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How the Dow-DuPont Merger Affects Basic R&D

January 11, 2016 | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

The Dow-DuPont merger was confirmed at the end of 2015. The merger binds two of America’s oldest companies—and two of the industry’s most important chemical companies—into a mega-company worth nearly $120 billion.

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The Quest for 1001 Lab Safety Questions

April 12, 2016 12:00 pm | by Jim Kaufman, President/CEO, The Laboratory Safety Institute (LSI) | Comments

Faced with increasing concern that children and administrators can’t count on new science teachers having sufficient knowledge about science safety, the Laboratory Safety Institute is now crowdsourcing a collection of questions, answers and resources. 

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A Good Example: Researcher to Share Lab Notes in Real-time

April 7, 2016 9:14 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

If a critique can be made of scientists and their work, it’s this: most don’t share well. Of course, it’s understandable given today’s pressures and complicated legal system. But researcher Rachel Harding thinks this is an inefficient way to perform science, which is why she is now the first known biomedical researcher to open her lab notes to the research community, in real-time. 

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This Professor Wants to Do Away With Algebra. What Does That Mean?

March 31, 2016 12:22 pm | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

A provocative new book is lending credence to frustrated teenagers everywhere when they inevitably shout, “when am I ever going to need to solve for x in real life?”

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What Football Players and King Henry VIII Have in Common

February 18, 2016 12:00 pm | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

By now, you've probably heard of the neurodegenerative disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), most popularly linked to football players who receive multiple sub-concussive blows to the head. But what does it have to do with King Henry VIII? Welcome to the intersection of science and history. 

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Cancer ‘Moonshot’ Won’t Take Off without Authenticated Cells

February 16, 2016 1:40 pm | by Leonard Freedman, President, Global Biological Standards Institute (GBSI) | Comments

With President Obama’s State of the Union announcement of the cancer “moonshot,” the importance of research reproducibility will now be put under an even higher resolution microscope.

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Update: CDC Has Altered, Removed Controversial Infographic on Women and Drinking

February 11, 2016 9:14 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

On Monday, I wrote a blog expressing my viewpoint about an infographic the CDC released on women and drinking, which I believe was done in a sexist manner. On Wednesday, the agency edited the infographic to include men, both in verbiage and illustration. As of today, the more insulting portion of the infographic has been completely removed from the CDC's website. 

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CDC’s Infographic on Women and Alcohol Goes Too Far

February 5, 2016 3:09 pm | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

The CDC has now made itself a laughing stock on a very serious issue. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are horrible and can 100 percent be avoided. But instead of taking the time to properly address and provide education about the disease, the CDC created a belittling infographic that belongs in a 1950’s Home Economics textbook. 

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Waived Tests Pose Significant Risks

January 4, 2016 8:37 am | by Angela Ballachino, Guest Contributor | Comments

An increasing number of medical tests are becoming so mainstream and foolproof that almost anyone can perform them if they read the directions. More than likely, you've had a waived test done by someone who was not formally trained.

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STEM Postdoc Researchers are Highly Trained, But for What?

December 21, 2015 2:07 pm | by Gary McDowell, Postdoctoral Fellow in Regenerative and Developmental Biology, Tufts University | Comments

The STEM fields supposedly suffer from a shortage of graduates. Conventional wisdom says there’s no one for employers to hire for science and engineering jobs. But look again. There are actually plenty of STEM graduates; the U.S. is just training them the wrong way.

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The Debate about 'Natural' Foods

December 14, 2015 4:12 pm | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

If you’ve walked into a supermarket recently, odds are you saw at least one product labeled “all natural” or “made with natural ingredients.” And while that may sound good and look nice on packaging, what does the word “natural” really mean? And how are these products different than “non-natural” foods? Truth is, as consumers, we don’t really know.

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Nanotechnology Will Sustain Us in Space

November 20, 2015 11:08 am | by S. H. Jucha, Author, The Silver Ships | Comments

Expansion of the human race into space will require conquering new and unique problems. Obstacles that were overcome in early space exploration have already made invaluable contributions to today’s technologies and helped tackle problems we have faced planet-side.

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Is Science Too Complicated for Women?

November 4, 2015 8:58 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

It upsets me when prominent men make disparaging comments about women in science. But what upsets me more is when women make disparaging comments about other women, whether in science or elsewhere. Recently, a woman named Averil Macdonald did just that, suggesting women in the U.K. don’t support fracking because they “don’t understand” the science behind the oil extraction process. 

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The Scientific Race Gap

October 20, 2015 3:55 pm | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

It’s no secret many “gaps” exist in science. We’ve talked about them before—there is a gap between overall women in the workforce and women in STEM, especially high-ranking positions. There is a gap between the general public and scientists in terms of how much trust the public has in scientists and regarding topic-specific areas, like GMOs and climate change.  

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Last Word: Back to the Future

October 19, 2015 10:19 am | by Mark Paskanik, CRB | Comments

When designing laboratories today, we should draw upon the successes of the past. Edison is known for creating the first industrial research lab that applied the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork. So how is Edison’s lab similar to those we design today?

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Tesla’s New Car Can Protect You from Biological Warfare

October 2, 2015 2:51 pm | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

Elon Musk’s new Tesla Model X is the car that may turn me into a car person. Yes it’s pretty and futuristic and has doors that open DeLorean style—but that’s not it. The coolest feature of the new Model X is its “biodefense mode.”

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