Precision skincare

An inkjet printer for your skin—it’s an idea I’m not sure I’m ready for. Still, I’m not the target market for the product being described in Rachel Kim Raczka’s June 2, 2021 article for Fast Company (Note: Links have been removed), … I’ve had broken capillaries, patchy spots, and enlarged pores most of my adult life. And after I turned 30, I developed a glorious strip of melasma (a “sun mustache”) across my upper lip.…

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The power of art and science policy

For Berta (They Fear Us Because We Are Fearless) Materials: [detail] Shell casings, shale, smalti, stained glass Size: 16″h x 16″w Year: 2019 [Artist: Julie Sperling] At first glance I thought those were coins—they’re bullet casings. Science policy isn’t always a boring meeting or report. Here’s a little more about the artist Julie Sperling, from the About page on her website, I am a Canadian mosaic artist based in Kitchener, Ontario. My studio practice finds…

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Technology for mopping up oil spills

It’s a little disheartening to write about technology for mopping up oils spills as there doesn’t to be much improvement in the situation as Adele Peters notes in her June 4, 2021 article (A decade after Deepwater Horizon, we’re still cleaning up oil spills the same way) for Fast Company (Note: Links have been removed), Off the coastline of Sri Lanka, where a burning cargo ship has been spilling toxic chemicals and plastic pellets over…

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Carbon nanotubes can scavenge energy from environment to generate electricity

A June 7, 2021 news item on phys.org announces research into a new method for generating electricity (Note: A link has been removed), MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] engineers have discovered a new way of generating electricity using tiny carbon particles that can create a current simply by interacting with liquid surrounding them.The liquid, an organic solvent, draws electrons out of the particles, generating a current that could be used to drive chemical reactions or…

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2021 Science Literacy Week (in Canada)

2021’s Science Literacy Week (in Canada) started on September 20, 2021 and this year’s theme is Climate. Since it runs until September 26, 2021, there’s still time to find an event near you or one happening virtually at a time that suits you. (A searchable events database can be found here. Note: I have always found it unhelpful and am reduced to paging through the list. I hope you do better.) For anyone who lives…

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Canadian and Guadeloupean oysters: exposure to nanoplastics and arsenic

A May 27, 2021 news item on phys.org describes research into oysters and nanoplastics, Oysters’ exposure to plastics is concerning, particularly because these materials can accumulate and release metals which are then absorbed by the mollusks. According to a recent study published in the journal Chemosphere, the combined presence of nanoplastics and arsenic affects the biological functions of oysters. This study was conducted by the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) in Québec City…

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Council of Canadian Academies (CCA): science policy internship and a new panel on Public Safety in the Digital Age

It’s been a busy week for the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA); I don’t usually get two notices in such close order. 2022 science policy internship The application deadline is Oct. 18, 2021, you will work remotely, and the stipend for the 2020 internship was $18,500 for six months. Here’s more from a September 13, 2021 CCA notice (received Sept. 13, 2021 via email), CCA Accepting Applications for Internship Program…The program provides interns with an…

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Nano-photosynthesis in your brain as a stroke treatment?

A May 19, 2021 news item on phys.org sheds some light on a new approach to stroke treatments, Blocked blood vessels in the brains of stroke patients prevent oxygen-rich blood from getting to cells, causing severe damage. Plants and some microbes produce oxygen through photosynthesis. What if there was a way to make photosynthesis happen in the brains of patients? Now, researchers reporting in ACS’ Nano Letters have done just that in cells and in…

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Memristors, it’s all about the oxides

I have one research announcement from China and another from the Netherlands, both of which concern memristors and oxides. China A May 17, 2021 news item on Nanowerk announces work, which suggests that memristors may not need to rely solely on oxides but could instead utilize light more gainfully, Scientists are getting better at making neuron-like junctions for computers that mimic the human brain’s random information processing, storage and recall. Fei Zhuge of the Chinese…

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Speed up your reading with an interactive typeface

A May 12, 2021 news item on ScienceDaily brings news of a technology that makes reading easier, AdaptiFont has recently been presented at CHI, the leading Conference on Human Factors in Computing.Language is without doubt the most pervasive medium for exchanging knowledge between humans. However, spoken language or abstract text need to be made visible in order to be read, be it in print or on screen.How does the way a text looks affect its…

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