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CHF staff and scholars provide a behind-the-scenes guide to activities at CHF, with reflections on science education, provocative explorations of chemistry in the wider world, and much more.

This page holds archived blog posts. Visit our Tumblr page to see recent content and to join the conversation.

Not Good News on Cancer

Cancer drugs like Gleevec, Erbitux, and Herceptin target essential growth pathways gone haywire in cancer. These can be very effective in patients whose cancer contains the altered target, but this is not all patients and even for the “lucky” ones, the specter of acquired drug resistance is ever present. And now comes worse news.

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Posted In: Technology

Fat Tuesday: Why Chocolate Tastes So Good

For those of you who will be enjoying Easter candy this weekend (or just the discounted crème eggs next week), guest blogger and former chemistry prof Rebecca Guenard of Atomic-o-licious explains the inescapable power of chocolate.

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Posted In: Technology

Chemistry’s Contributors

March is Women’s History Month in the U.S. and International Women’s Month in the U.K., so it seems the perfect time to call attention to women in science. And since March is also the kickoff to the season of awards that CHF stewards, we are proud to note that three of this year’s luminaries are women.

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Posted In: Technology

Beckman at 25: Jennifer Rampling

2012 is the 25th anniversary of CHF’s Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry. To celebrate the Beckman Center’s remarkable achievements and its many accomplished fellows, we will be profiling one former fellow each month over the course of the year. This month we’d like you to meet Jennifer (Jenny) Rampling.

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Posted In: Fellows

Hit the Gym

Much research exists showing the health benefits of regular physical activity, including reducing the risk of disorders everyone would dearly like to avoid like diabetes, cancer, and depression. Complicating such analyses is the fact that people who exercise are largely self-selected so it’s hard to prove causality rather than just association with untoward outcomes.

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Posted In: Technology

First Person: Alfred O.C. Nier

In his 1989 oral history interview University of Minnesota physics professor Alfred O. C. Nier claimed, “I suspect I’ve worked longer and more continuously in mass spectrometry than anybody ever has.” Nier’s career spanned decades, and with his specialization in an extremely technical field, he made an impact on some of the most important and exciting scientific achievements of the 20th century.

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Posted In: History | Technology

Water, Water Everywhere

Last week Erik Fyrwald, president of Ecolab (recently merged with Nalco) presented an address to CHF’s Joseph Priestley Society entitled “The Water Challenge: Improving Resourcefulness to Overcome Limited Resources.” In front of a packed lunchtime house he enumerated three overarching water challenges.

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Posted In: Education

Collective Voice: Inspiring Youth in Chemistry

Anyone who is a regular reader of Periodic Tabloid could not have missed our celebration of the 2011 International Year of Chemistry. CHF wanted to cap the year with a retrospective exhibit that highlighted some of IYC's activities. The curatorial team decided to focus the exhibit around the IYC goal of “encouraging interest in chemistry among young people,” and developed the just-opened Inspiring Youth in Chemistry.

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Posted In: Education

Science Faculty Survival

Young scientists hunting for their first academic faculty appointment face a daunting prospect. Naturally one wonders: how many make the grade and navigate an initial faculty appointment to promotion and a secure tenured university professorship?

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Posted In: Education

Animated GIF Tuesday: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Celebrates the Periodic Table

When the Fresh Prince (known today as one Will Smith) was still living in West Philadelphia, CHF was in its infancy. So it’s doubtful he ever visited. Judging from this GIF, however, we think he might enjoy it.

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Posted In: Education