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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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06/25/18
Trends in Technical Careers. Tandem solar Cells, Multi-stranded DNA, and Significant Digits in Statistics
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:57 pm

Three informative items came across my desk that I wish to
share.  These are either benchmarks of progress or inflection
points for the next technology generation.

.
The first is about using statistics to provide an interpretation 
of the uncertainty of a measurement.  It may have larger 
impact on small statistical samples.  This article might have been
useful for me in reporting results of one aspect from my
doctoral thesis (structure-activity relationship).
.
Most of us who have some familiarity with DNA know it as
a double-stranded helical structure revealing the chemical 
basis of biological differences.  It is interesting to read the 
speculation of Claude Gagna in “Reactions” 6-4-18 about
non-canonical nucleic acid structures and their biological
functions.
.
Finally, I was pleased to see discussion on tandem solar
cells with perovskites which may pave the way for
higher efficiencies that will get me interested in placing
solar panels on my northern city home.
.
STATISTICS:  SIGNIFICANT DIGITS
SOURCE:  S. Deming, Amer. Lab. 6-2018, p. 30

Statistics in the Laboratory:  Significant Digits and the
 Granularity of Data.”
Readers of this blog will recognize my fascination with
Deming’s short reports on statistics.  Here he helps us see 
our way to understand how some data with small sample
size can be interpreted and some questions you can ask
yourself.
.
MOTIFS IN DNA STRUCTURES POSSIBLE MOLECULAR
BIOLOGY IMPACT
SOURCE:  C Gagna, CEN Reactions CEN6-4-18, p. 3
Original citation Stu Borman .
I liked the way this was handled and reemphasized.
An original commentary on a new chemical finding was
remarked in Reactions section not long afterwards.
This line of thinking has broad implications as well.
There should be a practice in journal publication that
does this sort of follow-up to bring strong ideas up
and share them with the chemical community.  I emphasize
this for grad students and post-docs to build ideas of this
nature in your research notebooks.  It is a solid foundation
for your professional careers.
.
PEROVSKITE SOLAR CELLS IN FUTURE TANDEM 
SOLAR CELLS
SOURCE:  M . Peplow, CEN 6-11-18, p. 16
It has been talked about for decades that tandem cells 
absorbing more of the solar spectrum could yield higher
efficiencies.  The development of unique structure 
solar cells, like perovskites, should push efficiencies 
up closer to the 30s and make panels more realistic
if they can have long functional life and limited 
efficiency fading over time.
.
I will be watching this development.
   
1 comment
06/02/18
Trends in Technical Careers. Intersections with Other Fields
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Networking, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:43 am

Interesting observations in several fields that touch
on scientific realm are offered in this post.

.
Controlled Environment Agriculture.  Leading to
beneficial nutrition, yield and pharmaceutical 
value.  Tessa Pocock wrote about the photosynthetic
efficiency of different low intensity wavelengths
on plant growth, the McCree Curve.  This is a
possible application for solid state lighting and 
specific crop production.
.
CRISPR Patent Rulings.  Two sources talking
about the continuing saga of patent protection
filings from UC Berkeley and Broad Institute
are teachable moments for technology development.
The Scoop offers that the result could impact
future funding.
The Courthouse and expedited application process
is discussed in detail in a Jacob Sherkow interview.
.
AI in Science.  While the first of two articles 
addresses applications in life sciences, there are
ramifications in all fields.
AI- diagnosis and disease probability
AI- personalized medicine (skin cancer, smoking
      cessation)
AI- drug discovery using unsupervised learning
       algorithms of pattern recognition
AI- predictive analytics in clinical trials to reduce time
       and cost
AI- interpretation of scans using smart algorithms to
       assist
AI- seamless communication of health records
.
The second article by Stephen Boppart argues with
more detail about “optical biopsies” in the near
future as part of AI in diagnosis.
comments (0)
08/16/17
Trends in Technical Careers. Design of Active Pharmaceuticals
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:33 am

One of the subtopics we cover in our Professional
Development course is LCA or Life Cycle Assessment
in our class on ethics.

