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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,...

 
Greenhouse gas fear over meat eating

New research estimates greenhouse gases from food production will go up 80% if meat and dairy consumption continues to rise at its current rate....

 
[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]...

 
Ebola Outbreak: Do Hazmat Suits Protect Workers, or Just Scare Everyone?

For health care workers and researchers, wearing pressurized, full-body suits around Ebola patients may be counterproductive to treating the disease, say three Spanish researchers in a new letter published in the journal The Lancet. Health agencies often require that health care workers caring for Ebola patients wear hazardous material (hazmat) suits that protect against airborne diseases. Ebola is transmitted through contact with infected patients’ secretions (such as blood, vomit or fece...

 
Memory in silent neurons: How do unconnected neurons communicate?

According to a generally-accepted model of synaptic plasticity, a neuron that communicates with others of the same kind emits an electrical impulse as well as activating its synapses transiently. This electrical pulse, combined with the signal received from other neurons, acts to stimulate the synapses. How is it that some neurons are caught up in the communication interplay even when they are barely connected? This is the chicken-or-egg puzzle of synaptic plasticity that a team is aiming to sol...

 
Hmmmm: BU law school economist says 'skills gap' is real
Posted in Chemjobber

From my weekly dose of pain (a Google alert for "skills gap"), an article worth a close read by me, other skeptics of the 'skills gap' in the Harvard Business Review blog by economist James Bessen:"To the contrary, there is evidence that select groups of workers have been had sustained wage growth, implying persistent skill shortages. Some specific occupations such as nursing do show sustained wage growth and employment growth over a couple decades. And there is more general evidence of ris...

 
What Makes Humans Special?

A graphical tour of our evolutionary advantages starts with anatomy -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com...

 
Asteroid paper to be retracted because of faulty analysis

Authors on a paper from the Hayabusa mission jumped to conclusions in interpreting data...

 
VIDEO: Greenhouse gas fear over meat production

Global consumption of meat needs to fall to ensure future demand for food can be met and to help protect the environment, a study says....

 
1 in 10 Packaged Foods Has Trans Fat

People may be consuming more trans fat than they think, as a result of misleading food labels, according to a study from the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.      Researchers examined 4,340 top-selling packaged foodsand found that 9 percent contained partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of trans fat. Under the rules of the Food and Drug Administration, foods that contain less than 0.5 g of trans fat per serving must be labeled with "0 g" of trans...

 
New way to diagnose malaria by detecting parasite's waste in infected blood cells

A technique that can detect malarial parasite's waste in infected blood cells has been developed by researchers. "There is real potential to make this into a field-deployable system, especially since you don't need any kind of labels or dye. It's based on a naturally occurring biomarker that does not require any biochemical processing of samples" says one of the senior authors of a paper....

 
Why sibling stars look alike: Early, fast mixing in star-birth clouds

Early, fast, turbulent mixing of gas within giant molecular clouds -- the birthplaces of stars -- means all stars formed from a single cloud bear the same unique chemical 'tag' or 'DNA fingerprint,' write astrophysicists. Could such chemical tags help astronomers identify our own Sun's long-lost sibling stars?...

 
#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...

 
New Twist Added to the Role of Culture in Human Evolution

A radical new take on human evolution adds a large dose of luck to the usual story emphasizing the importance of our forebears' ability to make tools -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com...

 
Quick, Inexpensive Milk Quality Test Could Help Developing Countries

New fluorescent probe determines level of milk fat, a sign of nutritional value -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com...

 
Antarctic waters 'rising faster'

Melting ice is fuelling sea-level rise around the coast of Antarctica, a new report finds....

 
[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]...

 
Indian ecologists decry decision on biodiversity hot spot

Government opts for less protective plan to safeguard the species-rich Western Ghats...

 
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