Monday, November 27, 2023

The Battle to Beat Malaria

As good as we've been at developing and improving vaccines for the past century, an inoculation against malaria has eluded us. There are reasons that 142 potential malaria vaccines have failed. Malaria is not a virus or a bacteria, it's a parasite. And a pernicious one at that.

In recent years, two vaccines have proven successful. This is the story of R21. And it's as "ripped from the headlines"/"hot off the press" as an episode of NOVA can be. Some of the principal footage was shot in October, 2023.

This one packs a bit of hard-to-watch footage as a population of mosquitoes are "blood fed" on the arm of a researcher. I winced. It also shows a fairly powerful emotional moment when a researcher learns the results of a clinical trial. I confess that I go along for the ride such vignettes take us on.

The picture for a malaria vaccine is improving. I won't miss it if we can relegate it to the history books. The photo I used for the cover really is from Africa—I shot it in Botswana in 2014.

Malaria is one of humanity’s oldest and most devastating plagues. In many parts of the world, it remains an ever-present scourge that sickens or kills millions of people each year. What if it could finally be defeated? Now, scientists may be on the verge of a breakthrough with a promising vaccine in the final stages of testing and approval. Follow researchers on a quest to deliver humankind from one of the world’s deadliest diseases. 

Friday, November 17, 2023

Chemistry Crossword Puzzles

I finished sets of crossword puzzles for Physics and AP Physics (1 & 2). But creating crossword puzzles is so much much fun, I wandered the Internet over to OpenStax and found their Chemistry textbook. The first chapter had an end-of-chapter vocabulary list. So away I went. This post will be updated as new chemistry crosswords are added to the collection.

The Lessons of Phyz crossword advantage? At least 100 words that cross at least 150 times. Not those mostly empty grids with a handful of words and two dozen crosses. I'm no Will Shortz, but I am putting in some effort. And while the majority of the terms are chemistry, science, and math-related, the occasional Taylor Swift, Disney, or other pop culture references work to engage students that might be otherwise less engaged in the course. My own students used to gobble up crossword puzzles even without any promise of reward. Conquering the grid was all the incentive they needed.

Word Count: 103 · Puzzle Score (word crosses): 158

Core terms:Accuracy, Atom, Celsius, Centimeter, Change, Chemical, Chemistry, Compound, Conservation, Conversion, Cubic, Density, Element, Exact, Extensive, Fahrenheit, Gas, Heterogeneous, Homogeneous, Hypothesis, Intensive, Kelvin, Kilogram, Law, Length, Liquid, Liter, Macroscopic, Mass, Matter, Meter, Microscopic, Milliliter, Mixture, Molecule, Physical, Plasma, Precision, Property, Pure, Rounding, Second, SI, Significant, Solid, Temperature, Theory, Uncertainty, Unit, Volume, Weight

Selected additional terms: Acute, Amber, Andromeda, cc, Cone, cos, Divide, Echo, Etna, GMO, Gram, HIV, Hue, Inch, Neptune, Odor, Parallel, Perpendicular, sin, Sodium, Spine, TNT, Venus

Words: 103 · Puzzle Score: 159

Core terms: Acid, Actinide, amu, Anion, Bond, Cation, Chalcogen, Compound, Covalent, Dalton, Definite, Electron, Element, Empirical, Formula, Fundamental,Group, Halogen, Hydrate, Ion, Ionic, Isomer, Isomers, Isotopes, Lanthanide, Mass, Metal, Metalloid, Molecular, Monatomic, Multiple  Neutron, Noble, Nomenclature, Nonmetal, Nucleus, Number, Oxyacid, Oxyanion, Period, Periodic, Pnictogen, Polyatomic, Proton Representative, Series, Spatial, Symbol, Transition

Selected additional terms: Accuracy, Biome, Deserts, Drive, Ear, Earth, Echo, Hexagon, Hypothesis, Icon, Inertia, Laser, Law, Link, Magma, Mars, Meter, Midnight, Nano, Nepal, Nobel, Ovary, Oven, Penicillin, Pluto, Precision, Rate, RNA, Run, Snow, Sol, Sound, Spin, Square, tan, Triangle, Uranus

Words: 113 · Puzzle Score: 168

Core terms: Concentrated, Concentration, Dilute, Dilution, Dissolved, Molarity, Mole, Solute, Solvent, Aqueous, Avogadro, Empirical, Formula, Percentage, Percent, Molar, Billion, Million, Composition, Volume, PPB, PPM

The core terms were a bit scant for this chapter, so a robust selection of additional terms was deployed.

