Chemistry Newsbytes
Jan20

Chemistry Newsbytes

Slate is calling an end to the War on Science. But when only 18% of Americans know a scientist, CNN axes its entire scitech desk, and scientific role models identified in surveys include Al Gore and Bill Gates, you have to wonder--did we lose the war? Slate The science, or lack thereof, behind wine-enhancing devices. NY Times Media makes a mess of methane on Mars. Discover Astronauts making a long haul into space may find silkworms on the menu. Yum? ScienceNow Pheromones shmeromones. NPR Chemotherapy may be most effective in the morning.  LA Times Check out an excerpt from Steven Johnson's new book about Joseph Priestly, "The Invention of Air." NPR An interesting piece loosely speculates that an Obama Administration might help keep more women in science, with some interesting factoids: 70% of tenured male science faculty are married with kids compared with only 44% of their tenured female colleagues; women earn only 20% of the bachelor's degrees in physics but 50% of the bachelor's degrees in that other math-heavy major--mathematics. Also, chemistry is called "not quite plush toy material." NY...

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Chemistry Newsbytes
Dec12

Chemistry Newsbytes

Attention journal editors: When picking a Chinese classical text for the cover of your China special issue, be sure the image isn't a flyer for a Macau brothel advertising "Hot Housewives in Action!" The Independent No cash to decorate your Christmas tree? If you've got a gas grill, a vacuum, some sand, and a little laundry detergent, you can make your own glass ornaments. Popular Science Enterprising British chemist rakes in $15 million dollars making moonshine...but also will spend more than nine years in jail. Telegraph Ladies Leaving the Lab: RSC study finds that 72% of first year female chemistry Ph.D. students want a career in academia, but by the time they've reached their third year, 37% are off the academic track. Guardian Forget shaken versus stirred. Try your next martini with sublimation. NPR Will nanophobia kill the new wave of sunscreens? NY...

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Doctorates on the Dance Floor
Nov20

Doctorates on the Dance Floor

Aaron Esser-Kahn's lab at the University of California, Berkeley looks like a good place to get down. The University of California, Berkeley graduate student was one of 36 scientists to enter the 2009 Dance Your Ph.D. contest. Esser-Kahn's hip-hop interpretation of his thesis on "Protein Cross-linked Hydrogels" didn't win, but it certainly gets C&ENtral's science's vote for best dance with an ice bucket.Winners are after the jump, along with some of our favorite chemistry-related grooves and one marine biology graduate student who was totally robbed. You can see all 36 entries here. Sue Lynn Lau, a student at Australia's Garvan Institute of Medical Research snagged the Graduate Student prize for interpreting her research on "The Role of Vitamin D in Beta Cell Function." Particularly impressive are the aerial acrobatic maneuvers Lau's colleague in the yellow shirt busts out toward the end of the dance. Miriam Sach, winner of the Postdoc Prize and currently a postdoc at the University of California, San Diego, leaps, tumbles, and rolls around the floor to illustrate her Ph.D. work on "Cerebral activation patterns induced by inflection of regular and irregular verbs with positron emission tomography. A comparison between single subject and group analysis." Vince LiCata, a biology professor at Louisiana State University, took home the Professor Prize for some rhythmic swaying with grad students. LiCata's Ph.D., which he earned in 1990, is titled ""Resolving Pathways of Functional Coupling in Human Hemoglobin Using Quantitative Low Temperature Isoelectric Focusing of Asymmetric Mutant Hybrids." The gloves and safety goggles are a nice touch. With more than 14,000 views, University of Illinois graduate student Markita Landry won the Popular Choice prize for a tango that depicts "Single Molecule Measurements of Protelomerase TelK-DNA Complexes." "Uneasy Alchemy: Citizens and Experts in Louisiana's Chemical Corridor Disputes" by Virginia Tech professor Barbara Allen "Properties of Hard, Nanolayered TiB2:CHx Low Friction Coatings" by Northwestern grad student Bo Zhao "Structural analysis of phosducin and its phosphorylation-regulated interaction with transducin beta-gamma" by Harvard University professor Rachelle Gaudet Although not chemistry-related, C&ENtral science would like to recognize the outstanding dance by University of South Florida graduate student Christin Murphy depicting "Hydrodynamic Trail Detection in Marine Organisms." Hula-hooping with fire! Hello, how did this not...

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Inorganic Living
Nov18

Inorganic Living

Call it Roger Hiorns' blue period. In "Seizure," his latest and most ambitious work, the English artist has taken a derelict London flat and covered it in copper sulfate crystals. After reinforcing the floor and ceiling and covering the flat in plastic sheeting, Hiorns pumped 90,000 liters (about 23,775 gallons) of a supersaturated copper sulfate solution into the building through a hole in the floor of the flat above. Then he waited for the temperature to drop and for crystals to take over the abandoned space. "The walls and ceilings are covered in blue copper sulphate crystals, their rhomboid facets glinting in the gloom," writes Guardian art critic Adrian Searle. "Silvery shards of cold light spangle and wink and beckon. Every surface is furred and infested; big blue crystals dangle like cubist bats from the light fittings. Little wonder the flat has been abandoned: you'd move out, too, if the crystals moved in." If you're going to be in London, the exhibit will be open until the end of the month. And you can see a video of Hiorns showing his piece after the jump. Meanwhile, I'm going to try to convince my husband that we should consider using Hiorns' method to...

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Chemistry Newsbytes
Nov14

Chemistry Newsbytes

The Royal Society of Chemistry published an experimental procedure for making the perfect Yorkshire pudding. (There are, however, some critical experimental details missing. Oven temp? Amount of milk/water? C'mon don't make us buy them from Marks & Spencer again.) The Times Beryllium fires! Exploding beakers! Lab floods! Share your tales of undergrad (or grad or postdoc or P.I.) labmate disasters. Carbon Based Curiosities Forget about the backyard barbecue. Get a backyard nuclear reactor instead. Guardian Scientists are getting closer to detecting human growth hormone in urine. LA Times RNAi gets a glamorous write up. NY Times The secret to bleach's bug-killing magic. ScienceNOW Do not taunt happy fun ball. Danger...

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