This Week on CENtral Science: XPRIZE Science, Nanotech Safety, and more
Sep20

This Week on CENtral Science: XPRIZE Science, Nanotech Safety, and more

Tweet of the Week: OH: OMG, she LOVES biology. When she gets drunk, that's all she talks about.— LeighKrietschBoerner (@LeighJKBoerner) September 20, 2013 To the network: Cleantech Chemistry: Cool Planet Wraps Up $60 Million Funding Round Fine Line: ChemOutsourcing: Day Two and ChemOutsourcing: Day One Newscripts: XPRIZE Competition Poses Ocean Acidity Challenge and Amusing News Aliquots and From Unknown Bacteria To Biotechnology Breakthrough The Safety Zone: Nanotechnology: Small science can come with big safety risks The Watch Glass: Tiny Solder and Gas Masks for Three Year Olds and Women in Cleveland's Chemistry Labs during WWII and The Orion Nebula and Detector Dogs for Forensic...

Read More
Behind the Story: Urine Rides Wave Of Media Attention
Aug14

Behind the Story: Urine Rides Wave Of Media Attention

A funny thing happened after Newscripts' Lauren Wolf wrote a post promoting peeing in the ocean late last month: The article, much like the urine it discussed, slowly spread through the waters of the Internet, garnering attention from everyone from Gizmodo to Jezebel. In the video above, fellow CENtral Science blogger Carmen Drahl asks Lauren what it's like to be known as a "urine evangelist," whether there's any truth to dyes detecting urine in pools, and why Lauren's husband would still rather not pee in the ocean. This conversation is the second videocast that Carmen and Lauren have produced. Definitely check out their discussion about the history of the National Organic Symposium, if you haven't already....

Read More
To Pee, Or Not To Pee? That Is The #ChemSummer Question
Jul30

To Pee, Or Not To Pee? That Is The #ChemSummer Question

I don’t really remember the first time I peed in the ocean. But it must’ve been when I was a girl, during one of my family’s numerous summer vacations to the Jersey shore. We rented the same property in Wildwood Crest year in and year out: a modest 3-bedroom apartment just blocks from the beach. What I do remember is a yearning to never leave the water, for my dad to throw me into a salty green wave one more time while shouting “Uh-oh Spaghetti-o!” I’d have to guess that it was during one of those marathon splash sessions when I first did it. If you spend enough time in the ocean that your fingers get wrinkly, your lips turn blue, and you have sand in unspeakable places, trudging back across the white-hot pavement to a rental house isn’t really an attractive bathroom option. I’m sure my parents weren’t in favor of escorting their dripping, pruney child to and fro throughout the afternoon and gave their consent. Today, my husband and I continue the Jersey shore visits—now a tradition—with my niece, taking her to the southern beaches each year for some fun in the sun … and surf. During our first year in the water, at the tender age of 8, she was hesitant. I told her she could relieve herself in the water, and she looked at me with embarrassment, the way only a child could look at an adult. Clearly, I was not hip. CLEARLY, I had missed that day of potty training. Fast-forward four years, and my darling niece pees in the ocean with the best of ‘em. It’s now my husband that needs the convincing: He refuses to go. To address his noncompliance, my niece and I have become a floating vaudeville act, forcing my husband between us as we put on a show. Me:  “Hey there, you said you had to pee.” Darling niece: “Yup. I just did.” Me: “Oh good, me too. So that’s done with. Hey hubs, you feel that warm spot?” Before I go any further, I should interject here to say that I do not advocate peeing in pools or other small bodies of water—ponds, pristine lakes in the Alps, etc. But oceans? Having so far failed with our comedic act, my niece and I this year changed tactics. We decided to turn to science (and chemistry) to reason with our reluctant (yet very tolerant) companion. Using the WiFi at the beach house, we mounted our case. Exhibit A: Urine is the vehicle by which your body gets rid of undesirable chemical compounds. But that doesn’t mean the compounds you’re...

Read More
This Week on CENtral Science: Military Biofuels, Preserve it Like Beckham, and more
May31

This Week on CENtral Science: Military Biofuels, Preserve it Like Beckham, and more

Tweet of the Week: @carmendrahl @smbaxtersd I mean really, judging by the numbers, an alternative career today would be one where you get a faculty position.— Ryan G. Coleman (@rgcjk) May 31, 2013 To the network: Artful Science: How long should conservators protect David Beckham’s football? Cleantech Chemistry: It’s Actually Happening: Military biofuels grants Grand CENtral: Sarah Everts talks Artful Science at conservation meeting, Jyllian Kemsley moderated #chemsafety panel Newscripts: In Print: Mission to Mars, Molecular Fashion and Amusing News Aliquots The Watch Glass: Big Data, 1972-style and Bhopal Revisited and Chemical Genetics and Oil in the...

Read More