Wednesday, December 23, 2015

10 Top Retractions of 2015, from Retraction Watch

Peer-review and fine editorial process do not guarantee scientific integrity and valid research results, sadly enough.  As reported in The Scientist, Retraction Watch has published its Top 10 Retractions of 2015 and the list includes published articles from such high profile titles as Science, Cell, Cancer Research, and Genes and Development.  Errors in judgment, neglecting essential statistical tests, falsifying data, plagiarism, and faulty study design were all reported.   Critical evaluation by all reviewers, editors and readers is still needed, even for high profile researchers with distinguished careers and piles of papers to their credit.  Fraudulent research can lead to legal action, a prison sentence and a judicial decision that grant funding must be repaid. Oh my.

Adam Marcus, Alison McCook, and Ivan Oransky contributed reporting on The Scientist story.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Dan Stinebring publishes in Astrophysical Journal with the NANOGrav Collaboration

Dan Stinebring, Physics and Astronomy, is one of 44 researchers from 12 different states plus Canada, China, England and Germany who co-authored this paper, just indexed in Web of Science:

The NANOGrav nine-year data set: observations, arrival time measurements, and analysis of 37 millisecond pulsars.
Astrophysical Journal 813 (1): :10.1088/0004-637X/813/1/65 NOV 1 2015.  Article no. 65.

Arzoumanian, Z; Brazier, A; Burke-Spolaor, S; Chamberlin, S; Chatterjee,
S; Christy, B; Cordes, JM; Cornish, N; Crowter, K; Demorest, PB; Dolch,
T; Ellis, JA; Ferdman, RD; Fonseca, E; Garver-Daniels, N; Gonzalez, ME;
Jenet, FA; Jones, G; Jones, ML; Kaspi, VM; Koop, M; Lam, MT; Lazio, TJW;
Levin, L; Lommen, AN; Lorimer, DR; Luo, J; Lynch, RS; Madison, D;
McLaughlin, MA; McWilliams, ST; Nice, DJ; Palliyagurui, N; Pennucce, TT;
Ransom, SM; Siemens, X; Stairs, IH; Stinebring, DR; Stovall, K; Swiggum,
JK; Vallisneri, M; van Haasteren, R; Wang, Y; Zhu, WW.

Partial Abstract:
"We present high-precision timing observations spanning up to nine years for 37 millisecond pulsars monitored with the Green Bank and Arecibo radio telescopes as part of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) project. We describe the observational and instrumental setups used to collect the data, and methodology applied for calculating pulse times of arrival; these include novel methods for measuring instrumental offsets and characterizing low signal-to-noise ratio timing results."

Access the pre-publication manuscript at ArXiv

More about NANOGrav.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Distractions on the last day of classes

Looking out and looking in ...
Looking north from the science library: jackets not needed this mild December afternoon.

Standing in the corridor: Multiple reflections give the new books a new light.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Follow the Climate Change Talks in Paris: COP21

One of thousands of books
on climate change in OBIS
These select news sources are devoting special coverage to the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Paris, beginning today.  Follow one or all of them for different perspectives.

The Christian Science Monitor

The Guardian

National Public Radio


New Scientist

The New York Times

Science  American Association for the Advancement of Science

Scientific American

Thursday, November 12, 2015

God, hyenas, hormones, methylation, synthesis, hazards, Western Reserve, meteorite and glaciers...

Random nouns from
titles of books now
on the new book shelf!
Not to forget frogs,
physician, evolution, porpoises, senses...

Come and read.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Fall is fleeting

The colors of fall gave warmth of our view last week of north quad. A few days and a hard frost later, yellow leaves have dropped.  The window seats are a favorite, in every season.

Friday, October 30, 2015

New publications from students and faculty: Elrod, FitzGerald, and Petersen

Oberlin affiliated author names are in bold print:

Fig 1. Aerial view of experimental wetland cells taken in 2006.
Brandt, EC, et al. PLoS ONE
Erika C. Brandt, John E. Petersen, Jake J. Grossman, George A. AllenDavid H. Benzing. (2015) Relationships between Spatial Metrics and Plant Diversity in Constructed Freshwater Wetlands.
PLoS ONE 10(8): e0135917. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0135917
Open access at Public Library of Science.

