Tag: science

The universe and your morning coffee

The universe and your morning coffee

In a closed system, like the universe, entropy can only stay the same or increase over time. And yet we see rich complexity emerge, both here on Earth (including life itself!) and across the cosmos. How does this apparent order emerge in a system with increasing entropy? The answer lies in your morning coffee.

Yes, it is safe to drink and breastfeed

Yes, it is safe to drink and breastfeed

After a long pregnancy, I was looking forward to my first refreshing beer. But I worried about what impact having a drink would have on my breast milk. There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there.

Big Reaction: Nanoscale etching a penny

Big Reaction: Nanoscale etching a penny

My lab is located at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL), just up the hill from UC Berkeley. The lab is home to a wide range of cool research and cutting edge technology. The demo shown here, produced by the Molecular Foundry at LBL, showcases two different techniques for creating nanoscale features.

New tax plan will devastate graduate students

New tax plan will devastate graduate students

The latest tax reform bill, passed this Thursday by the House of Representatives, will devastate American competitiveness in science and tech. The bill would see taxes on graduate students increase by, on order, a staggering $10,000 per year.

Inheritance is inescapable for us animals after all

Inheritance is inescapable for us animals after all

Lateral gene transfer–grabbing genes from other individuals or even other species–plays a big role in evolution for bacteria and other single-celled organisms (prokaryotes). But the last few years have seen a string of studies supporting the idea that this mechanism might be more important than we thought for animals.

Fresh off the ArXiv: Data mining for better materials synthesis

Fresh off the ArXiv: Data mining for better materials synthesis

Materials design–where the material constituents and synthesis method are determined based on the desired functionality of the final product–remains one of the Holy Grails of material science. A new software tool developed primarily at Oak Ridge National Laboratory aims to tackle the problem through a combination of data mining, crowd sourcing, and machine learning.