Saturday, July 12, 2014


I have to apologize to all my loyal readers for not posting in so long.

We're back, starting Monday.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

14-Year-Old Scientist Makes a Groundbreaking Discovery

From YahooNews:  14-Year-Old Scientist Makes a Groundbreaking Discovery

Maria Elena Grimmett is only 14, but she already has a seven-page resume.
The teen has become a highly decorated scientist for her research on groundwater contaminants. She is also the youngest author to be published in the Journal of Environmental Quality. Out of 30 finalists, she was awarded first place in mathematics in the 2012 Broadcom MASTERS competition, the national science, technology, engineering, and math competition for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.
She also has a planet named after her because of all of her research achievements. Minor Planet 27410, discovered by the Linear Project of MIT Lincoln Laboratory, which orbits between Mars and Jupiter, was named Grimmett in 2011 and is recognized by the International Astronomical Union.
And if that wasn’t enough, Maria Elena made history at the 56th annual Palm Beach County Science and Engineering Fair in December when all judges awarded her perfect scores—the first time that’s happened in the competition’s history.

Maria Elena specifically focuses on water, the contaminants in it, and how they can be removed. Currently, her focus is on the drug, sulfamethazine, and the ways that “Hypercrosslinked Adsorbent MN250” can remove it from groundwater.
“I really got hooked on science because the scientific method is a series of logical steps that can identify and solve difficult problems and help the world,” she told TakePart.
She first got into science in third grade, thanks to an inspiring teacher who was supportive of science projects. Maria Elena entered the school’s science fair for the next several years until it was discontinued due to a lack of staff and resources. But that didn’t stop her.
“There was only one science teacher in the entire middle school, and she didn’t think she could help all of us fairly, so that’s why it had to stop,” Maria Elena said. “I decided to continue on my own, leading me to the path I am on today.”
She was interested in the environment and water purification specifically because she had seen something curious happen at her house.
I live next to a golf course and I always saw them spray pesticides on the lawn.
“I live next to a golf course and I always saw them spray pesticides on the lawn,” she said. “I wondered if these contaminants could possibly get in the water table because naturally Florida has a shallow water table.”
The answer, she discovered, was yes. Maria Elena wanted to know more, but challenges occurred.
She needed a super-sensitive test for pharmaceutical contaminants at parts-per-billion concentrations. She tried to get into local research labs. But she was denied entry because of federal labor laws that stated she couldn’t enter a lab until she was 16. She didn’t give up.
Maria Elena attended water and other scientific conventions and eventually met a scientist from the Scripps Research Institute, who told her about ELISA tests that use antibodies and color change to identify a substance. That breakthrough allowed her to test pharmaceuticals and successfully finish her seventh-grade project. As one experiment builds on the other, Maria Elena’s constant research paid off.
In eighth grade, she discovered something that was an unpublished result: MN250, a Purolite hypercrosslinked adsorbent, has a high adsorption capacity for sulfamethazine and minimal desorption in distilled water. That means it could be a promising adsorbent for sulfamethazine removal from contaminated groundwater.
Her father, Dr. Michael Grimmett, an ophthalmologist, said that when Maria Elena first announced her scientific experiment plans in 2009, the family was split.
“My wife was very concerned that this extracurricular activity was going to take away from her regular studies and also interfere with summer vacation plans for the family since her experimentation typically consumes the entire summer,” Michael Grimmett told TakePart. “Maria Elena was just starting sixth grade at The Weiss School, which is an accredited school for the gifted, and the curriculum was challenging. Putting it mildly, my wife, Karen, was not enamored with Maria Elena’s plan.”
It was Maria Elena’s sincerity that ended up convincing her parents.
“I knew it would be a huge challenge, particularly since she had no lab supplies, no professional lab, no source of outside funding, no school coordinator to complete the regulatory paperwork for the Science Fairs, and no research mentor with expertise in water research.”
Michael Grimmett even cancelled a day and a half of his medical practice to drive his daughter to a national water convention in Orlando, Florida, for her to perform science fair background research. He also purchased laboratory-grade chemicals and ELISA testing equipment under Maria Elena’s direction for needed materials. The family has spent about $3,000 annually on her projects.
What’s next for Maria Elena, who is now a freshman at Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches?
More experiments this summer, of course, and she also wants to represent Florida at the Stockholm Junior Water Prize national competition when she turns 15, her first year of eligibility. She also hopes to meet the Russian scientist, Dr. Vadim Davankov, who, as she says, changed the entire adsorbent industry with his invention of hypercrossedlink adsorbents. The two have already corresponded.
Her dream, she said, is that “water engineers will be able to remove sulfamethazine from water around the world.”
Using her research, of course.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Take your blood pressure medication!

