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The Lead

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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.  


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?


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.”


Fresh Food is Not Just for Earth — There’s Now Space Lettuce

September 22, 2015 2:29 pm | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

September’s cover story discussed the emerging technologies that will help feed a growing population of 9 billion people here on Earth. What it doesn’t address is how we will feed people not living on Earth.


In the Push for Marketable Skills, Are We Forgetting the Beauty and Poetry of STEM Disciplines?

September 15, 2015 4:25 pm | by Paul Myers, Chair of Computer Science at Trinity University | Comments

Thousands of students are preparing to begin their job searches with newly earned STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) degrees in hand, eagerly waiting to use the logical, analytical and practical skills they’ve acquired. However, as qualified as they might be, they could be missing one critical component of the STEM field – art.


When it Comes to Academic Quality, Europeans Show the Way

September 15, 2015 4:20 pm | by David Dill, Professor of Public Policy | Comments

There is a growing concern about the cost, quality and value of higher education. Despite the increasing cost of an academic degree, recent studies show substantial percentages of students, even in the most selective US colleges and universities, have failed to demonstrate significant improvement in critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing skills over the four years of college.


Virtualizing Biotech: Efficiency, Adaptability and Platform

August 17, 2015 2:00 pm | by Janaki Joshi, CEO & Founder Iris Interactive | Comments

Today, cutting edge biotechs are using the “Lean Start-up Model,” which started in the high-tech industry in the late ‘90s. My philosophy is all things are possible with a clear vision and effective communications.


A Good Month for Blood

August 17, 2015 11:21 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

July 2015 may prove to be the start of it all—at least in the laboratory diagnostics and blood testing industry. Multiple decisions made last month could disrupt the $50 billion blood testing industry as we know it—and put the power back in the hands of people.


U.S. Demonstrates Hypocrisy in Space

July 20, 2015 7:00 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

NASA has overcome political tension with Russia to ensure continued operation of the International Space Station. However, there is still a law that prohibits NASA from working with China's space agency on the ISS. Isn't that a bit hypocritical of the U.S.?



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