Helium and Ukraine…

Topics: Chemistry, Instrumentation, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Physics, Research Scientists who need the gas face tough choices in the face of reduced supply and spiking prices. Helium supplies, already dicey, got worse this past week when production shut down in Arzew, Algeria. The curtailment joins ongoing disruptions in supplies from Russia and the US Federal Helium Reserve as wellContinue reading “Helium and Ukraine…”

Things We’ve Lost…

Topics: COVID-19, Existentialism, Physics, Research An excerpt. The longer article piece is at the link following. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only killed a large number of people—approximately 5.5 million worldwide at the time Physics Today went to press in mid-January—it has also disrupted life in a fundamental, nonperturbative manner, forcing large-scale changes in human behavior fromContinue reading “Things We’ve Lost…”

RNA and Covid-19…

Topics: Biology, Biotechnology, COVID-19, Diversity in Science, NIST, Research, Women in Science Scientists track and monitor the circulation of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, using methods based on a laboratory technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Also used as the “gold standard” test to diagnose COVID-19 in individuals, PCR amplifies pieces of DNA byContinue reading “RNA and Covid-19…”

OIPCs and Janus…

Topics: Battery, Energy, Green Tech, Research, Solid-State Physics Janus, in Roman religion, the animistic spirit of doorways (januae) and archways (Jani). Janus and the nymph Camasene were the parents of Tiberinus, whose death in or by the river Albula caused it to be renamed Tiber. Source: Encylopedia Britannica Over the past decade, lithium-ion batteries have seen stunningContinue reading “OIPCs and Janus…”

ACE2 Gum and Covid…

Topics: Biology, Biotechnology, COVID-19, Research To advance a novel concept of debulking virus in the oral cavity, the primary site of viral replication, virus-trapping proteins CTB-ACE2 were expressed in chloroplasts and clinical-grade plant material was developed to meet FDA requirements. Chewing gum (2 g) containing plant cells expressed CTB-ACE2 up to 17.2 mg ACE2/g dry weightContinue reading “ACE2 Gum and Covid…”

Time…

Topics: Applied Physics, Education, Research, Thermodynamics Also note the Hyper Physics link on the Second Law of Thermodynamics, particularly “Time’s Arrow.” “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time,” Leo Tolstoy, War, and Peace The short answerWe can measure time intervals — the duration between two events — most accurately with atomic clocks. TheseContinue reading “Time…”

Your Brain on Covid…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, DNA, Research Note: I have friends who thankfully survived infection now affected by this phenomenon. The article thus grabbed my attention. SARS-CoV-2 appears to travel widely across the cerebral cortex “Brain fog” is not a formal medical descriptor. But it aptly describes an inability to think clearly that can turn up inContinue reading “Your Brain on Covid…”

Vapor Ragnarok…

Topics: Climate Change, Existentialism, Global Warming, Research More moisture in a warmer atmosphere is fueling intense hurricanes and flooding rains. The summer of 2021 was a glaring example of what disruptive weather will look like in a warming world. In mid-July, storms in western Germany and Belgium dropped up to eight inches of rain inContinue reading “Vapor Ragnarok…”

Alvarez, and Apocalypse…

Topics: Dinosaurs, Nobel Prize, Research In the run-up to the announcement of the 2021 Nobel Prize for Physics on 5 October, we’re running a series of blog posts looking at previous recipients and what they did after their Nobel-prize-winning work. In this first instalment Laura Hiscott explores the wide-ranging research of Luis Walter Alvarez, who won theContinue reading “Alvarez, and Apocalypse…”

Foxes, Minks, Racoon Dogs…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, Education, Research During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the “lab leak” theory gained little traction. Sure, U.S. President Donald Trump suggested SARS-CoV-2 originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China—and called it “the China virus”—but he never presented evidence, and few in the scientific community took him seriously. In fact, early in theContinue reading “Foxes, Minks, Racoon Dogs…”