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Out with the Textbooks, In with the Doodles

July 1, 2014 | by Michelle Taylor, Editor | Comments

SPARK Movement, a girls advocacy group, published a report in March 2014 that provided stats on all 445 Google Doodles celebrating individuals from 2010 to 2013. Of the 445, an overwhelming 357 of them were men—with women accounting for just 77 Doodles. What SPARK didn’t know at the time was that Google had already internally acknowledged they had a Doodle problem, and were doing something about it.

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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Malaria—The Forever War

July 7, 2014 11:30 am | by Tim Studt, Editorial Director | Comments

While researchers continue to make gains against malaria and its effects with new approaches, including genetically engineered bacteria (at the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute),  new challenges limit their overall effectiveness. Multiple approaches, as are being done now, will likely be the continuing way to combat malaria for the foreseeable future.

A Plastic World

June 10, 2014 4:14 pm | by Tim Studt, Editorial Director | Comments

Researchers recently announced they had developed a new polymer class by using a computational chemistry hybrid approach to accelerate the discovery process.It is very encouraging to see researchers from the U.S., Europe and the Middle East work together on a global research project, using state-of-the-art processes and systems, along with traditional bench chemistry to develop something really different.

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Guest Blog: Metal Oxide Nanoparticles in Food Won't Kill You

June 4, 2014 7:00 am | by The Conversation, Andrew Maynard | Comments

Recently Mother Jones published an article on the dangers of food laced with tiny metal oxide particles. The article, however, is laced with errors and misinformation.

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Beginnings

May 5, 2014 3:18 pm | by Tim Studt, Editorial Director | Comments

Each successive S&T-centric era comes on the heels of previous S&T eras and builds upon those previous technologies. Each era also builds upon a specific human need of the time, and in the process ends up creating specific problems, including environmental pollution, neurobiological diseases and an expanding need for skilled scientists and engineers.

Promise or Curse?

April 8, 2014 10:47 am | by Tim Studt, Editorial Director | Comments

Animal testing—just those two words are likely to stir the pot for vocal activists who are against all types of testing on animals for any reason; and those less vocal supporters of animal testing who cite the advances in human suffering and longevity animal testing has brought in the past century. All in all, the continued use of animals in life science research is likely to continue for some time.

Jet Stream Convulsions

March 11, 2014 12:43 pm | by Tim Studt, Editorial Director | Comments

Whatever the reasons, this winter’s pattern has resulted in two months (as this is written) of cold weather 20 to 40 degrees below the normal averages in the entire region from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean, affecting nearly 200 million Americans. And the rains seen in the UK surpassed anything seen in that area since they started keeping records several hundred years ago.

The Publishing Conundrum

February 10, 2014 10:17 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor | Comments

“It’s what’s on the inside that counts”—how many times have you heard your mother say that? I’ve heard it so many times that I couldn’t forget it even if I tried. Scientific publishing, however, seems to have a problem with this particular life lesson.

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Increasingly Faster Lab Timeframes

January 6, 2014 12:00 pm | by Tim Studt, Editorial Director | Comments

Even with technology-based ROI’s, siting productivity studies, regional tax incentives and third-party recommendations, there are a lot of gray areas for deciding on what or where a new or renovated lab will be built, not the least of which is the economic environment for the company and the country. 

The Lab, The Internet and the Wardrobe

December 17, 2013 9:07 am | by Tim Studt, Editorial Director | Comments

With the increasing sensor systems  combined with a broad ranging and increasingly faster Internet network, is it really that far-fetched to not believe that a large computer system could become sentient? But if this extrapolation is still mostly an unrealistic example of my paranoia, the facts remain that computer systems are being filled with increasingly large amounts of personal data and activities.

A Fragile House of Cards

November 5, 2013 1:40 pm | by Tim Studt, Editorial Director | Comments

The world of oil is a complex one, a double-edged sword. While continuing to support OPEC nations by purchasing their oil may appear to maintain a sense of political stability, it also acts to fund directly or indirectly much of the terrorist activities that led initially to the 9/11 attacks on our country and many related events since then. 

The Case for Dramatic Change

October 3, 2013 2:40 pm | by Tim Studt, Editorial Director | Comments

When the full effects of global warming start to take effect, which might include a reduction in the Earth’s magnetic field, it will likely be too late even for the most aggressive geoengineering approaches.                                                        

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Autonomous Testing

September 5, 2013 2:31 pm | by Tim Studt, Editorial Director | Comments

Fiction becoming reality has been touted about science fiction stories for a long time. Some have proved they are easily attainable with current and future technology, while the more extreme science fiction concepts like faster-than-light transport, time-travel, self-aware computers and teleportation systems deal with basic physics principles that may never be shown to be possible, or at least not within our lifetimes.

Synthetic Biology to the Next Stage

August 8, 2013 2:37 pm | by Tim Studt, Editorial Director | Comments

On the first Monday in November, judges will select the winners of the 2013 International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition. Now in its 10th year, iGEM is a worldwide synthetic biology competition aimed at undergraduate university students, entrepreneurs and even high school students. The 2013 competition has 223 registrants, including 78 teams from Asia, 61 from Europe, 15 from Latin America and 69 from North America.

Breaking Down Barriers

June 27, 2013 4:29 pm | by Tim Studt, Editorial Director | Comments

Centenarians are the new 65. Children being born now could live to be 150 or even forever. Prolonging life must go hand-in-hand with ensuring quality of life and contribution to society to guarantee that we don’t become a society relegated to the young being burdened with taking care of the old and infirm citizenry.

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