This is a broad impact area that leading organizations have 
adopted for processes, final products, side reactions and
recycling.
.
Recently, a committed network colleague, John Warner,
shared a pertinent article in Chemistry World that addresses
“better design of pharmaceuticals” that do no harm to the
environment when disposed.  The article cites:
 -   birth control and antidepressant drugs persisting in our clean
water supply impact dependent animal life
 - certain drugs remain present and active in vegetable irrigation
supplies and are found in consumable purchases (wash all food
stuffs!)
 
As a result, certain first world countries have implemented extra
cleaning steps to scrub water before it enters water supplies.
The article, however addresses an alternate approach I know
John has been pursuing for over 30 years and is gaining more
supporters… designing active molecules to decompose when 
disposed.
comments (0)
07/21/17
Trends in Technical Careers. Electronic Laboratory Notebooks
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 2:18 pm
Hi Dan,
How are you doing?  I would like to ask if you have any
experience using electronic labbooks in an R&D lab?
and if there is any in particular you could recommend.  
.
Thank you for any advice you can provide.
.
Best regards”
.
When I regularly attended several large conferences I tried
to look into this emerging field by speaking with vendors about
their market penetration and features for different user 
profiles.
.
Interestingly my deepest learning at this time involved
ensuring legal advice was following in purchasing, training,
and compliance.  Maintenance and regular updates for eLN were
essential as this is a emerging and evolving field.  Years have
past and eLN are essential tools.
.
Glossary of terms:
.
List of Vendors
-  at least 16 countries are represented as vendor developers
-  open source vendors are included in the list
.
eLN features:  Different fields and operations will have different requirements
It is nice to have a big picture for what customers, users, legal and
regulatory applications are provided.
 - basic functionality
 - quality, security and compliance
 - data management
.
eLN decision making
 - The system needs to organize and be able to tag, filter and search entries. 
 - all entries, imported data, and links can be exported to a generic format
(pdf, zip, xlm, etc.) for backup and reporting as well as allowing a bailout
in case the maker of the software stops development, or your funds to pay
for licence fees run dry.
 - 
support of your IT department at an early stage (selection of particular eLN).
 - h
idden costs (hardware like server, backup; on-site support and user training, )
.
What are your customers using?  How frequent are updates?
What are the computer requirements and robustness of the system?
.
These days, eLN are essential to compete
1 comment
07/06/17
Trends in Technical Careers. Influence of ‘Morphing’ of Goals, Values
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:48 am

While preparing for a seminar on Overcoming Challenges and 
Adversity, several items are worth highlighting for our blog.

The chapter, “Generational Career Shift:  Millennials and
the Changing Nature of Careers in Canada,
” by Lyons, Ng
and Schweitzer was found to contain good insights. [in
book by the same authors, 2012]
.
The original idea [for this seminar topic] resulted from 
this year’s class suggestion and a seminar by
N. Halpern, 
on Careers for Mid-level Professionals.
.
Think about it.  100 years ago people lived, on average, to
48 years, whereas now it is beyond 78.  The length and nature
of careers has and continues to change this life span and equally
important our values and goals.
.
People seek much more control over their career paths, seek
personal satisfaction [over organizational], pursue advancement
[over organizational commitment] and realize multiple careers.
.
The seminar will discuss how we need to encourage
 - adapting to adversity and challenges by seeing them as
opportunities to learn useful skills
 - building personal resilience skills [see Sandberg, Grant ]
 - developing critical habits, including listening and
effectively managing technological tools.
comments (0)
05/27/17
Trends in Technical Careers. Resources for Unpredictable Futures
Filed under: First Year on Job, Post-docs, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:50 am

We have brought up Mlodinow’s book, Subliminal, that offers
that human’s memory faculties are faulty.  One suggestion is to
create a research notebook for yourself– it could be new business
ideas, new research projects, new and improved products…

