Thursday, April 16, 2009

a new blog to watch

Emily Monosson has a blog that has been recommended to me, called the Neighborhood Toxicologist. I'm linking it from here, from the list of Stuff I Like that is in the right-hand corner of my page. I haven't had a chance to give it a close inspection but I have reason to believe it'll be good.

Meanwhile, in Ochem the current topic is Electrophilic Aromatic Substitution. In an email conversation with a student, I was drawn in to a discussion about polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. There is so much descriptive chemistry I would like to include in my courses, but there just isn't much time and it is often the kind of information that is accessible to my students anyway, if I just point out to them where to look.

So with that said, I once again can plug Wikipedia, which has an excellent article on PAHs.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

biology meets chemistry meets physics meets engineering

This is one of the best cross-disciplinary stories I have seen in a while. Who'da thunk this would work? What a creative idea! Biological systems are so cool, since over time they are often optimized to utilize available materials and make the best possible use of what is in the environment.