Blog Post

Re-Creating the Wheel

Originally published at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/20/AR2010052003336_pf.html

The other day, the J. Craig Venter Institute announced that it had created a man-made copy of the genome  of Mycoplasma mycoides. A bacteria.

After painstakingly linking over a million nucleotides in the right places to create the complete genome, they implanted this into a different bacterial cell.  Not only did it begin to immediately reprogram the recipient cell, but it began to reproduce those new cells.  Naturally.

This is, quite honestly, the coolest thing. Ever.

Blog Post

Oceans’ Health: An Ecosystem on the Brink

By Allen LaPointe, Vice President of Environmental Quality, John G. Shedd Aquarium

Ocean Acidification – carbon dioxide and its effect on Earth’s oceans

Since the first Earth Day was celebrated forty years ago, the focus has been on awareness and environmental action. However, most attention in the past has focused on “terrestrial earth”, even though most of the earth’s surface is covered by water.

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Blog Post

Asian Carp Invasion: Notes

Five experts, knee-deep in dealing with the controversy that has become “Asian Carp,” presented their research and views on April 6 at the Shedd Aquariums Phelps Auditorium.

In this venue, feet from living examples of the invasive species, the history of the Great Lakes water flows , the ecology, and policy perspectives of plans of action were discussed.

To put it into perspective, Duane Chapman of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) makes note that when the media refer to “Asian Carp,” they are actually talking about the Big Head and Silver Carp species.  These are but two types of carp species, out of hundreds, that exist throughout the world.

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Notes on Women in Science

By University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy’s Angie Zeich and Carol Hendrickson

Gender Differences in the Workplace

The low number of women in science careers has historically been a problem that remains pervasive today.  Women still hold proportionally low academic science positions compared to men, and the shortage affects the private sector too, particularly engineering, computer science, and management.  Continue reading “Notes on Women in Science”

Blog Post

Who Needs Alternative Energy?

Who needs alternative energies?  The consensus at last night’s conversation at Harold Washington Library is that we all do.

The talk surrounded where Illinois stands as a power producing/emitting state.  There are literally tons of energy sources within our borders, but the vast majority that we are currently using are not renewable and negatively adding to the global warming problem.

How do we move forward towards a greener society?  Always remember the human impact of decisions we , our power producers, and legislators are making.  In the end, we are all accountable.

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Notes on Storing Alternative Energies

By University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy's Angie Zeich and Carol Hendrickson

A top policy priority of the United States is to encourage the development of alternative fuels. Alternative fuels reduce our dependence on foreign produced energy sources, improve the reliability of our energy production, and have environmental benefits such as reduced green house gas emissions. At the local, state, and federal levels, policies are being developed to fund research into alternative fuels and to expedite their implementation into our economy and every day use. Storing this energy will be an important part of its adaptation. The topic of C²ST’s program, storing alternative energies, was recently highlighted by a recent Senate hearing on the importance of energy storage.

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