Here are the top 10 Controlled Environments blogs throughout 2015. Visit www.cemag.us/blogs for more.
After a Nobel laureate made a comment about women causing too many distractions in the laboratory, female STEM professionals began posting photos of themselves on social media using the hashtag #distractinglysexy. Controlled Environments spoke to some of them about why STEM education is important for young girls. http://bit.ly/1JS46Tz
Blue Bell recalled its ice cream in April, after three people died from Listeria contamination. An FDA report detailed the company’s unsafe practices, and also said that Blue Bell was aware of the contamination problems in 2013. Yet consumers were glad when the product returned to store shelves. http://bit.ly/1goU5Av
San Francisco coated several walls throughout the city with a special kind of paint that repels urine — the nanotechnology spray transforms into a super hydrophobic shield, and the liquid droplets bounce off the surface. http://bit.ly/21Kjeta
Why is there such a stigma against women in STEM fields? Research shows that women who started college hoping to major in STEM fields were less firm in their choice of major than were men. Another study says that, for the most part, women lack a sense of “belonging” in certain subjects. http://bit.ly/1HvvHIy
A female platform engineer appeared on her company’s billboard, which was immediately picked apart by social media users. She fired back on Twitter with the hashtag #ILookLikeAnEngineer, which prompted a huge response from the engineering community. http://bit.ly/1TwBTD3
The Big Bang Theory announced in May that it will endow a scholarship fund at UCLA for undergraduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields — the first time that a scholarship endowment has been created at UCLA by the cast and crew of a television series. Twenty first-year UCLA students visited the set of The Big Bang Theory in October to meet the cast and crew of the hit CBS sitcom. The endowment has raised over $4 million to support first-year students studying for degrees in STEM fields. The fund will choose five additional scholars each year in perpetuity. http://bit.ly/1TUAHKr
The Shroud of Turin — the purported burial cloth of Jesus Christ — underwent a new genomic DNA study. The results say that the shroud could have originated in Israel and traveled around the world before winding up in Italy; or the shroud was created in medieval Europe but was contaminated by worshipers and plants from around the globe. http://bit.ly/1NS7Yab
In an effort to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and develop transportation that utilizes clean energy, several organizations have attempted to build aircraft that relies on solar power and graphene to get in the air. Nanotechnology researchers have theorized about graphene being used for solar-powered spacecraft. A proposed “quantum airplane” would eschew fossil fuels in favor of hydrogen engines and solar panels on the roof and wings. http://bit.ly/1XWSL74
The James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, is currently under construction in a cleanroom at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Engineers need to clean the telescope mirrors without scratching them, so “snow cleaning” is performed by shooting carbon dioxide snow at the surface of the mirror. In an exclusive Controlled Environments interview, an engineer spoke about the delicate cleaning process. http://bit.ly/1NBZPVq
The deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma, is most commonly caused by ultraviolet light, which can be found in natural sunlight and tanning beds. A French swimware company has developed a bikini that’s embedded with a UV sensor that inform the wearer when she’s been exposed to the sun for too long. The sensor monitors the temperature and then sends an alert to the user’s smart device to encourage them to reapply sunscreen or move to a shady area for protection. http://bit.ly/1L3gMUO
MaryBeth DiDonna is Editor of Controlled Environments. email@example.com
This article appeared in the November/December 2015 issue of Controlled Environments.