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April 3, 2012
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Business and technology news exclusively for chemical engineers

  Business Update 
  • BASF will revamp R&D, increase funding
    BASF will spend $2.3 billion on research and development this year, an increase from 2011. The company announced that R&D efforts will be spread across 13 fields and seven industries. "We believe that with our unique expertise in polymer chemistry and global market access, BASF is well positioned to drive customer innovation, hence contributing substantially to solve key industry problems," said company spokesman Andres-Christian Orthofer. Bloomberg (3/29), (3/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pharma should bulk up on scientists, business research suggests
    Drugmakers have responded to high drug development costs and declining sales by cutting research staff, which is "probably a mistake," Matthew Herper writes. A Harvard Business Review study found a correlation between higher labor costs and better profits in the retail sector, and the finding might apply to pharma as well. "An ideal drug company ... would bulk up on scientists," Herper writes. Forbes (3/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Specialty chemicals are in demand as fracking increases
    Ever-increasing hydraulic fracturing activity is resulting in greater demand for specialty chemicals, according to this analysis. "There is an immense amount of growth in [hydraulic fracturing] activity in the U.S. and a couple of changes in hydraulic fracturing technology have had a multiplier effect on demand for a long list of chemicals in these fluids," said Michael Richardson, an analyst with The Freedonia Group. ICIS Chemical Business (U.K.) (4/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Chemical Technology News 
  • More chemical databases to go public
    Pharmaceutical data covering 10 million molecules from the past 36 years will be made publicly accessible by U.K.-based SureChem, in the latest bid by entities to make more chemistry information freely available. In September, the Open Pharmacological Concepts Triple Store will debut, and late last year, IBM donated data on more than 2 million molecules to the PubChem online database. Nature News (3/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Energy, Sustainability & Safety 
  • Chemical producers look to build, expand U.S. ethane capacity
    The U.S. petrochemical sector is planning at least four ethane crackers, and other companies are studying ways to increase capacity. Shell Chemicals, Dow Chemical, Chevron Phillips Chemical and Formosa Plastics have announced plans for crackers, while LyondellBasell, Westlake Chemical, Williams and Ineos are looking to improve capacity at existing facilities. ICIS Chemical Business (U.K.) (4/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Biological Engineering & Pharmaceuticals 
  • Stem cell transplants from unrelated donors do well in myeloma study
    A French study published in the European Journal of Hematology found that nonmyeloablative donor stem cell transplant from unrelated donors can benefit patients with multiple myeloma. The procedure employs lower doses of chemotherapy and radiation than standard methods. Overall and progression-free survival rates were close for patients who received stem cells from a related donor and those who received stem cells from an unrelated donor. (3/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Materials & Nanotechnology 
  • Bayer unit's medical-grade polycarbonate is used for knee surgeries
    Medical-device supplier OrthoSensor is using Bayer MaterialScience's Makrolon Rx1851 polycarbonate to form the casing of a device used in knee-replacement surgeries. The device, called the "Knee Balancer," allows surgeons to access real time data on the condition of tissues during an arthroplasty operation. Bayer worked with an injection molder and adhesives firm in the development of the material, said Bruce Fine of Bayer. (3/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Education & Government Update 
  • Other News
  Career Focus 
  • Study: Trustworthiness is a hallmark of a good boss
    Besides being trustworthy, the best bosses are also calm and responsible, according to research by Hogan Assessment Systems. Conversely, bad bosses tend to be described as arrogant, distrustful and manipulative. "Poor leadership causes reduced engagement, increased turnover and even poor health among employees," said Hogan's Natalie Tracy. (3/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Institute News 
  • International lineup confirmed for stem cell conference
    Jeanne Loring, founding director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute, is the latest keynote speaker to sign on for the Society for Biological Engineering's 3rd International Conference on Stem Cell Engineering. The meeting, from April 29 to May 2 at the Sheraton Hotel in Seattle, also features Robert Deans, executive VP of regenerative medicine at Athersys; Gordon Keller, senior scientist at the Ontario Cancer Institute; and Peter Zandstra, Canada research chair in stem cell bioengineering at the University of Toronto's Institute for Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering. Other speakers represent leading institutions in Asia and Europe. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Nominees sought for second annual Biotechnology Progress Award
    The Biotechnology Progress Award for Excellence in Biological Engineering Publication, presented at AIChE's Annual Meeting, celebrates foundational contributions to biotechnology and biological engineering through a body of work, a seminal paper, a review, or research report. The award, underwritten by John Wiley & Sons, consists of $3,000 and up to $500 for travel. Winners are expected to deliver a webinar or author a topical or review paper for Biotechnology Progress, which is published on behalf of AIChE and the Society for Biological Engineering by Wiley. The nomination deadline is July 16. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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There is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening."
--Marshall McLuhan,
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