I’m not one to talk about the weather very often, but the weatherman here in Chicago is saying that we’re going to have highs in the upper-60s today…and it’s December 3rd! We’re enjoying it while it lasts because I’m sure by later this week it will be snowing. This will be a shorter edition of ‘Links ‘n Things’ this week – hopefully your week is off to a good start!
1.) Looking for that perfect Christmas gift for that engineer you know? Or that chemist? One of the people I follow on Twitter (and occasionally interact with outside of Twitter) goes by the account name “Chemjobber” and this past week on his blog he reviewed a snazzy-looking book entitled, “The Elements: An Illustrated History of the Periodic Table”. Sounds like an excellent coffee table or reference book for that budding engineer, chemist or scientist family member: http://chemjobber.blogspot.com/2012/11/product-review-elements-illustrated.html
2.) News came out today about an interesting potential advancement in Band-Aid technology. Northeastern University’s professor of Chemical Engineering, Edgar Goluch and his research team have developed a “smart bandaid” that incorporates electrochemical sensors into the pad of the band-aid to help fight bacteria. It’s still a long way off from being mass-produced, but in something as un-changing and simple as the Band-Aid, any advancement is noteworthy: http://www.northeastern.edu/news/2012/12/a-tiny-electrode-fuels-smart-bandage-technology/
3.) Tying in with the previous article, scientists at Stanford University have developed a self-healing plastic/polymer skin. This technology could have many possible applications, but the exciting part of this breakthrough is that this material is the most skin-esque material developed to-date. There is still a lot of work to be done to make this a more commercially viable material, but making a material that can “heal” itself is a breakthrough indeed: http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/11/self-healing-plastic-skin-points.html
4.) If you would have asked me, “has DNA been photographed?” I would have said “yes” but apparently it was quite recently that an actual photograph of human DNA was captured. A physics professor in Italy devised and executed a plan for capturing DNA on “camera”, pretty cool stuff: http://www.livescience.com/25163-dna-directly-photographed-for-first-time.html