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Category: Chemical Engineering

Common household chemicals lead to birth defects in mice, research finds — ScienceDaily

A new study at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) and the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech has found a connection between common household chemicals and birth defects. Known as quaternary ammonium compounds or “quats,” the chemicals are often used as disinfectants and preservatives in household and personal products such as cleaners, laundry detergent, fabric softener, shampoo and conditioner, and eye drops. The research demonstrated a link between quats and neural tube birth defects in…

Shape, size of DNA lesions caused by toxic agents affects repair of DNA — ScienceDaily

Every day our bodies come under a barrage of toxic agents — cigarette smoke, the sun, free radicals and other carcinogenic substances — that create damaging lesions in our DNA that can initiate cancer and other human diseases. Fortunately, nature has provided living organisms with repair processes to seek out and remove such dangerous lesions; repair allows the DNA to be restored to its original base sequence so it can carry out its fundamental jobs: to be replicated and to…

Toxicants linked to lipid metabolism — ScienceDaily

While working for an environmental nonprofit organization in India, Namrata Sengupta investigated how poor waste management and sanitation practices can impact the environment and public health. Her work sparked an interest in environmental toxicology and led her to Clemson University in 2011 as a doctoral student in the field. Sengupta spent her time in graduate school using Daphnia magna, or water fleas, as model organisms for studying environmental health. She started investigating how these organisms respond to different environmental toxicants.…

Why rocks flow slowly in Earth’s middle mantle — ScienceDaily

For decades, researchers have studied the interior of the Earth using seismic waves from earthquakes. Now a recent study, led by Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration Associate Professor Dan Shim, has re-created in the laboratory the conditions found deep in the Earth, and used this to discover an important property of the dominant mineral in Earth’s mantle, a region lying far below our feet. Shim and his research team combined X-ray techniques in the synchrotron radiation…

A marker-free system for tracing mass components

With its “Track & Trace Fingerprint“ Fraunhofer IPM has developed a marker-free system for the traceability of mass components. Credit: Fraunhofer IPM Highly interconnected manufacturing chains, cost issues and technical feasibility make it difficult to trace individual components in mass production. Efficient “track & trace” solutions are, however, an important prerequisite for production and process optimization—especially in the context of digitized manufacturing. With its “Track & Trace Fingerprint” solution, the Fraunhofer-Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM in Freiburg, Germany, has…

Beyond X-rays — the new inspection tools to thwart smugglers

Once they’re ready, electronic sniffer dogs and neutron-emitting machines will quickly be able to check containers for illegal substances. Credit: Flickr/GlynLowe.com Criminals who want to smuggle dangerous or illegal substances into Europe could soon find themselves foiled by a new set of high-tech anti-smuggling tools including an electronic sniffer dog and a machine that fires part of an atom at shipping containers. The shipping industry is key to Europe’s economy, with 3.8 billion tonnes of cargo loaded and unloaded at…

We are Not Us Without The Microbes Within Us » Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog

We are Not Us Without The Microbes Within Us Posted on April 16, 2017  Comments (1) I Contain Multitudes is a wonderful book by Ed Young on the microbes within us. Time and again, bacteria and other microbes have allowed animals to transcend their basic animalness and wheedle their way into ecological nooks and crannies that would be otherwise inaccessible; to settle into lifestyles that would be otherwise intolerable; to eat what they could not otherwise stomach; to succeed against…

Hazardous reactions database launched | The Safety Zone

A nonprofit group today released a database tool chemists can use to share information about hazardous chemical reactions. Called the Chemical Safety Library, the tool was developed by a group that included representatives from pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions. “We feel this will be a valuable and unique set of data that is currently not available and should advance safety for all researchers,” says Carmen Nitsche, executive director for business development in North America at the Pistoia Alliance, which brings…

The Amazing Reality of Genes and The History of Scientific Inquiry » Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog

The Amazing Reality of Genes and The History of Scientific Inquiry Posted on March 4, 2017  Comments (2) The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee is a wonderful book. He does a great job of explaining the history of scientists learning about genes as well as providing understandable explanations for the current scientific understanding of genes and how they impact our lives. As I have mentioned before, I find biology fascinating even though I found biology classes utterly boring and painful. I…

From the archives: UC Berkeley lab demolished when molten salt bath explodes

More from last week’s trip into the C&EN archives. From Oct. 11, 1982: Molten salt baths cited as lab hazards Caption from 1982: Berkeley lab was demolished when a heated nitrite/thiocyanate mixture exploded A University of California, Berkeley, lab has been rebuilt and is ready for use again after being demolished in late July by the explosion of a molten salt bath. Berkeley chemistry and chemical engineering faculty members are concerned that many researchers are unaware of the potential dangers…