FitzGerald, Stephen A.; Eckdahl, Christopher T.; McDonald, Cooper S.;
Nelson, Jocienne N.; Shinbrough, Kai; Lai, Holden W. H.; Rowsell, Jesse
L. C. (2015)
Orientational ortho-H-2 pair interactions in the microporous framework MOF-5.
Physical Review B, 92 (13):10.1103/PhysRevB.92.134304 OCT 9 2015
Subscriber access at American Physical Society

Stropoli, Santino J.; Elrod, Matthew J. (2015)
Assessing the Potential for the Reactions of Epoxides with Amines on Secondary Organic Aerosol Particles.
Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 119 (40):10181-10189; 10.1021/acs.jpca.5b07852 OCT 8 2015
Subscriber access at American Chemical Society


Monday, October 12, 2015

Searching for unicorns

Longing to see a mythic beast?  Check out:

The last unicorn : a search for one of Earth's rarest creatures / William DeBuys.
QL737.U53 D434 2015. [on the new book shelf]

We have this book because of an excellent segment on NPR's On Point with guest host Jane Clayson, May 26, 2015.  If you don't have time to read the book right now, listening to Jane Clayson's interview with conservationist and author William DeBuys is the next best thing.

The "unicorn" is a saola, by the way - known to science for a little over two decades.  It's a good story!

Friday, October 09, 2015

Historical Ecology and the Landscape of Confucius

A new publication from Joshua Wright, Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology:
"The Anthropocene and the landscape of Confucius: A historical ecology of landscape changes in northern and eastern China during the middle to late-Holocene."
Rosen, Arlene M.; Lee, Jinok; Li, Min; Wright, Joshua; Wright, Henry T.; Fang, Hui.
Holocene vol. 25 (10):1640-1650; OCT 2015
Extracted from the abstract:
“This research provides geomorphological evidence that early human impact began in the Yangshao period with deforestation, soil erosion, and increased alluviation in the upper catchment of the Yiluo River.”  Read this in the OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center.

Learn more about the practice of historical ecology:  The historical ecology handbook : a restorationist's guide to reference ecosystems, edited by Dave Egan and Evelyn A. Howell.  Washington, DC : Island Press, 2005.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Antiparasite Drug Developers Win Nobel Prize

News of today's Nobel Prize announcement can be found in countless ways.  This is the highly readable account from The Scientist: "William Campbell, Satoshi Omura, and Youyou Tu have won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in recognition of their contributions to antiparasitic drug development."

...or listen to Rob Stein's report on  NPR Morning Edition.  Nobel Prize week is always inspiring, and this year's winners for Medicine are no exception.  Their research has led to treatment of potential benefit to the nearly 4 billion people worldwide who are exposed to these particular disease-causing parasites.

Wondering how many parasites bedevil humans?  Here's an alarming guide:
The parasites of Homo sapiens : an annotated checklist of the protozoa, helminths, and arthropods for which we are home / R.W. Ashford and W. Crewe.  Taylor & Francis, 2003.

Friday, October 02, 2015

"Luckily, I'm a botanist"

The unlikely coincidence of NASA's announcement of flowing water on Mars and release of the film "The Martian" was not lost on NPR Morning Edition host Renee Montagne or film critic Kenneth Turan.  Our botanist friends will surely appreciate the clip of Matt Damon, left stranded on Mars with the challenge of growing enough food for himself for three years on a planet that does not support plant growth:  "Mars will come to fear my botany powers."  Love it!  Listen to Kenneth Turan's review.  Cory Powell offers "10 Quick Thoughts about Water on Mars" on his blog hosted by Discover Magazine.

There is an abundance of literature on Mars readily available in the science library and accessible from OBIS.  Here are two excellent overviews for the non-specialist:

A Traveler's Guide to Mars / William K. Hartmann
Mars : an introduction to its interior, surface and atmosphere / Nadine Barlow
And, check out this highly entertaining reflection from Dr. Chris Martine: "Why I'm Naming a New Plant Species After The Martian," on the Huffington Post Blog [tip of the hat to Mike Moore for this lead!].

