Most people live in harmony with their immune systems. For them, the immune system is able to distinguish pathogens from the organism’s healthy tissue1 and can prevent disease by initiating non-specific or antigen-specific responses to pathogens. But for up to 50 million Americans, their immune systems become the source of […]
As someone born with a mild lactose intolerance, I’ve never paid much attention to natural milk. I can’t drink it without experiencing unfortunate side effects, so why should I? It’s not like the lack has impacted my health, thanks to calcium supplements and soy milk. And as long as I […]
There are sneaky cells in our midst. These cells travel under the cloak of darkness or more specifically, under the radar of our immune system. Some are cancerous cells, appearing exactly like our own cells; others are minuscule viral particles. Either way, the presence of these cells and particles can […]
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as the technique is more commonly called, transformed the United States oil and gas industry when its usage gained popularity in the early 2000s. Widespread adoption of fracking drove oil production to levels not seen since the 1980s and allowed the U.S. to compete with Saudi […]
It’s been over a year since a widespread Ebola epidemic broke out across several West African countries. Not only is this the first outbreak of the disease that’s reached epidemic proportions, it’s also still ongoing. Past instances of the hemorrhagic fever were brought under control in weeks. That certainly hasn’t […]
It looks like the global agricultural industry has a weed control problem. More specifically, it has run into the same difficulties that hospitals and medical professionals currently face. Much like how the overuse of antibiotics has led to superbugs, farmers’ dependence on herbicides has led to chemical-resistant weeds. These herbicide-resistant […]
If you thought nothing could top the Clean Water Act and the Toxic Substance Control Act in terms of legislation needing an update, think again. The regulations governing the safety of personal care products like cosmetics and shampoo have remained largely unchanged since 1938. Nevermind the fact that this was enacted before I was born; it was largely in place before my parents were born!
Waste is generated each day: there is food waste, water waste and for chemical companies and laboratories, chemical wastes of which expired chemicals form the bulk. Part of the cause is that lab managers will often order large quantities of chemicals and they are kept beyond their expiration date. Unfortunately, despite an attempt to save money on chemicals, laboratories and organizations often end up spending more to dispose of expired chemicals. For those companies that use specialty chemicals in food products, expired chemicals can be potentially lethal.
The materials that make up our bridges and roads, our computers and stoves often seem invariable, forever locked in their current structures. However, science tells us that materials are always changing “both on a molecular and macroscopic scale” in a process known as material degradation. Moreover, insights from quantum mechanics suggest that the atoms and molecules that construct our macroscopic items are inherently unstable, so even when we can’t see material degradation, it is occurring. Eventually, energy inputs within our material systems result in morphological changes that alter the behavior of materials, which then enables us to visualize material degradation such as erosion, cracking or oxidation.
Do you remember the housing market crash of 2008? Even if you didn’t work in real estate, it was hard to miss. Not only did it make major headlines, many in-progress home renovations were put up for sale and exciting commercial projects were halted indefinitely. We were certainly thrown into […]