The A(H5N1) Conundrum
Jan04

The A(H5N1) Conundrum

Are there some experiments that should never be carried out? Is there some knowledge that is too dangerous for humans to possess? Can the dissemination of knowledge, once it has been discovered, be limited to only a few people? These are some of the questions being raised by two papers from two virology groups that created an avian H5N1[A(H5N1)] influenza virus that is easily transmissible from mammal to mammal through the air. A...

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A Measure of Progress
Dec19

A Measure of Progress

In “Transcendent Life?” I wrote about the philosophical essay, “Life Transcending Physics And Chemistry,” by Michael Polanyi that was the cover story of the Aug. 21, 1967, issue of C&EN. In this post, I want to take note of another interesting element I found in that issue, one that vibrantly illustrates progress humankind has made in the past half century. When we created the C&EN Archives, we optically scanned...

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The Cost of Prevention
Dec15

The Cost of Prevention

My wife Jan and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary recently by spending a long weekend in Chicago. Among the interesting things we did while we were there was to take a 90-minute architectural boat tour along the Chicago River sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Chicago is justifiably proud of its rich architectural heritage. Classic buildings like the Wrigley Building, the Tribune Tower, and the Carbon &...

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Influential Chemical Engineers
Dec14

Influential Chemical Engineers

Do you have a favorite chemical engineer? I received an e-mail from Claudia Flavell-While, Director of Publications, Institution of Chemical Engineers, which publishes a monthly magazine, tce, that read in part: We’ve just opened the voting on a mission to find some of the most influential chemical engineers in history, and we’d like to extend an invitation to your readers to take part. As you’re probably aware, tce for the past two...

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Transcendent Life?
Dec09

Transcendent Life?

A reader recently wrote to ask whether she could purchase an article—specifically the cover story in the Aug. 21, 1967, issue—from the C&EN Archives. The answer, of course, is that she could, for $10. (As of January 2012, ACS members will be able to download 25 journal papers, book chapters, and C&EN Archives stories for free each year.) C&EN Deputy Editor-in-chief Maureen Rouhi got the e-mail, and she brought the article...

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