.
We cannot sit still in this fast evolving world.  We have minimal
memory resources, until computers evolved, and we can easily
store ideas, links and lists.  
.
This entry offers two trends worth noting that you may incorporate,
even if you are not currently engaged in fields.  Things are both
changing and unpredictable and it helps to try to be open-minded
both to new directions and opportunities.
.
DRUG DISTRIBUTION:  MALDI-MSI
Cornett offered an keen review of an approach yielding new 
insights into risk assessment of pharma candidates .  Matrix-
assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectral imaging is
used to visualize where in samples chemicals and metabolites
are distributed in model system sections.
.
Cornett indicates that this tool might be required to
inform decisions on regulatory submissions, as it offers
deeper understanding of pharmacology and toxicology.
.
NOVEL CHEMISTRY:  COMMERCE
Novel chemistry is found in patent literature, chemical journals
and offered by custom chemical firms.  If it were one and 
done, it would not be so special.  
TCI Tokyo Chemical Industries 
Co. Ltd., America
provides a substantial series of categories of ideas and resources.  
Here are several:
-  Glycoscience building blocks
-  Liquid Crystal building blocks
-  Pharmaceutical Ingredients
-  Review articles on various topics
.
The idea is to open up our resource notebook to various inputs
for continuous learning.
1 comment
12/15/16
End of the Year Career Management. 2016
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mentoring, Leadership, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 12:52 pm

Three top line topics have appeared this year:
1) Evolving trends in technical careers
2) Professional Behaviors that can help you
3) High Need for New Division in ACS– Economics
and Chemistry [Not only short periodic webinars that
are at 30,000 foot level and CEPA] 

*Trends in Technical Careers   
   Protein Binding, Quaternary Structure, Thorium Reactors
   Drug Resistance, Crowdsource Funding, Teamwork in High Risk Goals
   New forms of Light, Epidemiology, Cell research  
   Photonics and Si-C chemistry
   Omics, Panomics
   Optics, Spectroscopy and Miniaturization

*Professional Behaviors
   -Learning to Say “No”
   -Listening Skills          Activities of a Listener
                                        Focus elements
   -Trust                           Highest form of Motivation
                                        Elements of Communication  
   -Ethics                          Legal elements
                                        In Decision-making

*Economics and Chemistry
    New Division Proposal
    Need for “Forecasting”
    Superstar Organizations
    Financialization

 

comments (0)
11/27/16
Trends in Technical Careers. Photonics and Silicon-Carbon Evolution
Filed under: Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 11:25 am

As we look to intersecting fields with the chemical enterprise,
photonics continues to make enormous strides.  Related
fields include optomechanics [interaction of EM radiation and
mechanical vibrations], opto-atomics [in precision time-keeping,
metrology, etc.], and polaritonics [carrier is polariton].
.

My exposure and, perhaps, many readers is with photochemistry
energy levels and quantum mechanics.  With the advent of
lasers, emitting diodes, nonstoichiometric compounds, 
nanomaterials and devices, a wider range of materials, devices,
timeframes, meta-structures and forces/particles emerges as
significant.  Photonics opens a wider range of career paths and
suggests attention to SPIE news and developments.  SPIE is
also a leader in the open-access realm of technical publications.
.
Note the digital library and upcoming conference is available.
.
So much of the origin of photonics is silicon based.  In addition,
the natural abundance and similarity of silicon to carbon
coordination bring up a question to the curious– what about 
silicon and silicon-carbon based evolution?
.
A recent Science publication highlighted in an article in
CSM points out how bacteria isolated from Iceland’s hot
springs have enzymes that efficiently form C-Si bonds. 
This brings us back to some chemistry.
comments (0)
11/20/16
Trends in Technical Careers. Omics and Panomics
Filed under: Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:37 pm

Genome, proteome, epigenome, metabolome,
pharmacogenome and dozens of other fields of study involve
chemistry.  They all relate informally to the characterization
of molecular entities in biological fields translating into the
structure, function and dynamics of organisms.

Wiki sketches the word suffix origin.
Omics International pulls together open access publications
and conferences aiming to taking science, engineering,
technology 
and management of biological fields and disseminate
broadly.  Panomics is a more inclusive term for interaction with
all biological functions within a cell and with other body
functions by combining data from targeted tests, global assays 
with other patient-specific information. 
.