Spent most of yesterday in the hospital, where my mother was admitted. Her doctor had changed her blood pressure medication a couple of weeks ago, it wasn't doing the job. Unfortunately her doctor was out of town and a home therapist said we should take her to the Emergency Room.

Bad idea, as far as I'm concerned. Put her back on her old medication which was working, just causing her to cough.

Instead we brought her to the emergency room, and since she's old and deaf, this got her more stressed out and scared than ever, because they were all gathered around her shouting questions and wanting to run tests and I'm sure she thought she was dying or something, which sent her blood pressure even higher.

She spent the night there, and is still in today for more tests, which I don't think she needs but I guess since they've got her in there they want to get their money's worth out of our insurance...  she's in a private room which must be costing a fortune....

The reason for my headline... she was about 40 when she was first diagnosed with high blood pressure...took pills for a couple of days but didn't like how they made her she stopped taking them and tried to do the "natural remedy" thing.

Result, 20 years later she had congestive heart failure, and now instead of taking 1 pill a day she has to take 4. And has to go into the hospital periodically on occasions like these.

Moral of the story - go get your blood pressure checked, and if you have high blood pressure make sure you take your meds, otherwise believe me you'll wish you had, when it is too late...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Eight women Arab scientists picked in UNESCO Program

From the Saudi Gazette:  Eight women Arab scientists picked in UNESCO Program

CAIRO — Eight exceptional Arab women scientists were announced as winners by the L’Oréal-UNESCO “For Women in Science Pan Arab” Regional Program in its third edition here. The scientists are from Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia, Sudan, Iraq, and Bahrain.

The ceremony was organized under the auspices of Prof. Dr. Nadia Zakhary, Egypt’s Minister of Scientific Research, and was attended by key Egyptian figures.

Geoff Skingsley, Executive Vice President of L’Oréal’s Africa-Middle East Zone, and Dr. Bechir Lamine, Director of UNESCO Cairo office, were also present, according to a press release issued here.

The fellowship program, now in its 3rd Pan-Arab version highlights the crucial role women play in science and honors outstanding female postdoctoral researchers who present exceptional projects in different areas of science and technology.

Each fellow receives a grant of $20,000 and is empowered through this initiative to push forward her research efforts in the field of her choice. Since the creation of the program in 1998, over 1,300 women in over 100 countries have been recognized for their groundbreaking achievements and innovative researches.

Dr. Alia Shatanawi (Jordan), from the University of Jordan, will continue her studies on vessel dysfunctions among diabetic patients, while Dr. Heba Salama (Egypt), from Alexandria University’s Faculty of Agriculture, will further her studies on introducing new winter forage grass species to the Egyptian agricultural system and to investigate their yield performance and nutritive value.

Dr. Hiba El Helou (Syria), from Damascus University will further her studies on dental implants, and Dr. Lina Khanj (Lebanon), from the American University in Beirut, will further her research on traffic offloading in LTE/ Wifi networks.

Dr. Noura Bougasha-Elleuch (Tunisia) from the Ecole Nationale des Ingénieurs de Sfax (ENIS) will undertake research in the field of thyroid diseases, and Dr. Rasha Osman (Sudan), from the Faculty of Mathematical Sciences — University of Khartoum will advance her studies on Integrated Performance Modeling of Database Designs.

Dr. Reyam Al Malikey (Iraq) from the Women’s Science College at Baghdad University will work on studies concerning mercury exposure assessment in Iraqi women’s hair.

