The Home of Midwood Science Research

24/7 Lecture: Plastics

Posted on Monday, May 18, 2020 by for 24/7 Lecture.

Bad and good plastics

24 seconds: Did you know that everyday products such as plastic bottles or plastic bags are extremely harmful to the environment? These conventional plastics can take hundreds of years to decompose and although many people try to recycle, a huge amount of plastic ends up in landfills or the surrounding environment. There those plastics stay polluting the environment and harming organisms both on land and in the oceans. In order to keep the earth, our home, clean we have to start putting more effort into using less products containing these harmful plastics. For example, why not use reusable water bottles instead of the disposable ones? Or, why not use cloth bags or paper bags instead of the plastic alternatives?

7 words: Reduce plastic waste by using sustainable products.

Oliwia Dankiw (Class of 2020)

24/7 Lecture: Magnetic refrigerators

Posted on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 by for 24/7 Lecture.

Cartoon

24 seconds: Conventional refrigerators, the ones that you use at home to keep your food cold, are actually harmful to our environment in the long run. Upon disposal, they release hydrofluorocarbons into the atmosphere and largely contribute to global carbon emissions. A viable substitute to a conventional refrigerator is a magnetic refrigerator. It operates without the use of these harmful gases and instead utilizes magnetic phase transitions to achieve their cooling effect. Magnetic phase transitions need to be studied to improve existing magnetic refrigerators and make current models more energy efficient.

7 words: Magnetic refrigerators are cool without carbon emissions.

Nadzeya Fliaha (Class of 2020)

24/7 Lecture: Biosolids

Posted on Thursday, April 16, 2020 by for 24/7 Lecture.

Biosolids in a Ziploc bag

24 seconds: Biosolids are one of the world's most renewable yet underutilized organic wastes. Biosolids have numerous benefits, most notably its potential contributions to agriculture through soil application. With the inclusion of lime powder, it can help stabilize conditions of biosolids such as pathogen concentration, density, and other physical characteristics vital to helping further enhance biosolids' benefits when applied to soils. Biosolids also has taken up a significant amount of space in our landfills. As the human population continues to increase, so is the demand for available spaces for housing, businesses, agriculture, etc. The last thing we need is to speed up that demand by increasing the amount of landfill space needed for biosolids. Instead, why not put them towards productive use? For agriculture! Biosolids allows for a more sustainable approach towards managing municipal waste while improving the environment and agricultural output.

7 Words: Biosolids: the future of enhancing agricultural growth

Esther Lee (Class of 2020)

24/7 Lecture: Active solar energy

Posted on Thursday, April 16, 2020 by for 24/7 Lecture.

Cartoon of a solar powered house

24 seconds: Active solar energy is a common source of renewable energy that is cleaner and more cost effective than fossil fuels. Active solar energy uses mechanical systems, such as photovoltaic cells, to store and convert energy from the sun into electricity or heat. These systems can be easily installed, requiring little to no maintenance, and will provide for years of solar benefits. This energy can be produced every day, even on cloudy days, and the use of the storage units within the system allows for the excess solar energy to be stored for later use. While there are extremely low levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases being emitted during the installation process, no air pollutants are released afterwards. The reliance on fossil fuels and non-renewable resources can lessen as we convert to cleaner energy sources, creating a cleaner environment

7 Words: Brighten up the world with solar energy.

Jessica Zheng (Class of 2020)

24/7 Lecture: Betaine

Posted on Monday, April 13, 2020 by for 24/7 Lecture.

24 seconds: Betaine is a supplement that can prevent the adverse effects of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), a condition faced by many pregnant women. Women with GDM transfer an excess amount of nutrients to their fetus via the placenta which increases the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes for the baby in the future. The supplementation of betaine can reduce the amount of nutrients transported to the fetus by reducing the expression of Ki67 and angiogenesis. A lower Ki67 expression implies there are fewer cells and a lower expression of angiogenesis implies there are fewer capillaries. The reduction in placental cells and capillaries in the placenta reduces the transport of nutrients to the baby. As a result, this can reduce the prevalence of the births of unhealthy babies from women who are diagnosed with GDM.