Pharmaceutical enterprises face complex networks in understanding
and developing therapies for diseases.  More systems wide biology
based approaches
(-omics) provide one of the directions to develop
predictive and actionable models
 
So we see this in the evolution of epigenomics, lipidomics,
and lipoprotein proteomics.  Recently, interesting reports of
the human connectome project which studies how the brain is
wired and how this wiring relates to brain function by
integrating many 
diverse sources.
This -omics factoring should be looked for in reports of newly
developed approaches like CRISPR/Cas9

comments (0)
11/03/16
Trends in Technical Careers. Optics, Spectroscopy and miniaturizing instruments
Filed under: Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:15 pm

Do you feel amazed each time you read about new advances
where one of the fundamental components is optical?  I am.  
Optical fabrication and materials  play a central role in many
things we do– practical every day, engineering and scientific.

The first reference is in Photonics Spectra magazine which
gives major milestones in optics fabrication.
The second is a link to a compact review of real world applications
and methods of applied spectroscopy.
.
The third is a link to a review on miniaturization driven by reduced
costs and space impacts combined with advances in microelectronics.
.
OPTICS FABRICATION
SOURCE:  History of Optics Fabrication  2  PHOTONICS
SPECTRA  Vision History
What this sketch outlines is an 800 year acceleration of development
especially over the last half century.  This is part of a review by
Marie Freebody .  It can be overlooked  as so many devices 
combine optical tools with spectroscopic and multi-laser 
sources and computer integrated sampling.
.
REAL WORLD SPECTROSCOPY
SOURCE:  Annual Industrial Trends Spectroscopy  
Nice appropriate review on some of the latest developments
including Total-reflection X-ray Fluorescence, Laser-induced
breakdown spectroscopy at small scales, rapid cancer detection
FT-IR and peptide folding using laser-Raman.
3-D imaging and continuously increasing complex NIRS
applications were reported and cited.
.
ADVANCES IN MINIATURIZATION
SOURCE:  V. Balaram Spectroscopy 10-16
Current Advances in Miniaturization of Analytical Instruments
Most are aware of Moore’s Law and its influence.  Miniaturization
of analytical tools is allowing scientific investigations in a number
of realms, including space exploration, geological studies, 
environmental sensors and redundancy to increase the validity 
of measurements.
comments (0)
08/13/16
Trends in Technical Careers. New form of Light, Multi parametric analysis of cells and Epidemiology Careers
Filed under: Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 12:56 pm

We have a new competitor in science, technology and
engineering fields.  It is the Internet, computers and
automation.  We can be competitive in our careers if
we can do things that computers and robots are not
best at– creativity, originality, developing new 

hypotheses and interpretation.

If you are like I am you were taken by the news that
three Irish investigators reported interpreting the
behavior of light’s angular momentum.  It goes back
many years when lasers were originally reported and
how many important devices and technologies are
based on stimulated emission.

More and more complex systems are being
experimentally interrogated using high content screening
technologies..  John Conley has authored a insightful
review of important trends that new devices enable.
Finally, in discussing potential careers after graduation
with a computational biologist we brought up
epidemiology.  For a computationally astute scientist
this is a relevant and important career path that has
been brought to the fore by relevant high content
screening and computational estimation.  This 
is more significant in being cost and time efficient.

NON-INTEGER ANGULAR MOMENTUM LIGHT
Ballantine et al have reported that light may be
characterized with a different property than wavelength.

There is speculation in how this can be applied. 

INFLUENCE OF NEW TECHNOLOGY ON HIGH
CONTENT SCREENING
John Comley surveyed the field and projects where
developments and advances will come in computational
biology especially using confocal imaging where
CRISPR-Ca9 technology will be exploited. 

COMPUTATIONAL EPIDEMIOLOGY
M. Marathe and N. Ramakrishnan outlined recent
advances and directions in their recent review.  
They wrote about future directions using synthetic
populations, social network sensors and data modeling.  
This work is of high value at CDC, MD Anderson
and Roswell Park
It is not accidental that physics, biology, biochemistry
 and computer science/mathematics is all brought
together in this entry.
comments (0)
03/18/16
Trends in Technical Careers. Tips for Telecommunication, Hacking of Scientific journals, Interviewing Strategies
Filed under: Interviewing, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 2:57 pm

Since Julian Assange opened access to critical files and
espionage, it was only a matter of time when we would
see wide spread hacking of scientific literature.  While we
do not and are not condoning hacking a recent report tells of
amazing hacking of scientific journals.

