Scientists Sneak Bob Dylan Lyrics into Articles

The band of researches at Karolinska Institutet have been partaking in a 17-year contest to see who can quote Bob Dylan the most in scientific articles before going into retirement. Credit: Karolinska Institutet

The band of researches at Karolinska Institutet have been partaking in a 17-year contest to see who can quote Bob Dylan the most in scientific articles before going into retirement.
Credit: Karolinska Institutet

A group of Swedish-based academics have been in a heated competition for the past 17 years – a competition over who can sneak the most Bob Dylan lyrics into articles, that is.

A group of five scientist from the Karolinska Institutet have revealed their long-running race to quote Dylan as many times as possible before retirement. The victor is to be awarded a free lunch at a local restaurant.

The competition began in 1997 after John Lundberg and Eddie Weitzberg published “Nitric Oxide and Inflammation: The Answer Is Blowing In the Wind” in Nature.

“We both really like Bob Dylan so when we set about writing an article concerning the measurement of nitric oxide gas in both the respiratory tracts and intestine, with the purpose of detecting inflammation, the title came up and it fitted there perfect,” says Weitzberg.

A few years later, the two saw an articles titled, “Blood on the Tracks: A Simple Twist of Fate,” by Jonas Frisen and Konstantinos Meletis. With this double Dylan reference, Lundberg and Weitzberg could not resist the competition. Shortly after, the two introduced “The times they are a-changin’” into an article and the battle was on.

This from The Guardian:

Word spread quickly through Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute, where all four men work, and before long there was a fifth competitor: Kenneth Chien, a professor of cardiovascular research, who is also keen to win a free lunch. By the time he met the others, he already had one Dylan paper to his name – Tangled Up in Blue: Molecular Cardiology in the Postmolecular Era, published in 1998. With five competing rivals, the pace of Dylan references accelerated. Lundberg and Weitzberg’s The Biological Role of Nitrate and Nitrite: The Times They Are a-Changin’, in 2009; Eph Receptors Tangled Up in Two in 2010; Dietary Nitrate – A Slow Train Coming, in 2011.

Read the full article here.

Weitzberg explained in an interview with The Local that they didn’t quote Dylan with strict scientific papers, only articles wrote about research by others, book introductions, and editorials.

Take a listen to the playlist we’ve compiled of some of the Dylan tracks that inspired these scientists.

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First Solar-Powered Family Car Comes to United States

Stella

The creators of Stella are dreaming of the day when their futuristic vehicle is the norm.

“Stella” is the name on every climate-cautious, pollution-loathing environmentalist’s lips.

Who is Stella? Well, she’s a car.

She may not be “pretty” by conventional standards, but Stella is the first family car powered by solar energy. The car – driven by a team of students from Eindhoven University of Technology – has just finished its road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco, fueled solely by the California sunshine.

While the car is capable of traveling 500 miles (800km) on a single charge and can clock up to 80 miles per hour, there is still one pressing question on everyone’s mind – who will drive it?

“Do you want it in your daily life? Would you want to take it to get groceries?” asked one of Stella’s drivers, Jordy de Renet, in an interview with Popular Science.

The car’s strange shape stems from a compromise for aerodynamics and allowing comfort for at least two people. Also, the wedge-shaped vehicle’s flat surface allows for more solar cell coverage.

This from Popular Science:

Stella is CO2-neutral and the first energy-positive car in the world. The solar array charges while the car is in motion as well as when it is parked. “We get more energy out of the car than is needed to drive it,” said de Renet. That power, as much as twice what the car uses, can be returned to the grid.

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Discovery Of “Diamond Nanothreads” Opens a World of Opportunity

The core of the nanothreads is a long, thin strand of carbon atoms arranged just like the fundamental unit of a diamond's structure.Credit: John Badding Lab, Penn State University

The core of the nanothreads is a long, thin strand of carbon atoms arranged just like the fundamental unit of a diamond’s structure.
Credit: John Badding Lab, Penn State University

A team of scientists have recently discovered how to produce ultra-thin “diamond nanothreads.” These nanothreads, which construct a structure more than 20,000 times smaller than average human hair, are expected to yield extraordinary properties. The new nanothreads will be stronger and stiffer than current nanotubes, and they will also be light in weight.

This means creating the potential for more fuel efficient vehicles, and even fictional-sounding endeavors – such as a “space elevator.”

This from Carnegie Science:

The team—led by John Badding, a chemistry professor at Penn State University and his student Thomas Fitzgibbons—used a specialized large volume high pressure device to compress benzene up to 200,000 atmospheres, at these enormous pressures, benzene spontaneously polymerizes into a long, thin strands of carbon atoms arranged just like the fundamental unit of diamond’s structure—hexagonal rings of carbon atoms bonded together, but in chains rather than the full three-dimensional diamond lattice.

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Note to ECS Subscribers about Swets

Swets logo

Subsidiaries of the distressed Dutch publisher Swets are up for sale after an attempt to sell the group fell through.

As you may know, Swets Information Services  has recently been receiving much attention because of its current financial position.

This news places both publishers and libraries who work with Swets in a difficult position.

We are happy to help subscribers through this situation.

If you have any questions about your subscription or any other matter we can help you with, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Subscriber.services@electrochem.org

And if you aren’t a subscriber, visit the ECS Digital Library and see what we have to offer.

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3 New Job Postings in Electrochemistry

Find openings in your area via the ECS job board.

