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By Jeff Danner Jeff has worked in both the chemical and biotech industries and is the veteran of thousands of science debates at cocktail parties and holiday dinners across the nation. In his Common Science blog, Jeff aims to make technological and scientific concepts accessible to all.
  • National Helium Shortage

    April 15, 2013 at 12:21 am

    “Due to a National Helium Shortage We Are Not Able to Provide Harry the Dragon Balloons” – Sign at Chapel Hill North Harris Teeter Customer Service If you have been reading my columns for a while you may have noticed that in addition to reviewing the science behind the topic for the week, I am […]

  • Food Part V: Conclusion and Some Politics

    March 31, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    I hope you have enjoyed this series on food.  If you have not read Parts I through IV and would like to, here are the links to Part I, Part II, Part IIIA, Part IIIB, and Part IV.  Before addressing what we can do as individuals, as a community, and as a nation to improve […]

  • Food Part IV: The Chicken and the Egg

    March 24, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    When we think of farming, most of us conjure up an image of a field and a barn, a few cows and maybe some corn.  While farms of this description do still exist, they no longer have much to do with feeding us.  My original plan for this column was to cover livestock production in […]

  • Common Science Column Number 100

    March 18, 2013 at 12:50 am

    This is the 100th Common Science® column I have published on and I am taking a break in my series on food (two parts remain) to reflect on the science and technology conversation we have been having these last two years.   When I first discussed publishing Common Science® on Chapelboro with station CEO […]

  • Food Part IIIB: An Apple a Day Really Did Used to Keep the Doctor Away

    March 11, 2013 at 2:05 am

    Last week in Part IIIA of this series on food (here are the links to the previous columns Part I, Part II, and Part IIIA), I discussed two of the four biggest challenges in coming home from the grocery store with foods that supply all of our many dietary needs. This week I’ll cover the […]

  • Food Part IIIA: Wonder Bread is not Wonderful

    March 4, 2013 at 2:55 am

    This week in Part IIIA of my series on food (I had to split Part III  into two as the length was getting a bit out of hand), I’ll be discussing the challenges of maintaining a healthy diet in our current food culture in the U.S.  If you want to start at the beginning, here […]

  • Food Part II: The Science of the Stomach

    February 24, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    In the mid 1980s, when I was pursuing my degree, the discipline of Chemical Engineering felt itself to be a cross roads.  The perception at the time was that traditional jobs for chemical engineers involving the design and optimization of manufacturing facilities were going to fade away.  In an effort to try to remain viable, […]

  • Food Part I: Three Book Recommendations

    February 18, 2013 at 12:24 am

    “Try Organic Food, or as Our Grandparents Called it, Food” It should not surprise you that when I read, I primarily read non-fiction books, usually about science and/or history.  Recently I have read three books on various aspects of our food supply and farming systems that have taught me things I didn’t know and motivated […]

  • Dear God What is That Smell?

    February 10, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Let me start by relating a common occurrence in my home.  The scene begins with my son and me home alone.  Then my wife and daughter arrive, open the door, screw up their faces in looks of disgust and announce loudly, “Dear God what is that smell!?”  My son and I exchange looks of confusion.   […]

  • Bananas Will Never Grow in Barrow

    February 4, 2013 at 4:06 am

    It was not by chance that the first two Common Science columns I published when I started this blog in 2011 were about photosynthesis.  The capture of solar energy by plants is the foundation of the food chain and the ultimate source of nearly all of the earth’s energy.  Photosynthesis has also provided the oxygen […]

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