Posts

December 18, 2014

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4:36 PM | Scientists identify metal organic framework candidates for methane storage
Cars that run on natural gas are touted as efficient and environmentally friendly, but getting enough gas onboard to make them practical is a hurdle. A new study led by researchers at Rice University promises to help.
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3:58 PM | What would you ask a former hiring manager?
I'm planning on speaking with M.R. Nelson, the author of the excellent e-book "Navigating the Path to Industry." What questions would you like me to ask? 
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3:57 PM | Research aims to improve rechargeable batteries by focusing on graphene oxide paper
An engineering team has discovered some of graphene oxide's important properties that can improve sodium- and lithium-ion flexible batteries.
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3:54 PM | Guest post: A comment on the 2014 Employment Outlook issue of C&EN
CJ here -- Frank wrote in with a comment about this year's Employment Outlook issue in C&EN, focusing on Susan Ainsworth's survey of industrial demand. It has been very lightly edited. It's the winter season and everyone's busy these days, trying to finish work up before the end of the year and also preparing for the holidays.  Even CJ's been busy this November and December.  While he highlighted a couple interesting articles in the Nov 3rd edition of C&EN, […]
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3:47 PM | Carbon nanotubes enable new way of sound generation
Carbon nanotube assemblies enabled design of a hybrid thermo-electromagnetic sound transducer with unique sound generation features that are not available from conventional diaphragm and thermo-acoustic speakers. New work describes a hybrid thermo-electromagnetic sound transducer (TEMST) fabricated using highly porous multi-walled carbon nanotube sheet that was placed in the proximity of a permanent magnet. Upon electrical AC excitation, thermal response of the material is combined with […]
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3:47 PM | Daily Pump Trap: 12/18/14 edition
A few of this past week's postings on C&EN Jobs: Pasadena, TX: I would love, love, love to see the applications that come in for this B.S. QC chemist position for Total's Bayport plant. They're asking for 5 years experience -- how much does that cost in the rather hot Texas chemistry job market? I'd love to know. Arlington, VA: This is such a weird B.S./M.S. policy position -- it sure seems like a government thing, but there's no obvious "security clearance needed" […]
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12:30 PM | Journal of Chemical Health & Safety, November-December issue
Here’s what’s in the November-December issu […]Related Posts:Letters on the felony charges in the Sangji caseMore discussion on the U Minnesota azide explosionThe principles of “inherently safer” processes…Safety professionals: On the outer fringe or the leading…CSB releases interim report on Chevron refinery fire
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12:02 PM | Christmas Lights – the invention of matches
Guest post by Rowena Fletcher-Wood It is Christmastime, and the season of light: everywhere you look, particularly after dark, is the twinkle of hundreds of little lights. As 2015 approaches, the International Year of Light is also being kindled into action – a year designed to make us think about light technologies and global challenges in [...]
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10:37 AM | Electron spin could be the key to high-temperature superconductivity
Scientists take a significant step in our understanding of superconductivity by studying the strange quantum events in a unique superconducting material.
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10:30 AM | New technique moves researchers closer to new range of GaN biosensors
Researchers have found a way of binding peptides to the surface of gallium nitride (GaN) in a way that keeps the peptides stable even when exposed to water and radiation. The discovery moves researchers one step closer to developing a new range of biosensors for use in medical and biological research applications.
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10:26 AM | Gold nanorods target cancer cells
Using tiny gold nanorods, researchers have demonstrated a potential breakthrough in cancer therapy.
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10:21 AM | New sensor could improve one of nanotechnology's most useful microscopes
Spotting molecule-sized features may become both easier and more accurate with a sensor developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). With their new design, NIST scientists may have found a way to sidestep some of the problems in calibrating atomic force microscopes (AFMs).
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7:50 AM | EU publishes nanomaterial guidance for employers and workers
This Guidance document offers an overview of the issues surrounding the safe use of manufactured nanomaterials in the workplace, sets out the broad outlines of preventive action and provides a practical tool for complying with specific aspects of ensuring workers' safety, such as risk assessment and risk management.
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3:57 AM | More Pictures in Supporting Information? Please!
Just stop what you're doing right now, and look at the gorgeous reaction setups in this Nature SI.From SI page S16. Source: Nature / Baran labMy kudos to Phil & co - they sure do capture a good visual chronology of their reactions!Remind you of anything? : )
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3:02 AM | ...and now for Something Completely Different
I've been mulling over a version of this post for far too long, so here goes:It's time to make some changes around here.As I've quipped before, all careers in chemistry eventually leave the lab. Nearly gone are the days of the frizzy white-haired scientist holding aloft the shimmering vial and shouting "Eureka!"Today, we often find ourselves in transition: Post-docs become professors, who write papers and manage a group. Bench chemists move into operations or regulatory roles. Technicians […]
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2:27 AM | In the matter of Walter Lewin, MIT goes medieval
By now most people must have heard the unpleasant news that Walter Lewin, the beloved and world-renowned physics teacher at MIT whose legendary video lectures drew comparison with the Feynman Lectures on Physics has been barred from campus and stripped of his emeritus professor title in response to charges of sexual harassment of a student in one of his MITx courses. Unfortunately, considering the very public fame that Lewin achieved, MIT has been frustratingly silent on divulging the details […]
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2:21 AM | One ring to bind them all: things you might not know about benzene
Space filling model.  c. Michelle FranclNext year is the 150th anniversary of Kekulé's paper proposing the cyclic nature of the benzene 'nucleus.' and the 190th anniversary of Michael Faraday's paper on bi-carburet of hydrogen, more familiarly known as benzene.  In Berlin in 1890, on the 25th anniversary, German chemists threw the Benzolfest in honor of Kekulé. I wrote a short 'fest' for Nature Chemistry, which appears in the January issue($).  I learned much about […]
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2:21 AM | One ring to bind them all: things you might not know about benzene
Space filling model.  c. Michelle FranclNext year is the 150th anniversary of Kekulé's paper proposing the cyclic nature of the benzene 'nucleus.' and the 190th anniversary of Michael Faraday's paper on bi-carburet of hydrogen, more familiarly known as benzene.  In Berlin in 1890, on the 25th anniversary, German chemists threw the Benzolfest in honor of Kekulé. I wrote a short 'fest' for Nature Chemistry, which appears in the January issue($).  I learned much about […]