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Climate Science, 50 Years Later

From the American Association for the Advancement of Science:
On 5 November, 1965, the group now known as the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) cautioned President Lyndon B. Johnson that continued accumulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide resulting from fossil-fuel burning would “almost certainly cause significant changes” and “could be deleterious from the point of view of human beings.”
AAAS observes that fifty years later, "the reality of human-caused climate change has been reaffirmed by virtually every leading scientific organization as well as the vast majority of individual climate scientists worldwide."  The public is invited to participate in a free day-long scientific symposium to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the First Official Climate-Change Warning to a U.S. President, to "review what scientific research has revealed over the past 50 years, and offer a forward-looking assessment of the range of scientific, technological, communication, and policy options for the future."  Registration is required.  More @ AAAS.

Organized by AAAS and the Carnegie Institution for Science,
with support from the American Meteorological Society
and the Linden Trust for Conservation

Thursday, 29 October, 2015
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
1530 P Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Review article by Gunnar Kwakye, et al., on manganese and Parkinson's disease.

New publication by Neuroscience Assistant Professor G. Kwakye, indexed by Web of Science:
Manganese-Induced Parkinsonism and Parkinson's Disease: Shared and Distinguishable Features.
Kwakye, Gunnar F.; Paoliello, Monica M. B.; Mukhopadhyay, Somshuvra; Bowman, Aaron B.; Aschner, Michael

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH, 12 (7):7519-7540; 10.3390/ijerph120707519 JUL 2015.  Open access article at PubMed Central.

Partial abstract:
[This] review discusses the advances made in understanding the essentiality and neurotoxicity of Manganese (Mn). We review occupational Mn-induced parkinsonism and the dynamic modes of Mn transport in biological systems, as well as the detection and pharmacokinetic modeling of Mn trafficking. In addition, we review some of the shared similarities, pathologic and clinical distinctions between Mn-induced parkinsonism and Parkinson's disease. Where possible, we review the influence of Mn toxicity on dopamine, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), and glutamate neurotransmitter levels and function. We conclude with a survey of the preventive and treatment strategies for manganism and idiopathic Parkinson's disease.
Connect to MDPI

Published by MDPI, an open access publisher. 

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Study Carrels will be assigned Friday September 4

Study carrel sign-up is underway in the science library.  Complete your carrel request before 4pm on September 4 for the initial round of assigning carrels.

Declared science majors are given first consideration, but there are usually a good number of our 30 carrels that are assigned to others - everyone is welcome.

More information on the science library "About" page.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Oliver Sacks TED talk on Hallucination

With the death of Oliver Sacks, the world has lost another brilliant mind and generous soul.  You can appreciate his contributions, very quickly, listening to his amazing TED talk (2009), linked from National Public Radio.

The library owns many of his books; engaging, thought-provoking and delightful to read.  Borrow one soon!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Oberlin students ready to save the world: a Sierra Magazine eco-valedictorian

Cover art by Nate Williams
Oberlin ranked 5 out of the "10 coolest schools" in the United States, on the Sierra Club "green" scale, including measures of sustainability, eco-centered curriculum, energy and water usage, sources of energy and an overall culture of conservation.  Oberlin's score was 769.50, just slightly ahead of University of Connecticut and trailing a bit behind Colorado State University with its School of Global Enviornmental Sustainability.  Univesity of California, Irvine was the leader and a two-time winner, with a score of 859.75.  See the full lists and rankings @ sierra  The story is in the September/October 2015 print issue, received by donation in the science library from Sierra Club life member Alison Ricker.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Three New Publications from the Chemistry Department

Recent publications from the Chemistry department (names indicated in bold), with partial abstracts as extracted from SciFinder.
Robert Q. Thompson.
Homocapsaicin: It's NOT the 7-ene-9-methyl isomer.
Food Chemistry 2015, 182, 72-73.
There are key differences in the occurrence of homocapsaicin isomers: 6-ene-8-Me (more abundant in nature), 6-ene-9-Me (less abundant in nature), and 7-ene-9-Me (not found in nature). Nevertheless, even in scientific journals, the 7-ene-9-Me isomer has been erroneously associated with natural sources on numerous occasions.

Ren A. Wiscons, M. Zeller, and Jesse L. C. Rowsell.
Crystal structure of 2,3-dimethylmaleic anhydride: continuous chains of electrostatic attraction.
Acta Crystallographica, Sect. E: Crystallographic Communications 2015, 71, 950-955
In the crystal structure of 2,3-dimethylmaleic anhydride, C6H6O3, the closest non-bonding intermolecular distances, between the carbonyl C and O atoms of neighboring molecules, were measured [and found to be surprisingly close]. Computational modeling suggests that this close contact is caused by strong electrostatic interactions between the carbonyl C and O atoms.  Open Access.