7 Words: Betaine is a vital supplement during pregnancy.

Stella Ruan (Class of 2020)

Betaine molecule + placenta cartoon

24/7 Lecture: Multitasking against academic performance and SMD

Posted on Monday, April 13, 2020 by for 24/7 Lecture.

Cartoon zombie pursuing a cell phone

24 seconds: When it comes to multitasking, the use of social media is increasing among adolescents. The reliance on social media causes adolescents to experience more online activity, leading to social media addiction known as Social Media Disorder (SMD). Frequent media multitasking is disadvantageous on adolescents' academic performance. It has shown to be continuously distracting since the individual's attention is on the media while performing the academic task, causing frequent switching between the primary task and the media. Ultimately, this constant switching results in poor performance and hinders cognitive memory. When adolescents often participate in media multitasking, they become habitual to the continuous shift between the media and non-media related activities at hand and eventually deprive their ability to concentrate. The correlation between the motivations for media use among adolescents, and the development of addiction raises concerns on its impact on how they go about their daily activities.

7 Words: Do your homework, you social media zombie!

Kelly Guan (Class of 2020)

24/7 Lecture: COVID-19 and mental health

Posted on Sunday, April 12, 2020 by for 24/7 Lecture.

The mind as a puzzle

24 seconds: Mental health problems among Americans have increased dramatically in recent years, especially among the youth. Various factors such as child development which occur in the context of family, peers, school relations, and culture influence mental health. These factors play an important role in the psychological and social adjustment of adolescents. It is important to address mental health problems to spread awareness about it and further analyze the reasons for the increase in the rate of mental health problems. Research on mental health has proven to be necessary especially with the recent outbreak of COVID-19. The virus has not only impacted the United States financially, but it has also led to stress, fear, depression, and anxiety amongst Americans. During these times, it is necessary to focus on mental health as it has severe impacts on one's thoughts, behaviors, emotions, and overall well-being.

7 words: Don't let COVID-19 ruin your mental health.

Jessica Lin (Class of 2020)

24/7 Lecture: Parental bonding

Posted on Thursday, April 9, 2020 by for 24/7 Lecture.

Parent and child watching a cartoon on a laptop computer

24 seconds: How a child is raised can heavily impact the rest of their lives. Parental bonding nurtures the mentality of an individual, and as a result contributes towards how one perceives themselves. There are generally 3 categories of parenting including authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive, which cover a wide range of commitment levels. People from different backgrounds are often raised differently, which in turn can affect how well individuals bond with their parents. This is not only affected by individual ethics, but varying environmental factors may contribute to these differences as well. In most cases, the more a parental figure bonds with their child, their body awareness, and in turn, their ability to recognize bodily cues increases. In addition to this, the child often becomes more in control of their mind and emotions as they approach young adulthood.

7 words: Building connections can encourage greater mental health.

Ashley Chin (Class of 2020)

24/7 Lecture: Aluminum-sulfur batteries

Posted on Thursday, April 9, 2020 by for 24/7 Lecture.

24 seconds: Al-S (aluminum-sulfur) batteries are a promising candidate for the next generation of energy storage devices. Unlike lithium-ion batteries that are commonly used in portable devices such as smartphones, Al-S batteries can hold more charge, are capable of enduring more charge cycles without losing effectiveness, and have less tendency to explode. They also has a big cost advantage since aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earth's crust so extraction will be way less expensive than it is for lithium. Although still in the development phase, significant progress has been made.

7 words: Aluminum-sulfur is your next iPhone battery.

Hong Wei Chen (Class of 2020)

Test cell
Al-S test cell built by Midwood Science seniors Hong Wei Chen and Kevin Ng

24/7 Lecture: Sir Charles Wyville Thomson

Posted on Saturday, April 4, 2020 by for 24/7 Lecture.