We share an article which talks about tips for professional
telecommuting and virtual meeting/interviewing.  While we
have entered previously on this topic, a couple of elements
are true and new. 

Then, I looked at a nice “Acing the interview” presentation.
The speaker gave some insight that I share as preparation
for taking interviews.

HACKING SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE
SOURCE:  A. Staller, Open Access vs. illegal Access ECS

A grad student in Kazakhstan presumably released hundreds
of scientific journal articles.  While many have come out
arguing that the current model limits scientific progress in
the Internet age, this could accelerate the process of open
access.
Yet, it remains to be seen how a justifiable income stream
can come from open access models.  Perhaps the music
model on the internet may find its way into scientific
literature for the masses.

VIRTUAL TELECONFERENCES
SOURCE:  WSJ  3-18-16 “Rules of etiquette for virtual
conferences”

While it is a common trick for interviews, this article points out
it is improper etiquette to not know all the attendees/observers
in a virtual meeting.  The “who just joined beeps” are unwanted
distractions and finding a way to say you are leaving a meeting,
via announcement or texting to or having another cover announce
your imminent return. 

PREPARATION FOR INTERVIEWS
SOURCE:  I. Bloch, Ace the Interview, Strategies

She does cover the usual story telling strategies, STAR, and
background research (salaries, glassdoor, connections,
grooming, good questions, and more), what comes out of
this webinar is 
(1) in US you have to promote yourself,
(2) identify what separates yourself from other applicants,
(3) come up with three 3 strengths  and be able to insert
them at appropriate points
(4) on weaknesses, avoid identifying a core competency issue
for the positions

1 comment
02/02/16
Trends in Technical Careers. Resistance to therapies, Crowdfunding research, Teams and innovation
Filed under: Networking, First Year on Job, Leadership, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 1:42 pm

Amazing new insights about working in the world of science and
technology poured out of a meeting last week while I was working
on other things.

They are so thoughtful and inspiring it is worth sharing them
and making the case that smaller (boutique) societies have
incredible value
.  What they aim to do is look for the unmet
needs of the larger, very topic oriented (silos of sub-disciplines).
They seek out the intersections of fields and the forefronts of
research
often outside of the realm of the larger industrial
organizations.

On reflection, three outstanding findings are shared in this
contribution about SlAS2016:  insights into resistance to
drug therapies of diseases
(cancers and ’superbugs’), crowdfunding
research, and tackling high risk, never performed team projects
with unknown outcomes.

Drug Resistance
Shana Kelley of UToronto reported chip based microfluidic
devices using electrochemical assays
to identify the bacteria
to know the proper therapies to apply.  Each year it is
estimated that 2 million  US cases of antibiotic resistant
infections, which can be caused by over use of prescription
drugs or employing the wrong agent for the infection.

An assay of redox active molecules that measures the levels
of metabolically active bacteria it the telling step in the device.
Anecdotally, having a tool like this available 90 years ago might
have saved Calvin Coolidge’s younger son.

Michael Gottesmann of NCI spoke about drug resistance found
during cancer treatment that involve at least four different
mechanisms:  target mutation, genetic mutation, cell type
changes and alterations of physiology (of blood or organs).
Cell models do not model in vivo gene expression.  calls for
coordinated treatment regimens of multiple mechanisms.

Crowdfunding
K Tom Pickard presented the case for a different research
sponsorship model that uses — “be viable or vanish”.   He cited
how this is becoming a viable approach to deal with shortfalls
in resources and seek out other sources that can have a
purposeful, entrepreneurial or doing the right thing motivation.

His primary focus is autism and he reported on use of
twitter, social media and kickstarter/ experiment.com .