Liora E. Mael, Michael I. Jacobs, and Matthew J. Elrod.
Organosulfate and Nitrate Formation and Reactivity from Epoxides Derived from 2-Methyl-3-buten-2-ol.
Journal of Physical Chemistry A 2015, 119, 4464-4472
Recent work has suggested that 2-methyl-3-butene-2-ol (MBO)-derived epoxide intermediates are responsible for some of the molecular species commonly found in ambient secondary organic aerosol (SOA). Nuclear magnetic resonance techniques were used to study the reaction kinetics and products of two potential MBO-derived epoxides under acidic solution conditions in the presence of sulfate and nitrate nucleophiles… the nucleophilic reactions were observed to be quite regiospecific, and the tertiary addition product species were found to hydrolyze on atmospherically relevant time scales.
order a reprinted issue from ACS

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Visual Guide to Understanding Climate Change

Just released: the ultimate visual guide to understanding climate change from the world's leading experts: the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

To supplement the IPCC: we have SO many wonderful books to guide you through the complexity of climate change findings and publications: from considering varying data sets, long-term projections, variability of climate models, the politics of climate, and more.   I recommend Climate Peril.  It will get your attention.

The essential news: it's bad, it's getting worse, we all need to try and make it better. Please. Browse the shelves virtually: QC 903, then come read to understand why slowing global warming to mitigate climate disruption is essential for our well-being, now and decades into the future.

Friday, July 10, 2015

CLOSED Mon-Wed July 13-15

photo credit:  Maya Iverson OC'12
The Science Library will be closed for much needed maintenance on Monday-Wednesday, July 13-15. No library staff will be onsite, but the science librarian will monitor email for any queries regarding online access to library resources. Email: We apologize for the inconvenience.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Further research published from Rowsell and FitzGerald collaboration

The Royal Society of Chemistry has published further research from the labs of the late Jesse Rowsell, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Stephen FitzGerald, Department of Physics and Astronomy. Research students Cassandra Zentner (OC '13), Holden Lai (OC '15), Joshua Greenfeld (OC '11), and Ren Wiscons (OC '15), all of the Rowsell lab, were instrumental in completing this work and manuscript, published posthumously under Rowsell's name.

Zentner is corresponding author on the paper. Congratulations to all of the authors for continuing the work and producing a fine record of results.

Zentner CA, Lai HWH, Greenfield JT, Wiscons RA, Zeller M, Campana CF, Talu O, FitzGerald SA, Rowsell JLC. 2015. High surface area and Z′ in a thermally stable 8-fold polycatenated hydrogen-bonded framework. Chemical Communications 51(58) July 7:11642-5.
Access at the Royal Society of Chemistry or at OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center. Published online June 16, 2015; print issue is dated July 7, 2015.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Climate change is all around. Get the facts.

Among the burgeoning collection of books on the new book shelf are many important and timely titles on different aspects of climate change.  Check them out!  Be the informed person who recognizes the difference between a climate change denier (a more accurate term than skeptic, in this context) and someone who understands the magnitude of this grave challenge to ecosystems worldwide.

Climate change, water and agriculture : towards resilient systems.

Climate, energy, and water : managing trade-offs, seizing opportunities.

Climate justice : vulnerability and protection.

Climate shock : the economic consequences of a hotter planet.

The politics of global climate change.

Climatology versus pseudoscience : exposing the failed predictions of global warming skeptics.

There are SO many more titles, in every subject area of the science library collection, on the new book shelf now!  'Tis the annual bounty of June deliveries to the science library.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Rats on a gambling task tell us something about decision making in schizophrenia

A new publication by Assistant Professor of Neuroscience Tracie Paine:

Paine TA, O'Hara A, Plaut B, Lowes DC. 2015. Effects of disrupting medial prefrontal cortex GABA transmission on decision-making in a rodent gambling task. Psychopharmacology (Berl ) 232(10):1755-65

Partial abstract:  "Decision-making is a complex cognitive process that is mediated, in part, by subregions of the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC). Decision-making is impaired in a number of psychiatric conditions including schizophrenia. Notably, people with schizophrenia exhibit reductions in GABA function in the same PFC areas that are implicated in decision-making… [The data collected in this experimental study of rat cognitive function] provide proof-of-concept evidence that disruptions in GABA transmission can contribute to the decision-making deficits in schizophrenia."
Full text at OhioLINK EJC or SpringerLink.

