World Science Festival in New York City, May 22 – June 2, 2019

It’s time for the World Science Fair in New York City, which has been around since 2008 according to their About webpage, …The annual live, week-long Festivals, which launched in New York in 2008, have collectively drawn over 2.9 million visitors worldwide, with millions more viewing the programs online. The World Science Festival’s original musical and theatrical works tour nationally and internationally, and March 2016 marked the launch of World Science Festival Brisbane. World Science…

Continue reading


The van Gogh-Roosegaarde, a solar powered bike path

From YouTube, Heijmans NV Published on Nov 12, 2014 Inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s work, the cycle path combines innovation and design with cultural heritage and tourism. The Van Gogh-Roosegaarde cycle path is being constructed by Heijmans from a design by Daan Roosegaarde and forms part of the Van Gogh cycle route in Brabant. According to other sources, the path was inspired by van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’. From a November 21, 2014 article by Elizabeth…

Continue reading


Genes, intelligence, Chinese CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) babies, and other children

This started out as an update and now it’s something else. What follows is a brief introduction to the Chinese CRISPR twins; a brief examination of parents, children, and competitiveness; and, finally, a suggestion that genes may not be what we thought. I also include a discussion about how some think scientists should respond when they know beforehand that one of their kin is crossing an ethical line. Basically, this is a complex topic and…

Continue reading


The Art of Science (Juan Geuer) on May 18, 2019 at Canada’s Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa

If you’re in Ottawa on May 18, 2019 and available from 1 – 1:30 pm and have paid your entry fee to the Canada Science and Technology Museum, there’s a special talk. From a ‘Curiosity on Stage’ event page, Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math? Curiosity on Stage is a series of short, interactive presentations that brings you face-to-face with researchers and innovators.…

Continue reading


Walking again with exoskeletons and brain-controlled, non-invasive muscle stimulation enabling people to walk

I have two news bits about paraplegics and the possibility of walking. The first is from Alberta, Canada and the second is from Brazil. Alberta The fellow in the video is wearing a robotic exoskeleton. As you can see, it’s not perfect but it represents an extraordinary breakthrough (from an April 16, 2019 article by Sarah Lawrynuik for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation [CBC] Radio), On his fifteenth birthday in December 2015, Calgary’s Alex McEwan was…

Continue reading


How do nanoparticles interact with the environment and with humans over time?

I meant to get this piece published sooner but good intentions don’t get you far. At Northwestern University, scientists have researched the impact engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) might have as they enter the food chain. An October 18, 2019 Northwestern University news release (also on EurekAlert) by Megan Fellman describes research on an investigation of ENPs and their interaction with living organisms, Personal electronic devices — smartphones, computers, TVs, tablets, screens of all kinds — are…

Continue reading


Snakebite? Roll out the nanoparticles

An October 4, 2018 news item on Nanowerk highlights some recent research into treating snakebites (Note: A link has been removed), Venomous snakebites affect 2.5 million people, and annually cause more than 100,000 deaths and leave 400,000 individuals with permanent physical and psychological trauma each year. Researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases (“Engineered nanoparticles bind elapid snake venom toxins and inhibit venom-induced dermonecrosis”) have now described a new approach to treating snake bites [sic],…

Continue reading


Real-time tracking of UV (ultraviolet light) exposure for all skin types (light to dark)

It’s nice to find this research after my August 21, 2018 posting where I highlighted (scroll down to ‘Final comments’) the issues around databases and skin cancer data which is usually derived from fair-skinned people while people with darker hues tend not to be included. This is partly due to the fact that fair-skinned people have a higher risk and also partly due to myths about how more melanin in your skin somehow protects you…

Continue reading


Students! Need help with your memory? Try Sans Forgetica

Sans forgetica is a new, scientifically and aesthetically designed font to help students remember what they read. An October 4, 2018 news article by Mark Wycislik-Wilson for Beta News announces the new font, Researchers from Australia’s RMIT University have created a font which they say could help you to retain more data. Sans Forgetica is the result of work involving typographic design specialists and psychologists, and it has been designed specifically to make it easier…

Continue reading


Teaching molecular and synthetic biology in grades K-12

This is story actually started in 2018 with an August 1, 2018 Harvard University news release (h/t Aug. 1, 2018 news item on phys.org) by Leslie Brownell announcing molecular and synthetic biology educational kits that been tested in the classroom. (In 2019, a new kit was released but more about that later.) As biologists have probed deeper into the molecular and genetic underpinnings of life, K-12 schools have struggled to provide a curriculum that reflects…

Continue reading