Similraly, Dr. Sumaya Abbas (Bahrain), from the Arabian Gulf University, will continue her studies in solid waste management in the Bahrain.

Prof. Dr. Nadia commended the FWIS program and said: “What the Arab fellows here have accomplished through their groundbreaking projects is a real source of motivation to their peers and the female population in the whole Arab region. This program is a lever for distinguished women scientists who have shown a true dedication to science and advancement of knowledge in this important part of the world.”

Initiating the ceremony, Dr. Bechir stated: “In this third version of the Pan Arab celebration of women in science, we cannot but applaud the efforts of women around the Arab World for their dedication to science and strive to advance new solutions in several domains. The program is successful because it is one of the few established platforms in the region encouraging women scientists to highlight their work and help them advance their research.”

Sandeep Rai, General Manager of L’OREAL Egypt noted: “L’Oreal has always been at the forefront of scientific advancement in the world. Our success story with the Pan Arab FWIS program is based on the substantial value this fellowship initiative brings to regional female scientists and their countries.”


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Never get involve in a land war in Asia

and never agree to transcribe 20 hours of meetings from an Australian business meeting.

That's what I've been doing for the last 4 days...utter nightmare. Could NOT understand their accents. Making it worse were the bad audio levels and the fact that a lot of the people preesnt insisted on talking over each other from all around the room except in front of the microphone... I will never transcribe ANYTHING every again.

Anyway, so sorry to be MIA from my blogs.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Elsevier Foundation, TWAS, and OWSD Honor Early Career Women Scientists in Developing Countries at the Annual AAAS Meeting

From PR Newswire: The Elsevier Foundation, TWAS, and OWSD Honor Early Career Women Scientists in Developing Countries at the Annual AAAS Meeting

Recognition of early-career women scientists helps to support medical research, build strong research cultures, and inspire a new generation
Five medical and life science researchers from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean Basin today received the 2013 Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World for work that could contribute to life-saving knowledge and therapies worldwide. The prizes were awarded by The Elsevier Foundation, the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), and TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world, to build research capacity and advance scientific knowledge throughout the developing world.
The 2013 winners are being recognized for their research excellence. The prize includes US $5,000 and all-expenses paid attendance at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Boston in February 2013. The winners received their prizes during a special ceremony on Saturday, February 16th.
The winners are:
  • Central & South Asia: Dr. Nasima Akhter , Center for Nuclear Medicine and Ultrasound, Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, Dhaka Medical College Hospital Campus
  • East and South-East Asia & the Pacific: Dr. Namjil Erdenechimeg, Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences
  • Latin America & the Caribbean: Dr. Dionicia Gamboa , Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Department of Cellular and Molecular Sciences, Lima,
  • Arab region: Dr. Huda Omer Basaleem, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Aden University, Yemen
  • Sub-Saharan Africa: Dr. Adediwura Fred-Jaiyesimi, Department of Pharmacognosy, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria
"If we hope to solve the challenges that confront developing nations, we must help young women in science to fully develop their skills and energy," said Professor Romain Murenzi , executive director of TWAS. "The winners of this prize will be an inspiration not only to other young women, but to all scientists of every generation."
Dr. Nasima Akhter , one of this year's award winners, commented: "In developing countries, continuing scientific research is difficult due to lack of resources, infrastructure and appropriate support. For young researchers, especially women, it is more difficult to continue research without cooperation and support from employers, co-workers and even family members. The Elsevier Foundation award is an immense honor and an appreciation of early career women scientists from developing countries who are devoted to continuing their research despite limited opportunity and constrains. It will encourage determination, amongst a new generation of women scientists, to contribute more in scientific development through research using available resources and focusing on community needs in line with national and international development goals."
"These five women are pioneers," said Professor Fang Xin, president of OWSD. "They come from different regions and different cultures, but all of them are doing highly advanced medical and life-science research. Their creativity and achievements will contribute to saving lives around the world, and that is sure to inspire a new generation of young women to pursue their highest ambitions in science and other fields."
David Ruth , Executive Director of the Elsevier Foundation, said, "The Elsevier Foundation recognizes how important professional visibility is to developing high-profile international scientific careers. Through our New Scholars grant programs we strive to support early-career women scholars with mentoring, research retreats, professional visibility, childcare, work-life integration and recognition programs. The awards for these impressive women scientists represents a cooperative effort supported by Elsevier, OWSD, AAAS and TWAS to build research capacity and advance scientific knowledge throughout the developing world - and what better place than the annual AAAS conference to raise awareness among scientists, policymakers, journalists and the public about the need to retain and celebrate top women scientists."
The 2014 awards will be launched on April 2, 2013 and the theme will be Chemistry.

