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Vitamin C in Fruits: Does Organic Make a Difference?

Mulukutla et al. | Sep 21, 2015

Vitamin C in Fruits: Does Organic Make a Difference?

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that is involved in many important cellular processes. Humans are unable to produce Vitamin C and thus must obtain it from exogenous sources such as citrus fruits, peppers, or flowering vegetables. In this study, the authors investigate whether or not organic and non-organic fruits have comparable vitamin C levels. This type of study has important implications for consumers.

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A Temperature-Based Comparison of Compounds Found in Bao Chong Tea, Green Tea, and Black Tea

Lin et al. | May 14, 2019

A Temperature-Based Comparison of Compounds Found in Bao Chong Tea, Green Tea, and Black Tea

While tea has a complex history, recently the health benefits of this beverage have come into focus. In this study, researchers sought to compare the levels of caffeine, catechins and L-theanine between different types of tea using NMR spectroscopy. Further, the impact of brewing temperature on the release of these compounds was also assessed. Of those tested, Bao Chong tea had the highest levels of these compounds. Brewing temperatures between 45ºC and 75ºC were found to be optimal for compound release. These results can help consumers make informed choices about their tea preparation and intake.

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Fluorescein or Green Fluorescent Protein: Is It Possible to Create a Sensor for Dehydration?

Joshi et al. | Dec 09, 2019

Fluorescein or Green Fluorescent Protein: Is It Possible to Create a Sensor for Dehydration?

Currently there is no early dehydration detection system using temperature and pH as indicators. A sensor could alert the wearer and others of low hydration levels, which would normally be difficult to catch prior to more serious complications resulting from dehydration. In this study, a protein fluorophore, green fluorescent protein (GFP), and a chemical fluorophore, fluorescein, were tested for a change in fluorescence in response to increased temperature or decreased pH. Reversing the pH change did not restore GFP fluorescence, but that of fluorescein was re-established. This finding suggests that fluorescein could be used as a reusable sensor for a dehydration-related pH change.

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Differentiation of Waste Plastic Pyrolysis Fuels to Conventional Diesel Fuel

Jewison et al. | May 25, 2018

Differentiation of Waste Plastic Pyrolysis Fuels to Conventional Diesel Fuel

Plastic pollution and energy shortages are pressing issues in today’s world. The authors examined whether waste plastic pyrolysis fuels are similar to conventional diesel and, thus, a plausible alternative fuel. Results showed that waste plastic pyrolysis fuels did not match up to diesel overall, though several fuels came close in calorific value.

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The Effects of Antibiotics on Nutrient Digestion

Murea et al. | Oct 06, 2017

The Effects of Antibiotics on Nutrient Digestion

One disadvantage of antibiotic therapy is the potential for unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects. Here, the authors test whether some common antibiotics directly interfere with the digestion of protein, fat, or sugars. This study provides motivation to more carefully investigate the interactions between antibiotics and gut enzymes in order to inform treatment decisions and improve patient outcomes.

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Role of Environmental Conditions on Drying of Paint

Aggarwal et al. | Feb 20, 2021

Role of Environmental Conditions on Drying of Paint

Reducing paint drying time is an important step in improving production efficiency and reducing costs. The authors hypothesized that decreased humidity would lead to faster drying, ultraviolet (UV) light exposure would not affect the paint colors differently, white light exposure would allow for longer wavelength colors to dry at a faster rate than shorter wavelength colors, and substrates with higher roughness would dry slower. Experiments showed that trials under high humidity dried slightly faster than trials under low humidity, contrary to the hypothesis. Overall, the paint drying process is very much dependent on its surrounding environment, and optimizing the drying process requires a thorough understanding of the environmental factors and their interactive effects with the paint constituents.

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Developing a Portable, Reusable, and Inexpensive Magnesium-Air Fuel Cell

Tota et al. | Mar 28, 2019

Developing a Portable, Reusable, and Inexpensive Magnesium-Air Fuel Cell

One of the greatest challenges we face today is the sustainable production, storage, and distribution of electrical power. One emerging technology with great promise in this area is that of metal-air fuel cells—a long-term and reusable electricity storage system made from a reactive metal anode and a saline solution. In this study the authors tested several different types of metal to determine which was the most suitable for this application. They found that a fuel cell with a magnesium anode was superior to fuel cells made from aluminum or zinc, producing a voltage and current sufficient for real-world applications such as charging a mobile phone.

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Efficacy of Rotten and Fresh Fruit Extracts as the Photosensitive Dye for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Jayasankar et al. | Jan 16, 2019

Efficacy of Rotten and Fresh Fruit Extracts as the Photosensitive Dye for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) use dye as the photoactive material, which capture the incoming photon of light and use the energy to excite electrons. Research in DSSCs has centered around improving the efficacy of photosensitive dyes. A fruit's color is defined by a unique set of molecules, known as a pigment profile, which changes as a fruit progresses from ripe to rotten. This project investigates the use of fresh and rotten fruit extracts as the photoactive dye in a DSSC.

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The Effect of Cobalt Biomineralization on Power Density in a Microbial Fuel Cell

Bandyopadhyay et al. | Sep 07, 2015

The Effect of Cobalt Biomineralization on Power Density in a Microbial Fuel Cell

A microbial fuel cell is a system to produce electric current using biochemical products from bacteria. In this project authors operated a microbial fuel cell in which glucose was oxidized by Shewanella oneidensis in the anodic compartment. We compared the power output from biomineralized manganese or cobalt oxides, reduced by Leptothrix cholodnii in the cathodic compartment.

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Efficacy of Mass Spectrometry Versus 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance With Respect to Denaturant Dependent Hydrogen-Deuterium Exchange in Protein Studies

Chenna et al. | Jan 22, 2020

Efficacy of Mass Spectrometry Versus 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance With Respect to Denaturant Dependent Hydrogen-Deuterium Exchange in Protein Studies

The misfolding of proteins leads to numerous diseases including Akzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Type II Diabetes. Understanding of exactly how proteins fold is crucial for many medical advancements. Chenna and Englander addressed this problem by measuring the rate of hydrogen-deuterium exchange within proteins exposed to deuterium oxide in order to further elucidate the process of protein folding. Here, mass spectrometry was used to measure exchange in Cytochrome c and was compared to archived 1H NMR data.

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