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Summer reading recommendations? Also, a comment on "The Martian", by Andy Weir
Posted in Chemjobber

Anybody have summer reading recommendations, now that it's July?Also, on the recommendation of a friend of mine, I recently finished "The Martian" by Andy Weir. It's a very quick read and a fun story about an astronaut, Mark Watney, who is stranded on Mars during a NASA mission gone bad. There aren't any monsters or aliens, just one guy, some computers, some astronomy and, surprisingly (or not), lots of chemistry. Here he is, making some hydrogen to make some water by using an iridium catalyst:....

 
Study: Polar bears could feel global warming's sting by 2025

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — About a third of the world's polar bears could be in imminent danger from greenhouse gas emissions in as soon as a decade, a U.S. government report shows....

 
Solar Explosion Tracking Improvement Lengthens Time To Prep For Tech Disruption On Earth

We currently have a maximum of about 60 minutes to prepare for tech disruptions on Earth due to coronal mass ejections from the sun, but an improved forecasting system could lengthen that lead time... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com...

 
Fourth of July Downer: Fireworks Cause Spike in Air Pollution

Fireworks are a beloved tradition of the Fourth of July, but the colorful displays also bring a spike in air pollution, a new study shows. The researchers analyzed information from more than 300 air-quality monitoring sites throughout the United States, from 1999 to 2013. The researchers looked at levels of so-called fine particulate matter — tiny particles that can get deep into the lungs, and are linked with a number of health problems....

 
Solar Impulse breaks solo record

Swiss adventurer Andre Borschberg breaks the record for the longest ever non-stop solo-flight without refuelling, as his solar-powered plane continues to reach across the Pacific....

 
Misquotes and memes: Did Ben Franklin really say that?

As Independence Day approaches, social media is lighting up with memes and quotes from the nation’s Founding Fathers. But did George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin actually say these things for which they receive so much acclaim? A scholar can tell the truth about Ben....

 
Global prize for anti-poverty leader

The founding chairman of a leading rural development and anti-poverty organisation wins the 2015 World Food Prize....

 
Sacramento Bee: "Below market" compensation for chemists in California
Posted in Chemjobber

Via this ItP comment and this Sacramento Bee article, a report (PDF) detailing the compensation of state workers in California, including chemists. Apparently, state employed chemists (who are members of a small union?) make below market salaries:...the total compensation for half of state-employed chemists is less than $8,985 per month ($5,715 in salary, plus $3,270 in benefit costs). That's 33 percent less than the median total compensation for federal chemists, nearly 13 percent less than the...

 
Flying without wings: Losing feathers has a detrimental effect on migrating birds

Birds that molt at the wrong time of the year could be disadvantaged, according to a new study. Birds depend on a full set of feathers for maximum efficiency when flying long distances, but the study shows that moulting has a detrimental effect on their flight performance....

 
Water Use Rises as Fracking Expands

And certain wells use far more water than others, a possible threat in dry regions -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com...

 
Warning Letter of the Week: beta-lactam cross-contamination edition
Posted in Chemjobber

It's not something I think about a lot, but apparently the FDA cares a lot about beta-lactam allergies (and good for them!). From a recent warning letter to a Ontario repackaging facility: ...These practices create an unacceptable risk of beta-lactam cross-contamination in other beta-lactams and in non-beta-lactam APIs.During the inspection, you stated that you ceased penicillin operations.  However, you manufacture other beta-lactam products beyond penicillin, so ceasing penicillin op...

 
How Not to Get Stung by a Portuguese Man-of-War

Like cast members on a distasteful reality show, Portuguese man-of-war "jellyfish" are descending upon the Jersey Shore in increasing numbers. Last week, one of these venomous creatures (which are related to jellyfish) washed up in Harvey Cedars, a town on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Man-of-war fish have stinging cells that are still active and capable of stinging even after the creature is dead, according to Paul Bologna, associate professor of biology at Montclair State University in New Je...

 
Robots on the march

Robots move into homes and the workplace...

 
100 songs

Having mentioned 100 million chemicals just now, be sheer chance, I noticed that “Push the Button” stacks up as my 100th original tune on SoundCloud. It’s part of the double A-side “single” – Life Love, and Lonicera, which includes my big time Pseudo Gabriel sledgehammer of a song, “Push the Button” and Wild Honeysuckle which […]100 songs is a post from the science blog of science journalist, photographer and musician David Bradley Subscr...

 
100 million chemicals

One little bit of chemistry news that I always try to cover are the milestones as the Chemical Abstracts Service announces the next “round number” in its database of chemical structures. It was September 2007 when I mentioned their reaching 50 million structures, but I am fairly sure I wrote about their 10 millionth in […]100 million chemicals is a post from the science blog of science journalist, photographer and musician David Bradley Subscribe to our Email Newsletter...

 
Brown fat transplant reversed type 1 diabetes without insulin in non-obese diabetic mice

Researchers have found embryonic brown fat transplants reversed type 1 diabetes and restored glucose tolerance to normal in non-obese diabetic mice....

 
George does Geordie Geography gently

The Geordie geography of TV’s George Gently (which has been on for years) is quite amazing…I watch it because it’s filmed in the land of my birth. But, Scene 1 might be in a children’s home in Teesside (which they spell Teeside), next scene is Gently, who’s based in Durham, which is on the Wear, […]George does Geordie Geography gently is a post from the science blog of science journalist, photographer and musician David Bradley Subscribe to our Email News...

 
Exoskeleton Technology Could Redefine Disability

One woman’s story illustrates how hope, perseverance and innovative engineering can help people with limited mobility get back on their feet -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com...

 
Why a pandemic flu shot caused narcolepsy

Pandemrix may have caused an autoimmune reaction...

 
Contrary to perceptions, politics doesn't always drive public views on science issues

Ideology is just one factor shaping views on science issues...

 
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