of processed versus unprocessed food on spatial learning and survival in zebrafish, given the large public concern regarding processed foods. By randomly assigning zebrafish to a diet of brine shrimp flakes (processed) or live brine shrimp (unprocessed), the authors show while there is no immediate effect on a fish's decision process between the two diets, there are significant correlations between improved learning and stress response with the unprocessed diet.

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Predicting baseball pitcher efficacy using physical pitch characteristics

Oberoi et al. | Jan 11, 2024

Predicting baseball pitcher efficacy using physical pitch characteristics
Image credit: Antoine Schibler

Here, the authors sought to develop a new metric to evaluate the efficacy of baseball pitchers using machine learning models. They found that the frequency of balls, was the most predictive feature for their walks/hits allowed per inning (WHIP) metric. While their machine learning models did not identify a defining trait, such as high velocity, spin rate, or types of pitches, they found that consistently pitching within the strike zone resulted in significantly lower WHIPs.

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FRUGGIE – A Board Game to Combat Obesity by Promoting Healthy Eating Habits in Young Children

Huprikar et al. | Jun 13, 2018

FRUGGIE – A Board Game to Combat Obesity by Promoting Healthy Eating Habits in Young Children

The authors created a board game to teach young children about healthy eating habits to see whether an interactive and family-oriented method would be effective at introducing and maintaining a love for fruits and veggies. Results showed that children developed a liking for fruits and vegetables, and none regressed. Half maintained their level of enjoyment for fruits and vegetables during the research period, while the other half had a positive increase. The results show that a simple interactive game can shape how young children relate to food and encourage them to maintain healthy habits.

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