Teamwork to achieve high risk goals
Adam Steitzner amazed the audience with the story of landing the
Mars Rover on the surface of Gale Crater  to answer the question
of whether there was/is life on Mars… 100 million miles away.
-   Separate people from ideas
-   Lunch with Enrico
       Get to know and like all the people you work with
-   Plan to change plans
-   Many times the answers we seek are in the questions
        Challenge all assumptions

comments (0)
01/21/16
Trends in Technical Careers. Ebola membrane binding, thorium nuclear reactors, protein quaternary structures
Filed under: Position Searching, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 4:30 pm

Research leading to beneficial outcomes in chemically
related work is highlighted in this entry.  Each of them
provide opportunities whose long term value for
investors, for society and for technical careers is
not clear.  Nonetheless, it is a signature of this
blog to present such ideas.

EBOLA MEMBRANE PROTEINS BINDING
Ebola continues to strike humans as a resurfacing
public health risk in Africa.  GENEngNews carries
an article by Gail Dutton that describes epitope
mapping work leading to antibodies for potential
vaccines and therapies.

QUATERNARY PROTEIN STRUCTURE
What I appreciated about GENEngNews article on
proteins was the practical outcomes that 92% of
known studied structures are described by a classification
scheme, 4% of which appear to be misclassified.

Having a model now allows the development of simple rules
of possible assembly types and the mechanisms, pathways
and self-assembly influences.

Implications for bioengineering and for exploring non-
systematic observations are mentioned.  While much of
the above information is given in CEN of 12-18.  It would
be nice to see authoritative commentary on the model. and
the PubMed (free) link.  This is an example of interdisciplinary
work spurred by results of mass spectrometry studies.

THORIUM NUCLEAR POWER
There is a new series in Netflix that starts with global
warming leading to the EU to stop the flow of petroleum
and point out the development of Th nuclear energy.
The Economist talked about this recently.  Most
critical discussion I have discovered was in the comments
to the Economist article
that revealed the technological
roadblock, some attempts at remedies and suggesting
possible more successful nuclear energy fuel sources
might be developed.

comments (0)
11/27/15
Trends in Technical Careers. Forecasting
Filed under: Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:49 am

Been reading Phillip Tetlock’s book “Superforecasters” since predicting
what will happen is something we often like to do in science.  As Charles
Kettering once said about his interest in the future ‘because the rest of
his life’ will be spent there.
Forecasting is hard work and can be learned.  People who do it well,
Tetlock opines, have a strong interest in information, a willingness to
adjust to new data, an ability to synthesize a view from various
perspectives, like a ‘dragonfly’s eye.’  They also pay attention to their
prediction compared to the actual result to learn from.

A rough process outline includes
    1.’unpacking’ the question into components
    2.distinguish between the known and unknown, while not leaving
assumptions untested
    3.assess the question from an objective ‘outside viewpoint’
    4.put the problem into a comparative perspective, which downplays its
uniqueness and treats it as a special case
    5.explore others’ predictions for similarities and differences
    6.pay attention to broader predictions from wider sources [wisdom
of crowds]
   7.synthesize the information and compare to actual, learning what
can be done to improve

Example discussions:
The singularity where technological intelligence overtakes human abilities
is predicted to be in 2030 [Vinge ]  and 2045 [Kurzweil ].
 Interesting competitions in forecasting provide events for evolving
approaches.

3 comments
09/25/15
Trends in Technical Careers.
Filed under: Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:10 am

Years ago, I attended a futuristic talk about the hydrogen
economy before it was “in fashion.”  This post links to
an important environmental article discussing safe handling
of hydrogen

New material science and surprising properties of
light are reported in a recent issue in the photonics
fields.

Open Science publication from the ACS comes with
Central Science.
 
SAFE HANDLING: HYDROGEN
SOURCE   L. Gallagher, American Laboratory September,
2015, P. 14, “Safe Handling of Hydrogen in the Laboratory
In addition to materials of construction, design and
specific procedures, inert gas handling facilities
are essential to purge and dilute and gas monitoring
protections and alarms must be installed and tested
regularly.  See also safe handling procedures.

Hydrogen based micro-economies will emerge just as
Tesla charging stations are proliferating.

