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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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Guest Blog: Five Flu Myths Busted

December 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by The Conversation, Derek Gatherer | Comments

It’s that time of the year again. You probably think I mean Christmas, but as a virologist the sight of glitter, fairy lights and mounting pine trees immediately makes me think of the flu season. And if there’s one thing that can ruin your family’s Christmas, it’s the arrival of that unwanted guest. There are lots of myths around about flu. So, here’s a quick guide to some common knowledge that actually turns out to be wrong.

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2014: Celebrating the Year of Women in Science

December 17, 2014 10:15 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

The media is often accused of being perpetrators of bad news—that is, it takes every opportunity to report negative news. Take your local news channel, for example. I’d bet that on any given night, negative news reports outweigh positive reports by a ratio of 10:1. But, with the year coming to a close, I want to take time to highlight some of the positive strides society, specifically women in science, have made in 2014.

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The Fall of the Needle Empire

November 6, 2014 3:01 pm | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

The fear of needles is recognized in medical literature as needle phobia, or trypanophobia. It has also been recognized in the research community recently as an area that needs improvement, with several companies and universities undertaking studies that seemingly portray a "death to needles" attitude.

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Elephants, Whales and Dolphins, Oh My!

October 7, 2014 12:25 pm | by Tim Studt, Editorial Director | Comments

We’re now at the point where we understand the value of diversity and the potential knowledge we can gain for ourselves by examining the capabilities of those animals who have similar capabilities to us. How can we not work to that end? 

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The Agricultural Lab of the Future

August 26, 2014 9:48 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor | Comments

GE, Panasonic, Toshiba and Fujitsu—one can easily point out the similarities between these companies. They have long been recognized and heralded for their work in the electronics and semiconductor industry. However, given their recent investments, it’s possible that this editorial written 20 years down the road may reflect on these companies as agricultural powerhouses instead.

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Opposing Viewpoints

August 7, 2014 10:31 am | by Tim Studt, Editorial Director | Comments

There are numerous opposing viewpoints that have led to arguments, conflicts and even wars over the past millennia. Personal opinions on abortion, creationism, global warming, gun control, UFOs, immigration and that giant of all topics—religion—have created a polarized world with armed camps on each side supporting two or more opposing viewpoints. Not the least of these viewpoints is animal research. 

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