# # #
Notes to Editors
About the winners
The 2013 winners, all life scientists, are being recognized for their research excellence.
The winners:
  • Nasima Akhter , Bangadesh - Medical sciences
    For her research on foetal screening for congenital anomalies using ultrasonography and her introduction of the use of inactive iodide adjunct medication with radioiodine therapy in Graves' disease.
  • Huda Omer Ba Saleem , Yemen - Community and public health
    For her dedication in the fight against cancer and for the well-being of women and children in the Arab region.
  • Erdenechimeg Namjil, Mongolia - Biochemistry
    For her investigations of catalytically active antibodies with oxidoreductase activities from the sera of rats.
  • Adediwura Fred-Jaiyesimi, Nigeria - Pharmacognosy and the antidiabetic properties of Nigerian medicinal plants
    For her work on the medicinal uses of plants, particularly her research on the hypoglycaemic and a-amylase-inhibitory activities of the extracts of two local plant species.
  • Dionicia Gamboa , Peru - Molecular biology / parasitology
    For her multidisciplinary approach to fighting leishmaniasis and malaria, in particular for her studies into the molecular epidemiology of these diseases in endemic regions.
About TWAS
TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world, is an autonomous international organization, based in Trieste, Italy, that promotes scientific excellence for sustainable development in the South. Originally named "Third World Academy of Sciences", it was founded in 1983 by a distinguished group of scientists from the South under the leadership of the late Nobel laureate Abdus Salam of Pakistan. The Academy's strength resides in the quality and diversity of its membership - internationally renowned scientists elected by their peers. TWAS currently has more than 1,000 members from 90 countries, 73 of which are developing countries. It is administered by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and financially supported by the Italian government. (
About OWSD
The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) is an international organization affiliated to TWAS. Headed by eminent women scientists from the South, OWSD has more than 4,000 members. The central role is to promote women's access to science and technology, enhancing their greater involvement in decision-making processes for the development of their countries and in the international scientific community. Created in 1989, OWSD's overall goal is to work towards bridging the gender gap in science and technology. OWSD uses its forum to promote leadership, exchanges and networking for women scientists as well as for discussions to assist in the development of national capabilities to evolve, explore and improve strategies for increasing female participation in science. (

About The Elsevier Foundation
The Elsevier Foundation is a corporate charity funded by Elsevier, a global provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The Elsevier Foundation provides grants to knowledge centered institutions around the world, with a focus on developing world libraries, nurse faculty and scholars in the early stages of their careers. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than 60 grants worth millions of dollars to non-profit organizations working in these fields. Through gift-matching, the Foundation also supports the efforts of Elsevier employees to play a positive role in their local and global communities.

PR Newswire (

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

This journal has been published once a year since 1994.

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

Editor-in-Chief: Kimberly D. Douglas-Mankin
Associate Editors: Howard Adams , Annie Canel , Laura Rendon

Aims and Scope

Designed as a unique and much-needed resource for educators, managers, and policymakers, the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering publishes original, peer-reviewed papers that report innovative ideas and programs for classroom teachers, scientific studies, and formulation of concepts related to the education, recruitment, and retention of under-represented groups in science and engineering. Discipline-specific issues related to women and minorities are consolidated to address the entire educational environment from K through post-graduate and on to continuing education. Included are explorations of feminist teaching methods, black student/white teacher interactions, cultural phenomena that affect classroom climate, and new questions to ask of science. The journal includes pertinent book reviews and "reports from the field" by women and men of color in academe, business, industry, and federal and state agencies.