24 seconds: One important figure in Ocean Science is Sir Charles Wyville Thomson (1830–1882), a Scottish historian and marine zoologist. In his book The Depths of the Sea, he details his expeditions aboard the HMS Lightning and HMS Porcupine, discovering that animal life existed below 650 fathoms (1200 meters) and that deep-sea temperatures varied considerably. More famously, Thomson is known for being the chief scientist aboard the HMS Challenger. Under his supervision, the vessel traveled 70,000 nautical miles and cataloged over 4,000 unknown species. On March 23, 1875, Thomson and his crew recorded a sounding 4,475 fathoms deep in the Southwest Pacific Ocean. Through modern soundings and later expeditions, scientists have discovered that this area is actually the southern end of the Marianas Trench, 6,012 fathoms deep (10,994 m), and the deepest point of the Earth. Out of respect for Thomson and his crew's accomplishments, this area is now known as the Challenger's Deep.

7 Words: Thomson discovered new ocean depths and species.

Idrees Ilahi (Class of 2020)

Engraving
Sir Charles Wyville Thomson. Stipple engraving by C.H. Jeens, 1876.

24/7 Lecture: Menhaden

Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 by for 24/7 Lecture.

Snowy egret grabbing menhaden out of the water

24 seconds: Menhaden (a.k.a. "Bunker"), a small filter-feeding species of fish, have long been exploited in NYC waters through the use of purse seine nets that encircle and capture entire schools. Along with being a major prey species for a variety of marine organisms, menhaden are used as bait and to create fish meal, a highly processed food for livestock. Recent legislation in New York State banned the use of purse seines to protect menhaden, allowing for the return of wildlife such as whales, striped bass, and seabirds to New York waters.

7 words: Conservation is best achieved through legislative action.

Tristan Ene (Class of 2020)

A school of menhaden

24/7 Lecture: Forest communities

Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 by for 24/7 Lecture.

24 seconds: Though one would not necessarily associate the word "community" with trees, there is strong evidence to suggest a lively community exists within the world of trees. Unlike humans who communicate through senses, trees communicate through fungal networks that interconnect with their roots. These networks allow trees to send food, water, and distress signals to other trees. If an insect starts eating the leaves of a tree, the tree slowly kicks into survival mode, releasing toxins to make the leaves bitter and sending signals through the fungal networks to nearby trees to do the same. The fungi even find sources of mineral nutrients in the soil for the tree to consume. However, the relationship between trees and fungi is not one-sided. The fungi demands the trees share the sugar it creates through photosynthesis. The fungal network is crucial to enabling the Wood Wide Web, as it transports these daily conversations throughout the forest. This healthy exchange is shown to increase the resilience of the forest as a whole.

7 words: Diverse forests are better at weathering storms.

Suraiya Knoja (Class of 2020)

Looking out the rear window of a car at a forest

24/7 Lecture: Remote learning

Posted on Monday, March 30, 2020 by for 24/7 Lecture.

24 seconds: Being that New York City is under a state of emergency due to COVID-19, Governor Andrew Cuomo made the decision to close the largest school system in the nation — the NYC Department of Education (DOE). With this, students and teachers have resorted to remote learning through media platforms such as Google Classroom, Zoom, and Skype. This online transition has faced a few bumps in the road such as students in poverty who have limited access to the internet. As per the New York Times, the NYC DOE has been providing technology but some students must put a halt to their learning due to not enough computers being available for all. Will students retain what they learn online as compared to a traditional classroom setting?

7 words: No Wi-Fi? Well there goes my GPA.

Gloria Glenn (Class of 2020)

Cartoon repesenting networked devices

24/7 Lecture: NAMs

Posted on Friday, March 27, 2020 by for 24/7 Lecture.

The branches of the lungs

24 seconds: Like various other parts of our body our lungs become inflamed from diseases like influenza. This inflammation prompts an immune response in the human body. The response: macrophages. Macrophages are types of white blood cells that engulfs substances that can cause harm such as bacteria and viruses. In this scientific paper, a very interesting type of macrophage was researched on. These macrophages express CD169 and are developmentally and transcriptionally different from another type of macrophage called alveolar macrophages. It has been found that CD169 producing macrophages are commonly found within the bronchovascular tree and these specific macrophages are called nerve- and airway- associated macrophages (NAMs). The paper states that NAMs may aid more in inflammation regulation while alveolar macrophages my aid more in viral clearance.

7 words: Inflammation needs to go and NAMs help.

Lameya Rahman (Class of 2020)