Scientists at Zhejiang University have recently published an improved method for removing arsenic from drinking water, which relies on chemically modifying the shells of a type of algae, called diatoms, to make the shells efficient “sponges” for soaking up arsenic. Modified diatom shells are unique in that they can be widely manipulated for applications in fields as diverse as medicine and materials science. Despite their … Continue reading Algae: Applications in Removing Arsenic and Beyond
How did life originate? This puzzle has been studied by scientists for hundreds of years. Authors of a new paper in Nature have made significant progress towards solving this enigma by using cyanide as a starting material. While cyanide may be poisonous to us, mixing it with a specific chemical solution and heat seems to give rise to many of the molecules of life. A … Continue reading A step towards the primordial soup
Presented by Jordan Wilkerson Whether we are in China or here in the United States, the air in major cities is infamous for its unpleasant haze and resulting health problems. There are many ways in which an unhealthy mixture of chemicals can make it into the atmosphere where humans live and breathe. This lecture will discuss some of the most famous of these pollutants, what … Continue reading The Air We Breathe: An assessment of urban air pollution
Image by Don W. Pottle This is an image of crystals of aspirin with caffeine. An Excedrin tablet was crushed in water and allowed to dissolve. Drops of the solution were placed on a glass microscope slide and allowed to dry. Examining and photographing the resulting crystals using a 60X oil immersion lens and DIC (Differential Interference Contrast) filters produced these spindle-like images. The spindles … Continue reading Crystallized Relief
From Scientists recreate what may be life’s first spark How did life originate? This puzzle has been studied by scientists for hundreds of years. Authors of a >new paper in PNAS claim to have found a clue: they bombarded a chemical (formamide) found on the earth around the time life arose with high energy laser to simulate a meteor impact. They then looked for and … Continue reading New route to the origin of life? Probably not.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical compound that has been used in the production of plastics, including cell phones, contact lenses, and food storage containers, for over 50 years. Scientists have recently shown that the BPA found on cash register receipts (to help develop the printed text) may be a significant source of BPA exposure, thanks to our generous use of hand sanitizers and other skin care products. That’s because hand sanitizers contain ingredients that dissolve BPA, and also increase the skin’s ability to absorb the chemical. Although further studies and larger sample sizes will be necessary to conclude whether BPA is a true hazard, this finding suggests that certain populations, such as cashiers, may be exposed to higher than average amounts of BPA on a regular basis – and keeping hands clean may not be helping. Continue reading Cash Register Receipts and Clean Hands
Click here for more information from Seeding Labs’ website, and click here to register. More about Seeding Labs: Seeding Labs invests in exceptional scientists in developing countries who have limited resources, but limitless potential. They provide reduced-cost lab equipment and training and foster professional networks in order to enhance higher education, support vital research and create a more connected global scientific community. Seeding Labs has … Continue reading African Innovators: Scientists from the continent speak about their work changing the world