BunsenBwog: Yesteryear’s Science of Tomorrow Today!

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Hey check out the science I found in this tube!

When they’re not headbanging or falling for our anecdote baiting, Columbia faculty enjoy getting dirty in the lab. Bwog takes a moment to look back on this week in science. Headlines were compiled by test-tube enthusiast Zach Kagan.

CSI is real—Columbia’s nanoscience brainboxes have created a device that can sequence DNA at the speed of a primetime crime drama. By dragging DNA through a nanopore, the individual nucleic acids create an electric potential that is analyzed by a computer. And at under $1000 dollars, it makes finding the father all that more affordable. Now if only the labs can find a way to enhance it.

What’s your poison? Chances are you didn’t say arsenic, but if you are drinking from a shallow well you might be swigging the unpopular chemical. A new Columbia study says that minerals in wells dug below 500 feet purify water from deadly arsenic, so remember to dig deep before you get your sip on.

Women of Columbia and Barnard: do you want to make $8000? That’s what Columbia researchers are offering for the donation of human eggs to create patient-specific stem cells (research that got a shout out on last week’s BunsenBwog). This has caused a bit of a controversy as some have described the incentive system as a slippery slope that leads to selling organs. But while the bioethicists wrestle with the issue there’s time for you to put your student debt in a headlock.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure-trove of alternative energy. Columbia’s Earth Engineering Center claims that, if recycled using current technology, all the plastics thrown away annually could fuel 6 million cars or power 5.2 million homes for a whole year. Bwog has one word for you: plastics.

Don’t listen to what that guy down the hall with the Bob Marley poster says: a new study at the Mailman School claims that marijuana use doubles the chance of getting into a car accident.

Tubetouchers via wikimedia commons.

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  1. CC female  

    Where do I sign up to give my eggs? 8000 dollars would change my life.

  2. Anonymous  

    eggs do grow back...

  3. 8000 dollars by

    12 eggs/ year by 50 years is a lot of money.

  4. Anonymous

    Arsenic contamination of ground water is major problem in most countries including USA. Arsenic is not only a poison but also a carcinogen. EPA approved levels are 10ppb but most public water supply systems exceed significantly this number.

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