PHOTONICS WAVES
SOURCE: Photonics Spectra, Sept. 2015
Graphene can be functionalized into a light emitter
by strategic incorporation of boron.  Nano-optics and
Spin properties of light are also highlighted in recent
issue photonics Spectra.

CENTRAL SCIENCE
SOURCES:  Interview with C. Bertozzi
                      Table of Contents
Carolyn Bertozzi is a visible leader who heads
organizations and publications and presents her
case of pursuing careers in chemistry.  Here also
is a notable effort in an open access journal.  Wish
to see more of this as it is the wave of the future
and a way that society publications can compete
with commercial publications.

comments (0)
09/16/15
Trends in Technical Careers. CRISPR, The Economist ‘Briefs’, Negotiations
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Job Offer (Situations), Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:24 am

Let me tell you about a recent exchange with a job seeker.
He asked, ‘hey what do you think of hirelifesciences?’   To
which my response was, ‘Sorry, that is not one I have worked
with.  When I visited it I noticed it lists companies and
locations, but I did not see how people are compensated,
how recent the listings are and the business relationship
to client companies (is it part of a society, for example).’

I went on to describe websites listed in the blog left column
and indicated that most jobs are not advertised.  They are
found through networking and direct contact with people.

EMERGING FIELD
I recently heard about a field that may have large impact–CRISPR.
Take a look at a short video worth our learning about.  Related
information for job seekers is a business article on firms
involved in this business
.  Did you notice how the idea connections
were made– not through a google search or a screening of lists
of positions, but through making business-technology-career
connections.

STORYTELLING
Have you seen the series of unsolved scientific mysteries in
The Economist?  Each of the six reveal factoids connected to
a lead story in fascinating stories.  Here are the first four
http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2015/08/economist-explains-10
BEGINNING OF LIFE
http://www.economist.com/news/science-brief/21660968-our-second-brief-scientific-mysteries-we-ask-whether-world-might-make-more-sense
MORE THAN ONE UNIVERSE?
http://www.economist.com/news/science-brief/21661575-third-our-briefs-scientific-mysteries-we-ask-just-what-it-makes-up-95
DARK MATTER/ COMPOSITION OF UNIVERSE
http://www.economist.com/news/science-brief/21662484-fourth-our-series-articles-scientific-mysteries-we-ask-why-mere-542m
CAUSE OF “LIFE EMERGENCE”

Their challenge is to paint an interesting landscape to a
broad readership.  One, these should be interesting topics to us.
Two, there is something to learn in how the stories are told and
illustrated.  Third, if there is some way to connect our work to
these articles it provides a nice context to our work.

NEGOTIATIONS
Negotiation Process was the topic of last week’s seminar.
Interesting possible items that might be considered were:
school loan repayment (Federal positions offer this) and “fair and
reasonable compensation” when a new position has higher deductible
insurances or rates.  See Barb Safani.  It is critical to consider the
“overall” compensation package and implications of bonuses and
incentives on taxes.

If you are asked to sign documents, you could inquire if they
will compensate you for having your lawyer review it for you.

2 comments
08/15/15
Trends in Technical Careers. Wireless, Mobile economy; Pressing Needs-Ammonia; Patent system debates
Filed under: Mature professionals, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:28 am

We do not see it but we expect remote control and
digital data access connected through wireless devices.
This provides challenges, opportunities and a need for
perceptive awareness for each of us.

One of the journals that I receive is Interface which
contains startling in-depth technical reading for a
general technical audience.  Several top-tier articles
on energy conversion and electrochemical production
of essential feedstocks.  There are several catching
articles worth perusing, from which I highlight one
on ammonia.  It is far more than just headlining
meso-facts.

A continuing debate among scientists and engineers,
innovators and inventors is the role of patents in
progress.  While not part of most graduate and post-
graduate training and more importantly reading, a
deeper awareness of the patent realm is highlighted.

HETNETS, 5G CONNECTIVITY IN YOUR FUTURE
SOURCE:  Fortune Ad Section August, 2015, p-51-3
PCIA informed us of amazing transformations happening
in our lives as we carry and use portable remote control
and communications devices with us.  A ten-fold increase
in global “traffic” is expected in four years.and we will
all be affected.  So it is “join us or get out of the way.”
Software is replacing custom hardware in creating
HETNETS heterogeneous networks and robust remote
applications, like surgery, is being conceived.
View PCIA webpage for more.

