Tag archive for possibly useful

Recommended reading F’13 Edition

Here is a collection of posts that may be useful as you work on your first writing assignment:

Molecule of the Week

Writing

And a few more…

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Recommended reading

Here is a collection of posts that may be useful as you work on your first writing assignment:

Writing

Molecule of the Week

And a few more…

Full Story » Add Comment

All right, break’s over…

the friendly confines of Mendel Science Center

I don’t know about you, but I generally have a difficult time refocusing after an extended time away from the classroom. And while there are differences in expectations from the perspective of both the student and teacher, the strategies for getting (re)started are likely similar if not the same. I have tried the proverbial dipping of a toe into the shallow end and gently easing my way in to recklessly diving headlong into the deep end without testing the water first (as painful and shocking as it can be). In the spirit of jumping into the deep end, here are a few past posts to get your semester started.

  1. Quick tips to improve your writing now
  2. A few of my favorite books on writing
  3. So you’re writing your first post
  4. Commenting
  5. More info on the Molecule of the Week assignment
  6. Lists of some of my science related feeds
  7. Student perspective – Impressions about the Molecule of the Week assignment
  8. Student perspective – Why take it to the next level

And a few additional links you might find useful.

Enjoy!

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Maybe you should rethink that all-nighter?

A new study published in Science hints at a connection between sleep (or lack thereof) and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.  In both mice and humans, amyloid-beta peptide levels rose during waking hours, but then fell again upon sleep.  Amyloid-beta plaques (like those found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients) formed more readily in sleep-deprived mice.  Although certainly not a smoking gun, this research may indicate poor sleep patterns are a risk factor for development of Alzheimer’s disease.

…I think I’ll turn in early tonight…

[via Science/AAAS]

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So you’re writing your first post…

sharpie&paperYou found an article that really grabbed your attention and you cannot wait to share it. Great! So where do you begin? Start by choosing a specific idea, fact, or result and use it to focus your writing. Your enemy here is being overly broad and/or vague. Once you have a focus, prepare a list of 5-7 points/ideas/contexts/relationships/etc. that you may want to discuss. Do not concern yourself with order, length, or sentence structure as it is much more important to get your thoughts out of your head (I generally use a Sharpie and computation pad for this). Use your list to begin collecting appropriate references, links, images, etc. to support your argument(s). You may have to reframe your arguments in light of the information you collect. Use your research to rewrite each statement on your list into a clear and concise sentence. Consider these complete statements in the context of your topic and reorder (or eliminate) them in a coherent and logical sequence. Remember that there is not one correct way to arrange things – a little trial end error is warranted at this stage. Now that you have what amounts to a detailed outline, it is time to consider the length of your piece – is it a one paragraph summary, a five paragraph analysis, or should it be divided into a series? Once you have decided on length, use clear and concise language to layout and connect your statements/points; they should form a cohesive unit when combined. Construct strong and clear opening and closing statements to frame your work. Your reader may or may not continue reading on the basis of your opening statement so make it count. Review your piece as a whole and rewrite/edit as necessary. Reviewing and rewriting usually takes the most time and effort. You may want to consider having someone else read and comment on the work before submitting it for publication. When you are satisfied with your work, submit your post for review and publication, then sit back and bask in the accolades of a job well done!

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Lists of some of my science related feeds… [updated]

Chemistry journals I ‘try’ to keep up with (every two weeks or monthly):

  1. Accounts of Chemical Research | RSS
  2. Crystal Growth & Design | RSS
  3. Inorganic Chemistry | RSS
  4. Chemical Society Reviews | RSS
  5. Dalton Transactions | RSS
  6. Angewandte Chemie | RSS

And other science related feeds I review (every week or so):

  1. Cosmic Variance | RSS
  2. Innovation | RSS
  3. Next Big Future | RSS
  4. Nobel Intent | RSS
  5. Science Blogs Select | RSS
  6. Slate Magazine – Science | RSS
  7. Bad Science | RSS [update]

What are you reading online (science related of course). Leave a link and why you read it in the comments!

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Lifestyle Clues

fingerprintI found a pretty interesting article in C&EN about information that can be obtained from fingerprints.  We know that fingerprints can be used as clues to a person’s identity, and recently researchers have found that they can also be used to discover a person’s drug habits and potentially his or her medical history.  Chemists are reporting that they have discovered ways to detect different types of drugs and their metabolites, such as marijuana, cocaine, etc., in fingerprints.  A team at the University of East Anglia, in England, attached antibodies which recognize drug metabolites to iron oxide magnetic particles, which could be used to dust for fingerprints.  Another antibody was added to fluoresce which will help recognize drugs and metabolites.  Test fingerprints were taken from volunteer drug users at a local clinic and the team was able to successfully identify the drugs in their fingerprints.

I found this article and technique very interesting.  I think that it could have applications in forensic science and even in drug testing at sporting events such as the Olympics.  The article also stated that at some point it will be possible to known a person’s medical history from his or her fingerprint.  This, as well as its drug testing applications, raises some questions about privacy laws.  I think that this technology, if used for the correct purposes and not for exploitation, can be a convenience tool for forensic scientists.

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A fashionable type of medicine

spidersilknwebA recent CNN.com article describes new and unusual ways of re-growing broken bones and fixing holes in human hearts.  The novel methods involve molecules found in spider silk and the popular waterproof apparel material, Gore-Tex.  At Tufts University, scientists are researching new ways to use spider silk to genetically engineer new bone tissue.  The Department of Biomedical Engineering is trying to utilize the silk’s building-block proteins to create a scaffold material on which new bones or teeth can be grown.  Silk has six times the tensile strength of a steel fiber of equal diameter, but is biocompatible with the human body.  The desired scaffolding material would be used to fill a hole or a break in a tooth or bone.  Tufts scientists plan to take stem cells from elsewhere in the patient’s body to initiate replacement tissue growth.  Silk’s biodegradable nature would allow the scaffold to dissolve over time, much like the soluble stitches used in today’s dentistry.

At Rush University in Indiana, Gore-Tex is being investigated as a viable material to repair holes in the human heart.  Cardiologist Dr. Ziyad Hijazi has shaped the Gore-Tex material into a small umbrella and proposes that it be used to cover a common hole in the upper chamber of the human heart called the Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO).  The PFO is not usually dangerous, but can be for stroke victims.  The Gore-Tex umbrella device, named the Gore-Helex Septal Occluder, has seen success in plugging another type of heart hole.  The PFO hole is suspected to contribute to 40% of strokes in the U.S., so if the device proves successful in coming trials, the new technology could make a big difference in the treatment of stroke patients.

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Anyone use Twitter?

I’m just curious if anyone uses Twitter and, if so, how you use it. Several academic types suggest uses in the classroom, but they look like “me too!,” and “look, I’m cool, I use Twitter!” I’d like to see if there is a valid reason to give it a try.

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