Safely experimenting with actinides
Jun02

Safely experimenting with actinides

A few weeks ago, I wrote a C&EN Science Concentrate about a new californium complex with covalent bonds to its ligands rather than the ionic interactions traditionally expected for actinides. The work was led by Thomas E. Albrecht-Schmitt, a chemistry professor at Florida State University. His lab at FSU works with thorium, protactinium, uranium, neptunium, plutonium, americium, curium, californium, and—soon, for the first...

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Lab safety task force launched by Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities
May07

Lab safety task force launched by Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities

The Association of Public & Land Grant Universities (APLU) has established a Task Force on Laboratory Safety, which held its first face-to-face meeting in Washington, DC this week. The goal of the task force is to build on academic lab safety reports issued by the American Chemical Society (ACS) in 2012 and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 2014, says one of the task force’s chairs, Taylor Eighmy, vice chancellor for...

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If you’re tempted to brush your teeth at the lab sink…
Mar18

If you’re tempted to brush your teeth at the lab sink…

Don’t. Just don’t. That goes double for PIs. I would really like to know why on earth this one thinks it’s a good idea.

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Safety Madness at UT Austin
Mar04

Safety Madness at UT Austin

March is fast approaching and with it March Madness, also known as the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament (go Cardinal!). The chemistry department at the University of Texas, Austin, took a page out of the basketball book last year and created a “Safety Madness” tournament—complete with brackets–for its department. Lab groups divided into the “makers” (organic and inorganic divisions) and “measurers” (analytical and physical...

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Something to do in lab today
Mar02

Something to do in lab today

I said I’d make this a monthly repost, then travel and assorted other things meant that I forgot it in February. Trying again… From Derek Lowe, in memory of people who died in chemical incidents: So in memory of these four, here’s something that all of us who work in the lab can do today. Take a look around you. Remind yourself of where the fire extinguishers are (and there should be more than one kind). Think of how you’d...

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Mentoring for lab safety
Jun10

Mentoring for lab safety

From this week’s issue of C&EN: Chemistry Professors Promote Lab Safety When it comes to training students and postdoctoral researchers to work safely in academic laboratories, it is hard to overemphasize the importance of the head of the lab—the principal investigator (PI). “The PI sets the tone for how a lab is going to act and operate,” says Dominick J. Casadonte Jr., a chemistry professor at Texas Tech University. “If...

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