Monday, May 18, 2015

And they're gone...

Science Library north reading area
Just like that, the semester is over, with nary an indication that every seat was filled just three days ago.  The stillness of the library the first morning after finals frenzy is not a surprise - but it feels strange, nonetheless.  Just a brief lull before alumni and commencement visitors fill the town!

Library Hours, May 18 - Aug 25

Mon - Fri 9am-12pm & 1-4:30pm
Sat - Sun  CLOSED

We will also be closed:
May 25, July 3 and July 13-15.

Friday, May 15, 2015

New Publications from Craig, Fitzgerald, Simen, and Woods, with alumni

Oberlin authors are noted in bold font.  Use Journal Finder to access these journals.

Craig, Norman C., [with former students:] Appiah, Kwabena J., Miller, Charles E., Seiden, Michael V, Varley, Joseph E. 2015. Reevaluation of matrix-isolation infrared spectra of the isotopologues of trans-diazene and attempts to prepare cis-diazene by photoisomerization. Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy 310:3-7.

Demaison J, Craig, Norman C, Groner P, Ecija P, Cocinero EJ, Lesarri A, Rudolph HD. 2015. Accurate equilibrium structures for piperidine and cyclohexane. Journal of Physical Chemistry A 119(9):1486-93.

FitzGerald, Stephen A., Schloss, Jennifer M., Pierce, Christopher J., Thompson, Benjamin, Rowsell, Jesse LC, Yu K, Schmidt JR. 2015. Insights into the anomalous vibrational frequency shifts of CO2 adsorbed to metal sites in microporous frameworks. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 119(10):5293-300.

Freestone DM, Simen, Patrick, Balci F, Church RM. 2015. Optimal response rates in humans and rats. Journal of Experimental Psychology-Animal Learning and Cognition 41(1):39-51.

Mark, Zachary ’14, Yang H, Zimmerman A, Chen Y. 2015. Quasinormal modes of weakly charged kerr-newman spacetimes. Physical Review D 91(4):044025.

Standage D, Wang D, Heitz RP, Simen, Patrick. 2015. Toward a unified view of the speed-accuracy trade-off. Frontiers in Neuroscience 9:139.

Woods, Kevin. 2015. Presburger arithmetic, rational generating functions, and quasi-polynomials. Journal of Symbolic Logic 80(2):433-49. [current volumes are not available online to Oberlin users; use ILL]

Monday, April 27, 2015

From New York to South Africa: Publications from Simonson and Dorfler, Geology Department

New publications from Oberlin authors, as found in Web of Science:
Dorfler, Kristin M., Caddick, M. J., and Tracy, R. J., 2015.
Thermodynamic Modeling of Crustal Melting Using Xenolith Analogs from the Cortlandt Complex, New York, USA.  Journal of Petrology  v. 56, no. 2, p. 389-408.

Simonson, Bruce M., Goderis, S., and Beukes, N. J., 2015.
First detection of extraterrestrial material in ca. 2.49 Ga impact spherule layer in Kuruman Iron Formation, South Africa.  Geology  v. 43, no. 3, p. 251-254.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Thoughtful authors for inquiring readers: activism, catastrophe, insurgency, and the ephemera of life on this lucky planet

The new book shelf is brimming with books full of big ideas to challenge your thinking.  Here are just a few titles to get you started:

So many wonderful books awaiting your discerning and thoughtful response!  Living on this lucky planet calls us to pay attention to what is important and what needs to be done to sustain life and a healthy, holistic environment.  These authors can help along the way.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Publication on Kerr black hole momentum by Assistant Professor of Physics Robert Owen

Recently published:  Lovelace, G; Scheel, MA; Owen, Robert, Physics & Astronomy Dept; Giesler, M; et al. 2015.

