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.
  • Bacteria and Obesity, A Surprising Link

    September 29, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    As a chemical engineer, I am naturally drawn to write columns about energy and manufacturing.  However, if you have been reading my columns for a while you will have noticed that I keep coming back to topics concerning the vital importance of maintaining a healthy population of beneficial bacteria within us, particularly within our gastrointestinal […]

  • A World Without Fossil Fuels

    September 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Our world is dominated by fossil fuels. They make our electricity, heat our homes, power our cars, and are changing our climate. As a student of both science and history, I sometimes wonder what the world would be like today if there were no fossil fuels; no coal, no petroleum, and no natural gas. One […]

  • The Butterfly Effect

    September 16, 2013 at 5:51 am

    For a system to exhibit “chaos” as defined by physicists, four elements must be present.

  • The Rise and Fall of US Infrastructure Part III: Conclusion

    September 8, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    In Parts I and II of this series I covered the history and impact of the construction of infrastructure in the United States, as well as the dynamics behind its slide into its current state of decay.  In the near future we will need to get serious about making repairs and improvements, but before we […]

  • The Rise and Fall of U.S. Infrastructure Part II: The Fall

    September 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    In Part I of this series I reviewed the rise of infrastructure in the United States. This week we will explore the fall and how it came to be that the ASCE.

  • The Rise and Fall of U.S. Infrastructure Part I: The Rise

    August 25, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Infrastructure in the United States has fallen into a state of decay. Bridges are collapsing, roads are deteriorating, and aging sewer lines are leaking. The 2013 report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers gave U.S. infrastructure a grade of D+ and called for $3.6 trillion in infrastructure by 2020.

  • Could Caesar Eat Peanuts?

    August 19, 2013 at 5:55 am

    I recently had the chance to read through several months of Scientific American® magazine, one on a study conducted by the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

  • The Caterpillar Effect

    August 11, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Last week my wife and I were in St. Martin and went to a butterfly farm where I learned something new.

  • Something is Rotten in the Province of Alberta

    August 5, 2013 at 5:14 am

    The oil sands in Alberta are pretty much what they sound like, oil mixed with sand and a variety of other impurities.

  • Monkey Pox … Seriously ?!

    July 29, 2013 at 12:04 am

    Analysis of ancient skeletons tells us that the smallpox virus first began infecting humans approximately 10,000 years ago.