Find openings in your area via the ECS job board.

ECS’s job board keeps you up-to-date with the latest career opportunities in electrochemical and solid-state science. Check out the latest openings that have been added to the board:

Battery Scientist
Imprint Energy – Alameda, California
Imprint Energy is seeking an exceptionally talented, innovative, and versatile Battery Scientist to join our technical team and “make it work!” This person will join a small but growing team with momentum behind them. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to shape the development of Imprint Energy’s novel battery technology from early prototypes through to application development and mass deployment. The successful candidate will have a strong background in electrochemistry and battery research and development.

Director of Research
ZincNyx Energy Solutions, Inc. – Vancouver, BC, Canada
We are looking for the right candidate to fill our Director of Research position based out of our beautiful Vancouver, BC office. The position is permanent, full time and will skyrocket the right candidate’s career!

Postdoctoral Fellow in Electrocatalysis
Miami University – Oxford, Ohio
Postdoctoral Fellow to conduct laboratory research on electrocatalysis of facet-controlled Pt-group metal nanocrystals, interpret and analyze obtained results, draft manuscripts reporting experimental results, assist supervising graduate and undergraduate researchers in the group.

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New Sensor Can Improve the Taste of Your Wine

PhD student Joana Guerreiro has taken part in developing a sensor, which has been dubbed the 'mini-mouth'.Credit: Lars Kruse, Aarhus University

PhD student Joana Guerreiro has taken part in developing a sensor, which has been dubbed the ‘mini-mouth’.
Credit: Lars Kruse, Aarhus University

The ‘mini-mouth’ – that’s what scientists have dubbed the new nanosensor that can mimic the sensation that wine creates in a person’s mouth, which then determines how a specific alcohol tastes.

This technology was created by PhD student Joana Guerreiro from Aarhus University in Denmark, and sets out to detect the level of astringency associated with a particular wine. A wine’s astringency is characterized by the dry sensation drinkers get in their mouth when they drink wine.

This from Aarhus University:

Quite specifically, the sensor is a small plate coated with nanoscale gold particles. On this plate, the researchers simulate what happens in your mouth by first adding some of the proteins contained in your saliva. After this they add the wine. The gold particles on the plate act as nano-optics and make it possible to focus a beam of light below the diffraction limit so as to precisely measure something that is very small – right down to 20 nanometres. This makes it possible to study and follow the proteins, and to see what effect the wine has. It is thereby possible to see the extent to which the small molecules have to bind together for the clumping effect on the protein to be set off.

Read the full article here.

While the technique itself is not new, the ingenuity lies in using it to create a sensor that can measure an effect rather than just the number of molecules.

This technology seems as though it would threaten the livelihood of sommeliers, but researchers say that is not what the sensor is intended for. Instead, the team at Aarhus University hopes that this will produce a tool that is useful in wine production.

Want to see what else sensors can do? Head over to our Digital Library to see the newest cutting-edge sensor research.

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Member Spotlight – Donald R. Sadoway

Donald R. Sadoway

Sadoway’s research seeks to establish the scientific underpinnings for technologies that make efficient use of energy and natural resources in an environmentally sound matter.
Credit: MIT

Donald R. Sadoway – a prominent member of The Electrochemical Society and electrochemist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge – has led a team of researchers at MIT to improve a proposed liquid battery system that could help make sources of renewable energy more viable and prove to be a competitor for conventional power plants.

This from MIT News:

Sadoway, the John F. Elliott Professor of Materials Chemistry, says the new formula allows the battery to work at a temperature more than 200 degrees Celsius lower than the previous formulation. In addition to the lower operating temperature, which should simplify the battery’s design and extend its working life, the new formulation will be less expensive to make, he says.

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Salt Water-Powered Sports Car Makes Its Way to the Road

NanoFlowcell, the company producing the "supercar", claims it can go for 370 miles on a single charge.

NanoFlowcell, the company producing the “supercar”, claims it can go for 370 miles on a single charge.

The battle to produce the most efficient and environmentally friendly car rages on, and now a new company is rising in the ranks by proposing we power our cars with salt water.

The Quant e-Sportlimousine made its debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show and showcased its innovative NanoFlowcell technology. This new technology sets itself apart from other systems in its ability to store and release electrical energy at very high densities – all with the help of salt water.

This from Intelligent Living:

The flow cell system powering the Quant e-Sportlimousine’s four electric motors develops electricity from the electrochemical reaction created by two electrolyte solutions. This electricity is forwarded to super capacitors where it’s stored and distributed.

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Did You Get Our Postcard?

ECS Cancun e-postcard front ECS Cancun e-postcard backDidn’t get our postcard? (Click to see it big.) Don’t be hurt. We do want to see you in Cancun. Find out more about our fall meeting!

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A Revolution in Renewable Energy

The wind turbines cost up to $30 million apiece.Credit: Djamila Grossman for The New York Times

The wind turbines cost up to $30 million apiece.
Credit: Djamila Grossman for The New York Times

Towering like a beacon of hope in Germany’s North Sea stand wind turbines. Stretching as high as 60-story buildings and standing as far as 60 miles from the mainland, the turbines are part of Germany’s push to find a solution to global warming.

Some call it change. Some call it transformation. We call it a revolution.

According to an article in the The New York Times, it is expected that by the end of the year, scores of new turbines will be set in place – thus allowing low-emission electricity to be sent to German cities hundreds of miles south.

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