Women’s History Month, and CRISPR…

Topics: Biology, Chemistry, DNA, Nobel Prize, Research, Women in Science This year’s (2020) Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to two scientists who transformed an obscure bacterial immune mechanism, commonly called CRISPR, into a tool that can simply and cheaply edit the genomes of everything from wheat to mosquitoes to humans.  The award went jointlyContinue reading “Women’s History Month, and CRISPR…”

Our Flexible Molecule…

Topics: Biology, DNA, Physics, Polymer Science, Research DNA molecules are not fixed objects – they are constantly getting broken up and glued back together to adopt new shapes. Davide Michieletto explains how this process can be harnessed to create a new generation of “topologically active” materials. Call me naïve, but until a few years ago I hadContinue reading “Our Flexible Molecule…”

Haplotypes and Neanderthals…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, Genetics, Research Abstract A recent genetic association study1 identified a gene cluster on chromosome 3 as a risk locus for respiratory failure after infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A separate study (COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative)2 comprising 3,199 hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and control individuals showed that this clusterContinue reading “Haplotypes and Neanderthals…”

Snapping Polymer Discs…

Topics: Chemistry, Polymer Science, Materials Science, Research A polymer-based gel made by researchers in the US and inspired by the Venus flytrap plant can snap, jump and “reset” itself autonomously. The new self-propelled material might have applications in micron-sized robots and other devices that operate without batteries or motors. “Many plants and animals, especially smallContinue reading “Snapping Polymer Discs…”

Einsteinium Chemistry…

Topics: Chemistry, Einstein, Materials Science, Research To date, researchers have created more than two dozen synthetic chemical elements that don’t exist naturally on Earth. Neptunium (atomic number Z = 93) and plutonium (Z = 94), the first two artificial elements after naturally occurring uranium, are produced in nuclear reactors by the thousands of kilograms. But the accessibility ofContinue reading “Einsteinium Chemistry…”

Well Deserved…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, Research, Science Anthony Fauci – director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, an expert on HIV and immunoregulation, and the de facto public face of a science-based recovery from COVID-19 – has been named the winner of the 2021 Philip Hauge Abelson Prize, awarded annually by the American Association for theContinue reading “Well Deserved…”

2020 Nano Highlights….

Topics: Biology, Materials Science, Nanotechnology, Research Snake vision inspires pyroelectric material design Bioinspiration and biomimicry involve studying how living organisms do something and using that insight to develop new technologies. Pit vipers have two special organs on their heads called loreal pits that allow them to “see” the infrared radiation given off by their warm-bloodedContinue reading “2020 Nano Highlights….”

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, Research With COVID-19 reaching the most dangerous levels the U.S. has seen since the pandemic began, the country faces a problematic holiday season. Despite the risk, many people are likely to travel using various forms of transportation that will inevitably put them in relatively close contact with others. Many transit companies have establishedContinue reading “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles…”

Argonne, and STEM…

Topics: Education, Energy, Research, STEM Argonne Educational Programs and Outreach transitioned to virtual summer programming, ensuring that Argonne continues to build the next generation of STEM leaders. At the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, scientists and educators have found new ways to balance their work with safety needs as the laboratory’s Educational Programs andContinue reading “Argonne, and STEM…”

Communication…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, Politics, Research Living through a pandemic has resulted in phrases like RT-PCR, immune response, and aerosolized droplets becoming part of the regular vocabulary for a portion of the population. It has also underscored the important role that we all have to play as scientists in communicating science to the public. As research related to COVID-19 has moved forwardContinue reading “Communication…”