Monthly Archives: November 2010

Bisphenol A Ban in Europe

While those of us in the US were busy stuffing ourselves with turkey on Thursday, the European Commission was hard at work making a decision about a proposed ban on the chemical bisphenol A (BPA).

Posted in Chemicals Among Us, Current Events | Comments Off

Women. Science. 1880.

Whew!  A gem of an article was published in Science magazine… in October 1880 that is. I stand by my previous assertion – reading some of the least current scientific papers available provides an entertaining and enlightening break from the … Continue reading

Posted in Old Chemistry, Women in Science | 3 Comments

The Machinery of Retroviruses Part 3: Caught in the Act

Retroviruses such as HIV work by integrating their genetic code into the DNA of a (see part 1).

Posted in Genetics, Viruses | Comments Off

The Machinery of Retroviruses Part 2: Using X-Rays to Solve Scientific Problems

(Part 1 here) X-ray crystallography is used by the authors of a recent Nature paper to visualize the structure of certain key molecules relevant to retroviruses.  Though we usually think of X-rays as just a way of looking at our … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Chemistry Basics, Materials, Viruses | Comments Off

The Machinery of Retroviruses Part 1: What is a Retrovirus?

Retroviruses such as HIV are in some ways still a black box to scientists.  The specific details of their mechanism of action are slowly being elucidated, but much is yet unclear. However, an article was published in Nature this past … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry Basics, Viruses | 1 Comment

Focus! (It Might Make You Happier)

One great talent that humans have, as compared to other species, is the ability to think about the past, the future, and the imaginary.  We’re not restricted to simply thinking about whatever we see in front of our faces.

Posted in Happiness, Psychology Stuff | Comments Off

The Future of Science?

Yesterday afternoon, the front headline of the New York Times online featured an article about science!  Ten well-established scientists from a variety of fields were asked what they think 2011 will bring in terms of scientific advances.  

Posted in Brain Stuff | Comments Off

The Science Behind Barefoot Running

The much anticipated New York Marathon took place yesterday.  News articles leading up to the event tended to focus on , but at least one article hit on a somewhat controversial (and scientific!) topic in the running community – the … Continue reading

Posted in Current Events, Physiology | 5 Comments

Disabled Researchers and the Professor Paradox

This week’s issue of Nature calls attention to a recently awarded NIH grant to promote diversity in the scientific workforce.  In particular, this grant will fund Purdue University’s new Institute for Accessible Science, which aims to understand the obstacles that … Continue reading

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Chemicals Among Us: Acetic Acid Top Ten Facts

Like acetone in a previous post, acetic acid is another common laboratory chemical that makes frequent cameo appearances in your home.  Here are 10 – dare I say – “fun” facts about acetic acid that you may or may not … Continue reading

Posted in Chemicals Among Us, Chemistry, Fun Stuff | 3 Comments

Deforestation for Food: Impact on the Carbon Cycle

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that replacing rainforests with parking lots would be bad for the environment.  But what about clearing the natural flora in order to replant with a different type of vegetation?

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