A jellyfish chat on November 28, 2017 at Café Scientifique Vancouver get together

Café Scientifique Vancouver sent me an announcement (via email) about their upcoming event, We are pleased to announce our next café which will happen on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28TH at 7:30PM in the back room of YAGGER'S DOWNTOWN (433 W Pender). JELLYFISH – FRIEND, FOE, OR FOOD? Did you know that in addition to stinging swimmers, jellyfish also cause extensive damage to fisheries and coastal power plants? As threats such as overfishing, pollution, and climate change…

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Colour: an art/science open call for submissions

The submission deadline for this open ‘art/sci’ call is January 17, 2018 (from a November 29, 2017 Art/Science Salon announcement; received via email), COLOUR: WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT? An exhibition exploring colour as a phenomenon that crosses the boundaries of the arts and sciences. Artists and designers revel in, and seek to understand, the visceral, physical and ephemeral qualities of colour. Sir Isaac Newton began his scientific experiments with light and prisms as…

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Could CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) be weaponized?

On the occasion of an American team’s recent publication of research where they edited the germline (embryos), I produced a three-part series about CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats), sometimes referred to as CRISPR/Cas9, (links offered at end of this post). Somewhere in my series, there’s a quote about how CRISPR could be used as a ‘weapon of mass destruction’ and it seems this has been a hot topic for the last year or…

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World heritage music stored in DNA

It seems a Swiss team from the École Polytechnique de Lausanne (EPFL) have collaborated with American companies Twist Bioscience and Microsoft, as well as, the University of Washington (state) to preserve two iconic jazz pieces on DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) according to a Sept. 29, 2017 news item on phys.org,, Thanks to an innovative technology for encoding data in DNA strands, two items of world heritage – songs recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival [held in Switzerland]…

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Art/science events in Vancouver, Canada (Nov. 22, 2017) and Toronto (Dec. 1, 2017)

The first event I’m highlighting is the Curiosity Collider Cafe’s Nov. 22, 2017 event in Vancouver (Canada), from a November 14, 2017 announcement received via email, Art, science, & neuroscience. Visualizing/sonifying particle collisions. Colors from nature. Sci-art career adventure. Our #ColliderCafe is a space for artists, scientists, makers, and anyone interested in art+science. Meet, discover, connect, create. Are you curious? Join us at “Collider Cafe: Art. Science. Interwoven.” to explore how art and science intersect…

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A cheaper way to make artificial organs

In the quest to develop artificial organs, the University of British Columbia (UBC) is the not the first research institution that comes to my mind. It seems I may need to reevaluate now that UBC (Okanagan) has announced some work on bio-inks and artificial organs in a Sept. 12, 2017 news  release (also on EurekAlert) by Patty Wellborn,, A new bio-ink that may support a more efficient and inexpensive fabrication of human tissues and organs…

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Giving security the finger

A Sept. 19, 2017 Michigan State University news release (also on EurekAlert) describes the research in more detail, Do you know how safe it is to use your finger as a security login? And have you wondered how your cell phone knows if your finger is real or a fake? Michigan State University biometric expert Anil Jain and his team are working to answer these questions and solve the biggest problems facing fingerprint recognition systems…

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Cellulose- and chitin-based biomaterial to replace plastics?

Although the term is not actually used in the news release, one of the materials used to create a new biomaterial could safely be described as nanocellulose. From a Sept. 20, 2017 Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) news release (also on EurekAlert) by Jeff Mulhollem, An inexpensive biomaterial that can be used to sustainably replace plastic barrier coatings in packaging and many other applications has been developed by Penn State researchers, who predict its adoption…

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Science denial is not limited to the political right

These days, climate is the most likely topic to bring up charges of having anti-science views and/or ‘right wing’ thinking but according to a Sept. 19, 2017 news item on phys.org ‘left wing’ thinkers can also reject science, In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, many claims have been made that science denial, particularly as it relates to climate change, is primarily a problem of the political right. But what happens when scientific conclusions…

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Substituting graphene and other carbon materials for scarce metals

A Sept. 19, 2017 news item on Nanowerk announces a new paper from the Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), the lead institution for the Graphene Flagship (a 1B Euro 10 year European Commission programme), Note: A link has been removed, Scarce metals are found in a wide range of everyday objects around us. They are complicated to extract, difficult to recycle and so rare that several of them have become “conflict minerals” which can promote…

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