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Academic lab safety: One chemist’s observations

Contributed by Brenna Arlyce Brown, who received her PhD in chemistry in 2013 and is currently working in business development for a research funding organization. She is working on setting up a safety consulting business. A few weeks ago, when reading about the deal that prosecutors made with University of California, Los Angeles, chemistry professor Patrick Harran regarding the lab fire that led to researcher Sheharbano Sangji’s death, I commented on Twitter about how the case affected m...

 
The Dark Net – Jamie Bartlett

From the blurb: “Beyond the familiar online world that most of us inhabit – a world of Google, Hotmail, Facebook and Amazon – lies a vast and often hidden network of sites, communities and cultures where freedom is pushed to its limits, and where people can be anyone, or do anything, they want. A world that is as creative and complex as it is dangerous and disturbing. A world that is much closer than you think.” If you’ve been using the Internet since pre-web days,...

 
[Innate Immunity] Cleaving RNA dials down inflammation

The immune system detects viruses when viral nucleic acids bind protein receptors in immune cells. But what keeps these receptors from reacting to the host cells' own nucleic acids – [Read More]...

 
#Chemsafety scalability, sustainability, and transferability at #ACSSanFran

At Sci-Mix on Monday, attendees could check out posters on hydrogenation reaction hazards, eye protection efficacy, and creating a student-based safety committee. (Credit: Linda Wang/C&EN)Contributed by Ralph Stuart, secretary of the ACS Division of Chemical Health & Safety and lab safety manager at Cornell University. Campus-wide laboratory safety programs face three management considerations that don’t apply in a specific laboratory: the scalability, sustainability, and tran...

 
XCOR Aerospace's Private Lynx Space Plane to Get New Texas Home

A private space plane born in California is about to get new Texas digs. XCOR Aerospace — the builder of the Lynx space plane — is renovating the main hangar for the spaceship designed to bring paying tourists into suborbital space. Lynx could launch on its first test flights later this year. The hangar renovations kicked off during an Aug. 15 ceremony in Midland, Texas — the heart of XCOR's development and manufacturing operations — at the Midland International Airport....

 
[Chromatin Regulation] Chromatin mutations disrupt development

Histone proteins form the core packaging material for our genomic DNA, and covalent modifications to amino acid residues in their structure play an important role in the epigenetic – [Read More]...

 
[Glass Structure] Catching changing boron coordination

Laboratory glassware and kitchen cookware alike are made of glass that contains different cations, including boron, sodium, and aluminum. Properties of glass depend on the number and – [Read More]...

 
How Far, the Stars? Quasars Solve 'Seven Sisters' Star Cluster Mystery

Lead researcher Carl Melis first took on the project five years ago while still in graduate school at the University of California, Los Angeles, after meeting with John Stauffer (a co-author on the paper). Melis recalled being astounded to learn there was a dispute over how far away the Pleiades are from Earth. "Here's this canonical cluster — everyone knows the Pleiades, even the layperson — and we don't even know how far away it is," Melis, who is now an astrophysicist at the Unive...

 
Scientists solve mystery of moving Death Valley rocks

By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A solution to the longstanding mystery of why rocks move erratically across an isolated patch of California's Death Valley finally emerged on Thursday, when researchers published a study showing the driving force was sheets of wind-driven ice. Trails from the movement of the rocks, which show them changing direction suddenly in their movement across the so-called Racetrack Playa, have long befuddled scientists and the general public. Paleobiologist Ric...

 
Ancient DNA Could Return Passenger Pigeons to the Sky

Genetic engineering could restore the once profuse North American bird after a century or more of extinction -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com...

 
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope witnesses asteroid smashup

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted an eruption of dust around a young star, possibly the result of a smashup between large asteroids. This type of collision can eventually lead to the formation of planets....

 
Flapping baby birds give clues to origin of flight

The origin of flight is a contentious issue: some argue that tree-climbing dinosaurs learned to fly in order to avoid hard falls. Others favor the story that theropod dinosaurs ran along the ground and pumped their forelimbs to gain lift, eventually talking off. New evidence showing the early development of aerial righting in birds favors the tree-dweller hypothesis....

 
Iceland lowers volcano ash alert

The Icelandic Met Office lowers its aviation warning from red to orange near the Bardarbunga volcano, which saw an eruption begin overnight....

 
The Serious Need for Play

Free, imaginative play is crucial for normal social, emotional and cognitive development. It makes us better adjusted, smarter and less stressed -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com...

 
AUDIO: Global citizens to address climate summit

Five hundred global citizens frustrated at the stalemate over climate policy will learn today if they have won the chance to vent their anger at world leaders....

 
[Human Microbiota] Signature microbes follow you from house to house

Householders share more than habitation; they also share inhabitants. In a diverse sample of U.S. homes, Lax et al. found that people and animals sharing homes shared their – [Read More]...

 
[Infectious Disease] Seals infected early Americans with TB

How did Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which causes tuberculosis (TB), first infect humans? Microbial DNA from 1000-year-old Peruvian mummies suggests that seals may have spread – [Read More]...

 
[Human Behavior] Incentives work on economists, too!

Editors treasure prompt and informative referees. Chetty et al. show that modest psychological and economic nudges can speed up how rapidly referees return their reviews without – [Read More]...

 
August 2014 Chemical Activity Barometer slowing a bit, but still grows
Posted in Chemjobber

From the American Chemistry Council: The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), continued to see moderated upward growth this month, with a 0.2 percent gain over July as measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA). This represented a deceleration from the 0.4 percent gain in July and an average gain of 0.5 percent for the first six months of 2014...  “Consistent with other recent economic reports,...

 
Slideshow: Photo contest captures stunning interplay between plants and animals

Competition nets images of love, war, and collaboration...

 
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