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Donate Your Body to Science, Without Dying First

May 21, 2015 7:00 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

Typically, when someone chooses to donate their body to science, it’s as a cadaver. While cadavers are great learning tools, there’s something to be said for having access to living, breathing humans. Now, a group of scientists has discovered a way to circumvent the “you must be dead first” rule.

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Too Busy to Learn a New Language? With Google, Think Again!

May 20, 2015 8:41 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

What do foreign languages and instant messages have to do with one another? A new application from MIT cleverly combines the two—seeking to teach you a new language in the standby time that is usually consumed staring at a screen with three dots or a chat box that reads “is typing.”

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Does Political Media Coverage Affect the Vaccination Debate?

May 12, 2015 12:05 pm | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

I read a study the other day that I find both hard to believe and disagreeable. The study centers on media coverage of public health measures, specifically vaccinations. It examines two politically charged health controversies. According to the study, media coverage of both events did not start by highlighting the political aspects of the controversies.

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An Observation on... Observation

May 8, 2015 3:00 pm | by Neil Burton, Director, Q3 Analytical | Comments

Scientists and clinicians need to be observant. With modern technology, this can often be overlooked. Sometimes the most important technology is the one carrying out the experiment, who has evolved over millions of years to observe and, more importantly, infer things.

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A Tale of Two Worlds

May 6, 2015 7:00 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

The Internet is a wonderful thing. But, it can be a point of contention, with grandparents, parents and older siblings repeatedly muttering “get off your phone and live in the real world.” I may be guilty of saying this once or twice to my younger sister. What I’ve come to realize, though, is that while it may not be a tangible world, there is a “real world” inside the 0’s and 1’s of the Internet.

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Women are Missing in STEM Fields

April 24, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | Comments

At the age of eight, 66 percent of girls say they like math yet, in college, only 18 percent of women study engineering. By adulthood, while they compose half the population and half the workforce, only a quarter of STEM positions are held by women. Not only is this a problem— it’s a worsening one.

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The Importance of Academic Achievement and Happiness

April 15, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | Comments

Educational standards and practices differ vastly from country to country. In the face of arguments over the U.S.’ standardized testing and Finland’s abandonment of subjects, one wonders how academic prowess relates to culture and the quality of life.

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Time to Say Goodbye to an Old Flame

April 15, 2015 7:00 am | by Arnold Schwartz, President, Global Market Connections, Ltd. | Comments

As heat sources go in the academic science laboratory, the alcohol lamp has remained the old standby for many years. Unfortunately, this inexpensive heat source has been involved in a continuous series of laboratory accidents, many of which have been quite serious.

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A Plan for Killing the MRSA Superbug

April 8, 2015 7:00 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

My best friend Matt contracted MRSA a little over a year ago at a hotel gym. Since then, he’s given it to two of his sisters-in-law, his wife and his baby. He even took what one doctor described as the “strongest antibiotic that will kill everything in your body.” Two courses of that and everything beside the MRSA is gone. Perhaps the White House’s new five-year plan will truly help address the antibiotic-resistant problem in the U.S.

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A Band-Aid for Science Funding

April 7, 2015 7:01 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

In the good ole days, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded about a third of the research proposals it received. In the past decade, the agency has only been able to fund one in six. Last year, NIH Director Francis Collins told USA Today that, because of inflation, the NIH budget has lost 25 percent of its purchasing power in the last 10 years.

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Has Technology Lost Its Luster?

April 3, 2015 7:01 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | Comments

In a world of wearables, FaceTime and bullet trains the future is most assuredly now. But, does technology still inspire the same wonder as it once did?

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Science is Not Just About Facts: Readers React

March 23, 2015 7:00 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

Earlier this month, I wrote an editorial based on the release of a study that revealed stark differences between the general public and scientists on science-related issues. It received a lot of attention, garnering comments and sparking debate. Here are a few of the best comments and reaction to them.

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Message from the Pittcon President

February 13, 2015 7:00 am | by Charles L. Holifield | Comments

If you are in the market for laboratory equipment or simply looking to see the latest innovations, there is no better venue than the Pittcon exposition. With more than 900 companies from 30 countries, you have a once-a-year opportunity to participate in live product demos, troubleshoot your critical issues with technical experts, attend product seminars and compare and evaluate equipment — all in one place.

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What to Expect When You’re… at Pittcon

February 13, 2015 7:00 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

For laboratory professionals, Pittcon is like a delayed Christmas. There is waiting, planning and anxiety in the weeks leading up to the conference, only to culminate in excitement and joy for a few days.

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Friendly Robots, Friendly Future

January 5, 2015 1:16 pm | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

This is real life—it’s not a science fiction movie. We’re not living in the highly evolved world of Dr. Dave Bowman and his murderous computer HAL 9000, nor are we living in James Cameron’s version of 2029 with muscular cyborgs and time travel capabilities. We live in the year 2015, where basic to advanced AI has thus far influenced a variety of fields—for the better. 

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