Monthly Archives: September 2010

Mini-Drama of a Fungus: Cooperation and Sacrifice

Certain types of mushroom-looking fungi reproduce by shooting thousands of spores out into the air all at once.  If they are lucky, the spores find an air current to ride far away to a new habitat, to start lives of … Continue reading

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Um, I’m Curing Cancer I Guess…?

I should work for the CIA. When you’re in the CIA, you can’t tell anyone what you do. That’s basically my life already as a grad student in my particular branch of science. Well, to be precise, I am allowed … Continue reading

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You Say Potato, I Say Protato

There’s been a buzz this past week about a genetically modified salmon that the FDA is considering approving for human consumption.  Meanwhile, as we await the FDA’s decision, an article has just been published in the primary literature about a … Continue reading

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Do Female Students Prefer to Work With Female Faculty?

The subjects have a reputation for being historically male-dominated. Chemistry is no exception; according to reports by , only 39% of the total U.S. chemistry doctoral degrees awarded in 2009 were received by women. Even more strikingly, women comprise only … Continue reading

Posted in Amateur Research, Psychology Stuff, Women in Science | 1 Comment

This Day in 1946

In honor of a birthday today, I looked up some issues of scientific journals from this day in 1946.  I noticed that publications in that year illustrate the theme that a silver lining can sometimes be found even in tragic … Continue reading

Posted in Old Chemistry | 2 Comments

Cutest Molecule Ever

The (official) name for this molecule, 3,4,4,5-tetramethylcyclohexa-2,5-dienone, belies the charming appearance of its chemical structure.

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Tiny Towers

Scientists have discovered a new way to build nanoscale towers.  Each tower is only a few wide and a couple thousand nanometers tall.  For scientists who work with nanomaterials, it is relatively easy to build tiny tunnels (horizontal structures), but … Continue reading

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Fun Chemistry Words: A Rare Sighting

In organic chemistry, we don’t get a lot of fun names.  Biology has names like Sonic hedgehog; we have names that you can’t say without spitting, like naphthalene and phthalic acid.

Posted in Fun Stuff | 1 Comment

Actually, Money Does Buy Happiness?

Well, only up to $75,000.  A study published in on September 7th (online early edition) finds that the more money you make, the more satisfied you are with your life. However, improvement in happiness maxes out at an income of … Continue reading

Posted in Happiness, Psychology Stuff | 1 Comment

Hot Science from the 1880s

Here’s a fun tip.  If you get bored reading , try doing the exact opposite.  What was seen as cutting-edge research in the earliest issues of the Journal of the American Chemical Society makes for quite a different read than … Continue reading

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Bacteria Helping Bacteria

A massive problem in treating infectious diseases caused by bacteria is the development of bacterial strains that are increasingly resistant to antibiotics.  The urgent question for doctors and drug companies is how to fight the emergence of resistant strains so … Continue reading

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