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October 2, 2012
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Business and technology news exclusively for chemical engineers

  Business Update 
  • Report: Biotech revenue, spending on R&D rose in 2011
    Biotech companies, on average, generated $76 million in revenues last year, up 24% compared with 2010, according to a report from consulting firm BDO USA. On average, research and development spending grew to $50 million from about $47 million in 2010. Major biotechs with revenues surpassing $50 million reported a 33% increase in revenue, but smaller biotechs reported a 12% decline. PharmaTimes (U.K.) (9/25), (9/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Chemical Technology News 
  • Breakthrough is made on hexafluorocyclohexane stereo¬≠isomer
    Pharmaceuticals and fluorinated sugars could result from the first creation of a stereo­isomer of the 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexafluorocyclohexane molecule, say scientists based in Scotland. "The synthetic strategies developed ... open up further possibilities to probe the stereoelectronic effects of fluorine atoms on the molecular structure and function of cyclohexanes," says Graham Sandford of England-based University of Durham. Chemical & Engineering News (9/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Energy, Sustainability & Safety 
  • Researchers get NSF grants for study of ethanol-based fuel cells
    A team of scientists led by Xiaowei Teng, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of New Hampshire, has landed two National Science Foundation grants worth almost $1 million to improve the efficiency of ethanol-based fuel cells. Although hydrogen is a more common choice for fuel cell oxidation, ethanol has its advantages, Teng said. Ethanol is less toxic than other fuels and can be obtained from a variety of renewable sources, he noted. Mass High Tech (Boston) (9/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Biological Engineering & Pharmaceuticals 
  • Generic diabetes therapy might treat cancer
    Researchers are studying the effects of metformin -- approved in 1958 to treat diabetes -- on breast, ovarian, colon, prostate and other cancers. The drug is safe and cheap, and it appears to improve survival in pancreatic cancer patients, says Donghui Li, an epidemiologist and professor of medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Bloomberg (9/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Materials & Nanotechnology 
  • Breakthrough made in crack-free nanoparticle films
    Researchers say that sequentially stacking several nanoparticle film layers instead of creating a single thicker film results in crack-free nanoparticle films. "Our method does not require any added chemicals nor does it require new substrates or new deposition technique/equipment," says Daeyeon Lee of the University of Pennsylvania. "Thus, this new technique is practical and can be used by anyone who is interested in making thick crack-free nanoparticle films." Nanowerk (9/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Education & Government Update 
  • Federal budget reductions could hinder science pursuit in the U.S.
    Automatic cuts to next year's federal budget would impede scientific research, according to an analysis by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. AAAS reported that the cuts would reduce $11.3 billion from the budget of the National Institutes of Health and $2.1 billion from the National Science Foundation budget over five years if the reductions are split between defense and non-defense spending. The NIH would lose $26.1 billion and the NSF $4.9 billion if Congress implements an alternative approach to shift the budget reductions away from defense, the AAAS wrote. Los Angeles Times/Science Now blog (tiered subscription model) (9/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Career Focus 
  • 5 ways to be a valuable connector
    Hosting a unique get-together, facilitating introductions and helping strong personalities get along are some of the ways you can become a valuable connector, Yanik Silver writes. "People value connectors for what they provide in terms of interaction and resource ... the person who is that 'hub' is remembered when business deals are coming together," he writes. AOL Jobs/Young Entrepreneur Council (9/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Institute News 
  • Next online career fair slated for Oct. 16 and 17
    AIChE's online career fairs connect leading process industry employers with qualified candidates who hold degrees in chemical engineering, the sciences or other engineering disciplines. The online format is flexible, designed for a variety of schedules and budgets. A new feature of the upcoming career fair, slated for Oct. 16 and 17, will be related recruitment opportunities at AIChE's Annual Meeting and Student Conference in Pittsburgh later in October. Find out more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Special sessions spotlight women's careers
    AIChE's Women's Initiatives Committee is sponsoring a luncheon and three workshops at the AIChE Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh. On Sunday, Oct. 28, separate workshops tailored for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty will span topics from selecting a graduate program, to beginning an academic or industrial career, to leadership skills and securing and managing funding. Learn more. On Monday, Oct. 29, Caltech's Frances Arnold will speak on "Sex, Evolution, Innovation" at the WIC luncheon. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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You don't need anyone else's permission to create. Green-light yourself and get to work."
--Charlie Todd,
American performance artist

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