Nearly extremal apparent horizons in simulations of merging black holes.
Classical and Quantum Gravity 32(6):065007  [A journal from Institute of Physics @ IoPScience]

Partial abstract:
The spin angular momentum S of an isolated Kerr black hole is bounded by the surface area A of its apparent horizon: 8 pi S A. We show that the overspun surfaces are indeed superextremal: our lower bound on their Booth-Fairhurst extremality exceeds unity. However, we confirm that these superextremal surfaces are always surrounded by marginally outer trapped surfaces (i.e., by apparent horizons) with 8 pi S < A. The extremality lower bound on the enclosing apparent horizon is always less than unity but can exceed the value for an extremal Kerr black hole.

Access on the OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

GeoScienceWorld E-Books added to OBIS

The library has added nearly 90 new titles to our e-book collection, from the provider GeoScienceWorld - also known as GSW.  The easiest way to browse these titles is through OBIS, with a keyword search on GSW.

Here are just three of the new titles, from three different publishers:

Energy resources for human settlement in the solar system and earth's future in space / edited by William A. Ambrose, James F. Reilly II, and Douglas C. Peters.  American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 2013

Insights into the Michigan Basin : salt deposits, impact structure, youngest basin bedrock, glacial geomorphology, dune complexes, and coastal bluff stability / edited by Robb Gillespie.  Geological Society of America, 2013

Minerals at the Nanoscale / edited by F. Nieto, K.J.T. Livi, and R. Oberti
Imprint London : Mineralogical Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 2013

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Science Advances: new open access journal from AAAS and Science.

Science Advances: significant research, open access
A "new generation" journal has been welcomed at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, publisher of the highly respected, high impact journal Science.  Science Advances was officially launched last month, as the open access addition to the Science family of journals.  From today's email announcement:
"Science Advances features high quality, peer-reviewed research across the sciences—in an open access, digital-only format.  Science Advances welcomes research from all disciplines, providing top-tier peer review, expert editing, and rapid publication—all for one low fee."
It is an exciting move for Science and the AAAS, and the first bevy of articles are tantalizing in both content and ease of access.  This random sample of summation statements taken from the website hints at the diversity of research areas that are and will be represented in the new journal.  Take a look!
"Aversive experiences summated during fighting in crickets activate the NO signaling pathway, which promotes the decision to flee and results in post-conflict depression of aggression.
"Dating of coral tombs sheds light on ancient trans-oceanic civilization.
"Ice core records show that anthropogenic Pb pollution levels from road traffic in South America exceed those of any historical metallurgy.
"Ancient Mesoamerican settlements obey the same scaling laws as modern cities despite vast differences in economy, technology and political organization.
"Evidence suggests that Western North America will be drier at the end of the 21st century than any period of the last 1000 years.
"An analysis of networks of graduate-to-faculty hires reveals systematic hiring biases and patterns."  -- from the list of archived articles.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Endocannabinoids, heresy, algal biotechnology, chemistry teaching, the golden mole, morality and fossil fuels - such a wide range of topics in a small shipment of books.

Today's shipment of new books is delightful in terms of its reach into diverse areas of study:  diving deep into science during the Victorian area before leaping into the latest findings on the endocannabinoidome; then hopping through discourses on designing a chemistry teaching lab, controlling communicable diseases, understanding environmental conflict through the lens of mountaintop mining, the evolution of animal weapons and plants thriving in seemingly impossible conditions.  It's a wonderful example of the breadth and depth of the science library collection - come check it out!  See the new book list.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Chemical whimsy to transport you away

"Elements of chemical whimsy" can transport you away when you "encounter them amidst the serious business of science."  This is the premise of a new volume in the American Chemical Society Symposium Series: A Festival of Chemistry Entertainments, edited by Jack Stocker and Natalie Foster.

There are, indeed, little gems of witty observations and rye humor here.  It will be most meaningful to readers with a nodding acquaintance to chemistry - but not only to those chemically minded individuals.  Read about the cat who co-published a seminal paper in low temperature physics, a parody published by the distinguished German journal Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft, the shortest abstract (one word) published in Chemical Abstracts (the database now known as SciFinder), and plenty of obscure clues for chemistry themed crossword puzzles - not to mention a rousing update to the song of chemical elements.

Now on the new book shelf.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Protect the coast lands before we arrive at the last beach

The Last Beach, by Orrin Pilkey and Andrew Cooper, is a scary and true story - multiple stories - of the many ways we are racing towards degradation of that thin place between sea and land that was once pristine.  The threats to robust shorelines impact every part of the planet, since an ecologically sound interface between ocean and terrestrial life is essential for a healthy ocean and the world's oceans are integral to maintaining global ecosystems.