OPEN ACCESS PUBLICATION:  AMMONIA
ELECTROCHEMICAL PROCESSES
SOURCE:  Interface Summer 2015, 53ff
J. Renner, L. Greenlee, A. Herring K. Ayers,
“Electrochemical Synthesis of Ammonia:  A Low
Temperature Approach”
Among the many things we see emerging are open
access publications of high technical merit
like
the ECS journal, Interface.  One stalwart article
in this quarter’s issue is on the “mastery of nitrogen”.
The article brings together President Millard Fillmore
state of the union address, BASF’s Bosch Haber
process and selective catalysts to point out where
chemistry can make a difference in reducing where 1%
of all energy is used and 3% of all greenhouse gases
are produced.
See, for up coming article sourced above.

PATENTS
SOURCE: The Economist 8-8-15, p. 11
Time to fix patents
After defining what patents are and are not, hearing
many sides of the controversial issues of patent
protection and legal rights might be a good place
for people not versed in this important technical
topic to read and study.
The Economist offered a slanted journalist article
to shine light on an everlasting topic.  The comments
to the article reveal a much more complicated, many
sided landscape, even including some interesting
innovations in the European patent system.
Worth reading.

1 comment
06/20/15
Trends in Technical Careers. Biochemical engineering on a chip, Biogeochemistry using clumped isotopes
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Post-docs, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 11:10 am

In March 2015 this blog shared links to organs on chips
devices Donald Ingbar presented in Washington in
his plenary talk.  This entry points to a link to work
on several organs-on-chips, leading to bodies-on-chips
which could model bodies responses to radiological
and biological attacks.

Applications of an amazing isotopic phenomenon
of heavy element clumping has received more attention
and being used to explore scientific questions.

BODY-ON-A-CHIP
SOURCE:  The Economist, 6-13-15, P.75,”Towards a
Body-on-a-Chip”

Chips not containing full organs, but small colonies of
cells that replicate organ functions are being developed,
They may provide a physical test bed containing biochemical
and physical environments.  DARPA the article indicates
requests work on as many as ten organ model systems to
pursue nuclear and biological incident studies on  small
scales

ISOTOPE CLUMPING AND ISOTOPOLOGUES
SOURCES:  “What are clumped isotopes
“Photosynthesis studies using clumped isotopes.
Effects of Brine Chemistry and polymorphism on isotope
clumping

Did you know that lower temperatures favor the formation
of heavier isotope combination molecules than based on
random combinations of natural isotope ratios.  John Eiler
is credited with rationalizing this insight.  This might
have applications in biogeochemistry, Rice researchers
hypothesize.

New emerging tools such as the paleothermometer and
clumped isotope delta-47 values have been conceived based
on isotope clumping.  The tools are being used to model
complex geochemical hypotheses.

Aerodyne Research reports a tool for clumped ion measurement.

Wondered whether Dick Zare’s Cavity Ringdown spectroscopy
might be a tool for studying isotope clumpingNo references
seem to lead that way.

Comments Off
05/27/15
Trends in Technical Careers. THz, metamaterials, LiFi
Filed under: Recent Posts, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 11:25 am

Several years ago THz spectroscopy was brought to my attention
as an emerging field for research and application.  While it may
be years in the future when WiFi routers and cellphones use THz,
recent work points to medical imaging and security screening
applications.

Photonics reported making plasmonic filters with inkjet printers
for telecommunication signal enhancement.  A site to
learn more about THz domain is the RPI Center.

Metamaterials
are fabricated materials not present in nature
designed to have specific properties based on their structure.
Work on these fabricated materials is interdisciplinary and
is undergoing development in correlating linear and
nonlinear properties.  Emerging devices will make use
of higher order harmonic generation.

Wireless internet hotspots are reported to be
organized with LED light fixtures that have cost and
reliability advantages over WiFi in certain environments.
Test kits are available from the Fraunhofer institute
that is creating visible light communication systems.
 

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