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Banana-based Biofuels for Combating Climate Change: How the Composition of Enzyme Catalyzed Solutions Affects Biofuel Yield

Klein-Hessling Barrientos et al. | May 27, 2020

Banana-based Biofuels for Combating Climate Change: How the Composition of Enzyme Catalyzed Solutions Affects Biofuel Yield

The authors investigate whether amylase or yeast had a more prominent role in determining the bioethanol concentration and bioethanol yield of banana samples. They hypothesized that amylase would have the most significant impact on the bioethanol yield and concentration of the samples. They found that while yeast is an essential component for producing bioethanol, the proportion of amylase supplied through a joint amylase-yeast mixture has a more significant impact on the bioethanol yield. This study provides a greater understanding of the mechanisms and implications involved in enzyme-based biofuel production, specifically of those pertaining to amylase and yeast.

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A Scientific Investigation of Alternative Growing Methods to Cultivate Lactuca sativa

Fishback et al. | Apr 23, 2020

A Scientific Investigation of Alternative Growing Methods to Cultivate Lactuca sativa

In this article, the authors compare different resource-efficient farming methods for the vegetable Lactuca sativa. They compared hydroponics (solid growth medium with added nutrients) to aquaponics (water with fish waste to provide nutrients) and determined efficacy by measuring plant height over time. While both systems supported plant growth, the authors concluded that aquaponics was the superior method for supporting Lactuca sativa growth. These findings are of great relevance as we continue to find the most sustainable and efficient means for farming.

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Combined Progestin-Estrogenic Contraceptive Pills May Promote Growth in Crop-Plants

Saha et al. | Feb 21, 2020

Combined Progestin-Estrogenic Contraceptive Pills May Promote Growth in Crop-Plants

Ethinyl estradiol and progestin norgestrel are commonly present in contraceptive tablets and it is unknown how they affect the environment. In this study, the authors investigate the role that ethinyl estradiol and progestin norgestrel have on the growth of flowering plants. The percentage germination, embryonic and adventitious tissue proliferation, root length, and shoot length were measured in V. radiata and T. aestivum treated with each compound and results demonstrate that ethinyl estradiol and progestin norgestrel can induce growth in both plants at certain concentrations. These findings have important implications as societal use of chemicals increases and more make their way into the environment.

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Effects of Coolant Temperature on the Characteristics of Soil Cooling Curve

Wang et al. | Jan 16, 2020

Effects of Coolant Temperature on the Characteristics of Soil Cooling Curve

In this article, the authors investigate whether coolant temperature affects soil cooling curves of soil with otherwise identical properties. The coolant temperature is representative of environmental temperature, and the authors hypothesized that differences in this temperature would not affect the freezing temperature of soil. Their findings validated their hypothesis providing helpful information relevant to understanding how frost heaves happen and how to predict their occurrence more accurately.

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Effects of Ocean Acidification on the Photosynthetic Ability of Chaetoceros gracilis in the Monterey Bay

Harvell et al. | Jan 16, 2020

Effects of Ocean Acidification on the Photosynthetic Ability of <i>Chaetoceros gracilis</i> in the Monterey Bay

In this article, Harvell and Nicholson hypothesized that increased ocean acidity would decrease the photosynthetic ability of Chaetoceros gracilis, a diatom prolific in Monterey Bay, because of the usually corrosive effects of carbonic acid on both seashells and cells’ internal structures. They altered pH of algae environments and measured the photosynthetic ability of diatoms over four days by spectrophotometer. Overall, their findings indicate that C. gracilis may become more abundant in Monterey Bay as the pH of the ocean continues to drop, potentially contributing to harmful algal blooms.

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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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