Basic biotechnology lab experiments involving the isolation, digestion and analysis of DNA are an exciting part of the modern biology curriculum. Today’s students are eager to learn about forensic investigations, DNA forensics and other biotechnology applications. This safety note discusses safety issues associated with forensic inquiry and biotechnology experiments. Continue reading
Basketball is a fast-moving game of improvisation, contact and, ahem, spatio-temporal pattern recognition. Rajiv Maheswaran and his colleagues are analyzing the movements behind the key plays of the game, to help coaches and players combine intuition with new data. Bonus: What they’re learning could help us understand how humans move everywhere. Continue reading
This project started with a Bungee Barbie activity (this one was developed by Stephanie Minor, DSBN and translated into French by me). This activity was great, as it helped students develop skills in making predictions and measuring results of trials and making modifications based on those trials. Continue reading
Less than a tenth the size of an ant, a dust mite’s whole world is contained in the dusty film under a bed or in a forgotten corner. This realm is right under our noses, but from our perspective, the tiny specks of brilliant color blend together into a nondescript grey. What are these colorful microscopic particles? Michael Marder explores the science of dust. Continue reading
He was the king of food psychology, even influencing how American schools offer lunches to their students. So why has Dr. Brian Wansink fallen from grace? And what lessons can we learn about how scientific research should be conducted? And exactly who are “the data detectives”? Continue reading
A retired icebreaker is making its way around the country to study Canada’s coasts. CBC’s Brett Ruskin takes us on board the ship. Continue reading
This demonstration shows some differences between potable (drinkable) water and non-potable (non-drinkable) water. Variations in temperature, turbidity and pH level also determine the types of microorganisms that can thrive in each water sample. Continue reading
Food fraud often boils down to politics or semantics. Something labeled parmesan cheese may not come from Parma, for instance. But sometimes food producers try to feed us cheap fillers and other lies. In this episode of Speaking of Chemistry, Sophia Cai explains how scientists, regulators, and food makers are relying on chemistry to make sure consumers get what they pay for.
Want to learn even more about fighting food fraud? Check out these great resources.
Parmesan test can detect cheesy imposters | C&EN
Autheticating Food | C&EN
Food Safety Gambit | C&EN
The Parmesan Cheese You Sprinkle on Your Penne Could Be Wood |Bloomberg
Guilty pleas filed in federal criminal fake cheese cases | Food Safety News