December 17, 2014

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10:12 PM | Here is a link to a story about hair dye that resulted from my...
Here is a link to a story about hair dye that resulted from my curiosity about why we put caustic chemicals on our heads.  Enjoy!  https://mosaicscience.com/story/hair-dye
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9:59 PM | Spider's web weaves way to advanced networks and displays
Searching for new ways to develop efficient, flexible networks, physicists discovered the designs of spider webs and leaf venation, refined across thousands of years of evolution, are worthy models for the next generation of optoelectronic applications.
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9:55 PM | Ultrafast imaging of complex systems in 3-D at near atomic resolution nears
It is becoming possible to image complex systems in 3-D with near-atomic resolution on ultrafast timescales using extremely intense X-ray free-electron laser pulses. One important step toward ultrafast imaging of samples with a single X-ray shot is understanding the interaction of extremely brilliant and intense X-ray pulses with the sample, including ionization rates.
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9:49 PM | Switching to spintronics
Researchers report on electric field switching of ferromagnetism at room temperature.
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8:56 PM | Cochrane review: e-cigarettes and risk The Cochrane review on...
Cochrane review: e-cigarettes and risk The Cochrane review on e-cigarettes was published today (press release, review). Reading it was disappointing, as there was little communication of the uncertainty on e-cig safety as supported by research. This feels crucially significant given the example afforded to us in the recent history of biomedical research and the tobacco industry. Denial, downplaying, distortion and dismissal of evidence were key in the industry’s maintenance at […]
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8:53 PM | End of teaching update
I have done my last teaching for 2014. Today’s Materials Chemistry and Catalysis poster session went surprisingly well, and even those whose posters were not the best defended them with conviction. Of course, marking remains to be done, but my next undergraduate lecture will be on X-ray diffraction, in 2015! I now switch to research … Continue reading End of teaching update →
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8:44 PM | Chemist mystery of the day: Who died in 2013?
Thanks to Twitter chatter about the deadliest occupations, I was looking at the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries and found this interesting tidbit: in 2013, 3 chemists died on the job. Their cause of death is not clear, but it seems to me (from the table) that at least 1 of them died from "violence and other injuries by persons or animals."Any ideas? 
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7:55 PM | Book review: Molecules, by Theodore Gray
A page of "Molecules", by Theodore GreyI am not really one for coffee table books (only recently having owned a coffee table, or a living room to have one in in), but I had the recent opportunity to look at a review copy of "Molecules", by software guru and chemical enthusiast Theodore Gray. The photos (by Nick Mann) in the book are gorgeous. What is really worthwhile is his uniquely curated different sets of objects that he photographed (each representing a particular molecule or class of […]
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7:00 PM | Lens-free microscope can detect cancer at the cellular level
Researchers have developed a lens-free microscope that can be used to detect the presence of cancer or other cell-level abnormalities with the same accuracy as larger and more expensive optical microscopes.
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6:55 PM | Microscopy pencils patterns in polymers at the nanoscale
Scientists have used advanced microscopy to carve out nanoscale designs on the surface of a new class of ionic polymer materials for the first time. The study provides new evidence that atomic force microscopy, or AFM, could be used to precisely fabricate materials needed for increasingly smaller devices.
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6:34 PM | Choreography of an electron pair
The motion of the two electrons in the helium atom can be imaged and controlled with attosecond-timed laser flashes.
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4:44 PM | Geopolitical news diversion
Bold predictions:1. This drop in oil prices won't last. I predict that there will be no Russian bond default in 2015.2. Anyone want to predict when pharma will start moving manufacturing to Cuba, now that the US will be normalizing relations? 
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