- James Watson, as it turns out, is a complete prick. Shocking. Given his treatment of Rosalind Franklin in The Double Helix, frankly nothing that comes out of this man's mouth surprises me- he's always had a lack of tact. The concept of "race" is a purely socioeconomic one, which has a long, sordid, awful history in this country. No amount of science is going to fix that. If Watson has his way, such science would only make things worse.
- Roger Kornberg does chemistry! Who knew? *epic lulz* In an incredible paper that came out in Science this week, the Kornberg group isolated and got a crystal structure of a gold nanoparticle with 102 Au atoms capped by 58 mercaptobenzoic acid ligands. Given the difficulty of generating sufficiently monodisperse nanoparticles to even make crysals, this is quite an achievement. A great read! (thanks to anonymous for the tip, whoever you are.)
- Another cool paper from Advanced Materials, aka that one journal with the awesome research and no supporting information: the Japanese have succeeded in fabricating a gel that walks. On its own. Using metal redox chemistry and no biologicals. I, for one, submit to our walking jelly overlords, which I suspect will take over Japan, and soon the world, in the next twenty years.
- In the "yet another paper on carbon nanotubes" department, a Nano Letters paper from the Burke group at UCI, where they made a carbon nanotube radio. The nanotube acts as the AM demodulator of the radio source, and they even made a video demonstrating how it works with those newfangled iPods all the kids have nowadays. The music choice is pretty dumb (it was like muzak or something- why not some real music?), but the concept is cool.
- And finally, in the self-congatulatory deparment, an article in this week's Science about this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry going to Gerhard Ertl has the following quip:
"In an earlier phone interview with Science, Ertl was quick to offer credit to fellow researchers. His field, he says, was propelled by the parallel development of many surface characterization techniques. And, he adds, many scientists were adept at applying them--including Gabor Somorjai of the University of California, Berkeley, with whom he shared the 1998 Wolf Prize in Chemistry for their work in surface science. "I was a little bit disappointed he didn't share [the Nobel Prize] with me," Ertl says. Last week, several chemistry bloggers went further, arguing that Somorjai deserved recognition for his vital role in laying the foundations of surface science."
So basically 1. Gerhard Ertl is a nice guy; 2. Ertl also thinks Somorjai should have won; 3. Apparently the chemblagosphere whined loud enough about this that Science took notice and felt it necessary to add that last part in. I feel partly responsible. Yay me!
I think this is a point worth repeating. There are some things that science can't fix. Race discrimination is undoubtedly one of those things.
EDIT: The video is on YouTube! woot
There, that should keep you occupied for the weekend. See you Monday!