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Piranha solution explosions

From the C&EN archives, but I believe still relevant today: April 23, 1990, page 2 SIR: We wish to report two violent explosions experienced with a sample of “piranha solution” used routinely in many laboratories to clean badly soiled glass frits and other surfaces. At Berkeley an explosion occurred in a bottle of this mixture that had been stored for several days. In this case, the solution was prepared by carefully mixing approximately 150 mL concentrated sulfuric acid with 150...

 
What do you do when your interviewer is wrong?
Posted in Chemjobber

From this week's letters to the editors, a great #chemjobs question:I read “Interviewing Insights” with interest, even though I don’t foresee having to go through that process again (C&EN, Nov. 3, 2014, page 20). As with most articles I’ve read on that subject over the years, it seems to cover most of the bases (and traps and pitfalls) except one. I haven’t yet seen an article on this subject that includes any mention of the following scenario, which I ran...

 
7 things every chemistry PhD student should see before they go to graduate school
Posted in Chemjobber

From Thoreau, a funny suggestion (emphasis mine): Adjuncts are planning a nationwide walk-out on Feb. 25. In my ideal world, any student seeking a PhD would be unable to register for the GRE or request recommendation letters until they submitted documentation that they had attended the protests and had written a 5-page essay on “What I learned from attending the National Adjunct Walkout Day protests.”  Those seeking a STEM PhD would also be required to spend a day shadowing...

 
Building a better weather forecast? SMAP may help

If you were trying to forecast tomorrow's weather, you would probably look up at the sky rather than down at the ground. But if you live in the U.S. Midwest or someplace with a similar climate, one key to a better weather forecast may lie beneath your feet. Better soil moisture observations are just what the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission will provide. Scheduled for launch on Jan. 29, SMAP will collect the most accurate and highest-resolution soil moisture measurements ever made fro...

 
So that's an interesting quote about IP stuff in China: "Even if they are published, they are difficult to duplicate.”
Posted in Chemjobber

From an article in this week's C&EN by Maureen Rouhi on R&D in China: Evonik’s Chen contends that enforcement of IP rights is improving in China. He points to the establishment of three IP courts and moves to improve judicial transparency. However, Chen adds, “the situation in small cities and remote areas is still behind that in the big cities.” In a sign of better IP protection for Solvay, in December 2013 the company won an IP lawsuit in a Chinese cour...

 
Laser's co-inventor, Nobel laureate Charles Townes, dead at 99

Charles Townes, who shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for invention of the laser, a feat that revolutionized science, medicine, telecommunications and entertainment, has died at age 99, the University of California at Berkeley reported. A professor emeritus at Berkeley, he was a member of the university's physics department and Space Sciences Laboratory for nearly five decades....

 
Laser's co-inventor, Nobel laureate Charles Townes, dead at 99

Charles Townes, who shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for invention of the laser, a feat that revolutionized science, medicine, telecommunications and entertainment, has died at age 99, the University of California at Berkeley reported. A professor emeritus at Berkeley, he was a member of the university's physics department and Space Sciences Laboratory for nearly five decades....

 
Cassini catches Saturn's moon Titan naked in the solar wind

Researchers studying data from NASA's Cassini mission have observed that Saturn's largest moon, Titan, behaves much like Venus, Mars or a comet when exposed to the raw power of the solar wind. The observations suggest that unmagnetized bodies like Titan might interact with the solar wind in the same basic ways, regardless of their nature or distance from the sun....

 
Skull clue to exodus from Africa

An ancient skull discovered in Israel could shed light on the migration of modern humans out of Africa some 60,000 years ago....

 
'Dippy' makes way for blue whale

London's Natural History Museum is re-modelling its entrance, moving out the famous Diplodocus skeleton and moving in the bones of a blue whale....

 
Charles Townes, co-inventor of the laser and a Nobel laureate in physics, has died at 99

Charles Townes, co-inventor of the laser and a Nobel laureate in physics, has died at 99....

 
Strange Comet Discoveries Revealed by Rosetta Spacecraft

The European mission is helping scientists learn more about how comets evolved through time -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com...

 
February Book Reviews Roundup

Books and recommendations from Scientific American -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com...

 
Curiosity rover back in the groove

Nasa's Curiosity rover gets straight back to work after a software upgrade by drilling a new test hole....

 
Video: The sound of an iceberg being born

Distinct sound patterns can help researchers understand glacier ice breakups...

 
Climate Influences Language Evolution

The ease with which certain sounds are produced in different climes plays a role in the development of spoken languages. Christopher Intagliata reports. -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com...

 
Researchers produce two bio-fuels from a single algae

A common algae commercially grown to make fish food holds promise as a source for both biodiesel and jet fuel, according to a new study....

 
Lonely starlings stare at strangers

Study suggests starlings enjoy seeing their own kind, even if they’re just photos on a computer screen...

 
The money chase, 2016: New head of key House science spending panel likes limited government, unlimited exploration

A unique approach to funding big science from a new House spending cardinal...

 
[Plant Genomics] Probing plant evolution by GC content

Scientists use GC content (that is, the percentage of guanine or cytosine residues in a genome) as a proxy to measure many elements relating to gene evolution. Within the major group – [Read More]...

 
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