Collaboration in the Information Age
Collaboration is, unfortunately, not as common as hoped for in the scientific community. Some researchers are quick to point out the detrimental effects, such as the difficulty young authors face in highlighting their work when they are four pages down on the author list, or the funding eligibility issues that may arise in such a partnership. The increase of scientific capability in non-traditional powerhouse countries, like China and Russia, raises additional concerns when it comes to data sharing. But like most things, there is a time and place for collaboration—and that’s in genomics.
We’ve lived in an “omics” age ever since the Human Genome Project (HGP) yielded the first human sequencing data more than a decade ago. In 2004, the last piece of the HGP puzzle was released, and that’s when our scientific landscape started shifting. With the advent of increasingly powerful computers, better software and enhanced methods, the “omics age” has given way to what is now being called the “information age” of genetics.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/blogs/2012/12/collaboration-information-age
An Imperfect Food Chain
Most food products for consumer consumption come about through the marriage of science, technology, engineering and common sense. For example, in 1871, Louis Pasteur invented the process of pasteurization, or heating wine sufficiently to inactivate microbes and prevent spoilage. In 1897, Eduard Buchner demonstrated that fermentation could occur with just an extract of yeast, forever changing the scene of biochemistry and enzymology. In 1994, the first genetically engineered food product was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and we have been living off the rewards ever since. Then, in 2008, a South Dakota businessman named Eldon Roth smartly devised a system using an industrial centrifuge and ammonia gas that better sanitizes beef trimmings. At the time, his boneless beef lean trimmings (BBLT) and his ammonia-sanitizer process were hailed as engineering a better, safer burger. Fast forward four years and his beef is being referred to by the ridiculous name of “pink slime” and people all over the world have boycotted it with essentially no valid reason.
Read complete editorial by Michelle Longo here: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/edit-an-imperfect-food-chain-050112.aspx
Campus Rivalries Fuel Recycling Competition
RecycleMania aims to be a fun, friendly competition that brings about real-world impacts and instills best practices on university campuses nationwide.
While the NCAA Basketball Tournament may get most of the attention on college campuses in March, it’s not the only game in town. For an eight-week period beginning in early February and running parallel to the tournament, colleges and universities annually take part in RecycleMania, a competition that seeks to see which college can reduce, reuse and recycle the most waste.
Read complete article by Michelle Longo here: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/article-cs-asg-campus-rivalries-fuel-recycling-competition-040112.aspx
Renovating the Present to Build a Greener Future
With the ever-increasing need to build green, a Portland State Univ. lab collaboration is supporting the research needs of the green building industry in more than one way.
More than half of the buildings that will be in use in 2050 have already been built. In fact, most of them were built before “sustainability” and “green” became permanent keywords in our society. Now that these buildings have already been woven into our future, there are some questions to ask, some to answer and others to study.
Read complete article by Michelle Longo here: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/article-ldf-asg-renovating-the-present-to-build-a-green-future-040112.aspx?xmlmenuid=21
Striving Toward Secondary Goals
Late last month, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich stunned most everyone when he declared his promise that “by the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon.” While I don’t fault Gingrich for dreaming and trying to set high standards and goals, I can’t help but think of the enormous amount of known and unknown variables that significantly deter this accomplishment.
Read complete article by Michelle: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/edit-striving-toward-secondary-goals-020112.aspx
From Tobacco to Biomanufacturing
NC State Univ.’s BTEC is transforming North Carolina from an agricultural state to one of the top biomanufacturing regions in the country.
The state of North Carolina is currently ranked as the No. 3 biotechnology region in the country with around 226,423 North Carolinians working in the industry. Its biotechnology sector is also growing the fastest of any state, with estimates of growth at 10 to 15% per year with demands for more than 3,000 new workers a year. Luckily, North Carolina saw this coming and in 2003 started pushing for the creation of what is now NC State Univ.’s Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC).
Read whole article by Michelle Longo: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/article-asg-from-tobacco-to-biomanufacturing-110111.aspx
by Michelle Longo, Associate Editor
Every Thursday, Laboratory Equipment will be featuring a Scientist of the Week, chosen from the science industry’s latest headlines. This week’s scientist is George Armelagoes from Emory Univ. Armelagoes, an expert in prehistoric diets, and his team found evidence of tetracycline, or antibiotics, in human bones that date more than 2,000 years old. His theory: it was in the beer.
Q: What made you become interested in prehistoric diets?
A: As a paleontologist in 1964, I started looking at diet and disease in prehistory. We actually found evidence of iron-deficiency anemia. When we did that research, I realized I also had to look at modern aspects of the diet. I went on to write a book about modern food habits, but we just kept coming back to issues of disease and diet in prehistory.
Q: Why did you specifically research the origin of antibiotics?
A: It was actually a serendipitous finding. I found tetracycline in human bones years earlier, and then one of my students researched the topic again. We were then able to tie it to grain. We spent almost 10 years trying to deal with people who discredited it. Our study was the first definitive finding that shows tetracycline. We knew it all along, but this puts the “froth on the beer.”
Q: What was the most surprising area of your research?
A: Did the Nubians know what they discovered? Probably not. But they knew that whatever they were doing was making them feel better.
I thought initially the ancient Nubians were eating contaminated grains and the tetracycline was coming from that. But when we started looking at the amount individuals were getting and the overall amount in the population, we had to look at other sources. We started to look accounts of Egyptian populations and how they used grains- baking, eating and beer were all in one breathe. This led us to figure out the tetracycline was from the beer.
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