All is not lost nor hopeless, but action is needed now - scientifically based action, not for political or spurious economic gain - to restore beaches to their proper role in the ocean/land equation.

The print copy is now on the new book shelf, or read the book online [access through OBIS].

Friday, February 20, 2015

Dodging extinction

Here's another book to add to your collection of "stuff to read when I have more time" -- and then reconsider its placement on the pile and spend some time with it right now.

You can read a preview on the NCSE website:
Dodging extinction : power, food, money and the future of life on Earth, by Anthony D. Barnosky University of California Press, 2014

Barnosky is a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, Curator in the Museum of Paleontology, and Research Paleoecologist in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley. "When a paleontologist warns that something very unusual in Earth's history is taking place right now, everyone ought to pay attention," writes Elizabeth Kolbert, the author of The Sixth Extinction. "Dodging Extinction should serve as a wake-up call to the world." [excerpted from Evolution and climate education update for February 20, 2015]

Thanks to the National Center for Science Education for making the preview available.  The science library copy is available to borrow, as of this afternoon.  Come check it out!  There is plenty of other thoughtful reading at the NCSE site; head on over to the blog for more:

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Publication from FitzGerald and Rowsell, with staff and student collaborators

This just published: a collaborative effort of physics and chemistry faculty, staff and a recent alumna.  We remember here with great affection the late Jesse Rowsell, associate professor of chemistry.

Journal homepage
as indexed in Web of Science:

Infrared overtone spectroscopy of adsorbed hydrogen in MOF-5.
FitzGerald, Stephen A. (Physics); Nelson, Jocienne N. ‘14 (Physics); Gilmour, Elizabeth (Physics); Rowsell, Jesse L. C. (Chemistry).
access in OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center or Elsevier's

Semiexperimental Equilibrium Structure in Polyenes

A new publication from Emeritus Professor of Chemistry Norm Craig et al., as indexed in Web of Science:

Electron De localization in Polyenes: A Semiexperimental Equilibrium Structure for (3E)-1,3,5-Hexatriene and Theoretical Structures for (3Z5Z)-, (3E5E)-, and (3E,5Z)-1,3,5,7-Octatetraene

Craig, Norman C.; Demaison, Jean; Groner, Peter; Rudolph, Heinz Dieter; Vogt, Natalja

JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A, 119 (1):195-204; 0.1021/jp510237h JAN 8 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Even Snow Creatures Want to Read

A bit of Winter Term whimsy... this snow creature appeared recently at the science library northeast corner, perfectly poised for over the shoulder reading.  Carmen Azevado seems unfazed by the scrutiny.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Student and Faculty publications in Neuroscience and Geology

New publications from Oberlin students and faculty, as indexed in Web of Science:

Leslie, William R. (OC’15), Kristopher B. Karnauskas, and Jan H. Witting. 2014. The equatorial undercurrent and TAO sampling bias from a decade at SEA (vol 31, pg 2015, 2014). Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 31 (12) (DEC): 2871-. [Oberlin users, access this through JournalFinder]

Goldfarb, Stephanie; Naomi E. Leonard; Patrick Simen, Assistant Professor Neuroscience; Carlos H. Caicedo-Nunez; and Philip Holmes. 2014. A comparative study of dift diffusion and linear ballistic accumulator models in a reward maximization perceptual choice task. Frontiers in Neuroscience 8 (AUG 5): 148.

Karsilar, Hakan; Patrick Simen, Assistant Professor Neuroscience; Samantha Papadakis (OC’15); and Fuat Balci. 2014. Speed accuracy trade-off under response deadlines. Frontiers in Neuroscience 8 (AUG 15): 248.

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Friday, January 09, 2015

Open Access article: Elrod, et al., on organic aerosol components.

A new publication from the Elrod laboratory, as indexed in Web of Science: 

Birdsall, Adam W. ’14; Miner, Corina R. ’15; Mael, Liora E. ’16; Elrod, Matthew J., Professor of Chemistry.
Mechanistic study of secondary organic aerosol components formed from nucleophilic addition reactions of methacrylic acid epoxide.

ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS, 14 (23):12951-12964;  2014.  Open access