Selected additional terms: Absolute, Accuracy, Acid, amu, Anion, Atom, Cation, Chemistry, Color, Compound, Copper, Divide, Drone, Earth, Electron, Element, EMF, Equal, Gas, Group, Human, Inert, Ion, Isomers, Jupiter, Liquid, Liter, March, Mars, Mass, Math, Matter, Metal, Meter, Mixture, Negative, Neptune, Neutron, Newton, Noble, Number, Ocean, Oregon, Owl, Period, PLC, Precision, Product, Proton, Pt, Ratio, Rh, Rows, RPO, sec, Second, Spider, Stealth, Sum, tan, Units, Wind

Words: 100 · Puzzle Score: 155

Core terms: Acid, Actual, Analysis, Analyte, Balanced, Base, Buret, Coefficient, Combustion, Dilute, End, Equation, Equivalence, Excess, Gravimetric, Half, Indicator, Insoluble, Limiting, Neutralization, Number, Oxidant, Oxidation, Precipitate, Precipitation, Product,, Quantitative, Reactant, Reductant, Reduction, Salt, Solubility, Soluble, Solute, Solvent, Spectator, Stoichiometric, Stoichiometry, Strong, Symbol, Temperature, Titrant, Titration, Weak

Selected additional terms: Add, Axis, Bus, CPU, Erupts, Hive, Iridium, Liquid, Mars, Mole, Molecular, Nonmetal, Nucleus, Ochre, OH, Period, Pico, Pure, Quantum, SI, Slope, Stars, Sun, Symbol, Temperature, Tibia, Vacuum, Venus

Words: 105 · Puzzle Score: 174

Core terms: Bomb, Calorie, Calorimeter, Calorimetry, Chemical, Endothermic, Energy, Enthalpy, Change, Exothermic, Expansion, First, Heat, Capacity, Hess, Hydrocarbon, Internal, Joule, Kinetic, Nutritional, Potential, Specific, Combustion, Formation, Standard, Function, Surroundings, System, Temperature, Thermal, Thermochemistry, Work

Selected additional terms: Acid, Airborne, Aqueous, Argon, Asia, Atom, Avogadro, Base, Cell, Combustion, Cuba, Echo, Element, Euro, Group, Insects, Isomers, Isotopes, Kwh, Limit, Lorax, Mars, Meh, Molarity, Molecule, Oil, Optic, Oxidation, Period, Precipitate, Quotient, Reduction, Solid, Solute, Solvent, Stoichiometry, Ulna, Unit, Uranus

Words: 105 · Puzzle Score: 172

Core words: Affinity, Amplitude, Atomic, Aufbau, Blackbody, Bohr, Continuous, Core, Covalent, Degenerate, Configuration, Density, Excited, Exclusion, Frequency, Ground, Heisenberg, Hertz, Hund, Intensity, Interference, Ionization, Isoelectronic, Line, Magnetic, Node, Nuclear, Radiation, Orbital, Photon, Principal, Quantization, Mechanics, Quantum, Secondary, Shell, spdf, Spectrum, Spin, Standing, Subshell, Valence, Wave, Duality, Function, Wavelength

Selected additions terms: Alloy, amu, Astro, Bang, Base, Blizzard, Borneo, Boron, Boyle, Carnivorous, Chem, Electron, Element, Estuary, Excel, Eye, Gopher, Half, Hive, IOT, Jupiter, Kidney, Oblate, Obtuse, Quark, Radio, Sour, Stem, UV, Vascular, Venus

Words: 109 · Puzzle Score: 169

Core terms: Axial, Angle, Bond, Distance, Energy, Length, Haber, Covalent, Dipole, Double, Electron, Electronegativity, Equatorial, Formal, Radical, Hypervalent, Inert, Ionic, Lattice, Structure, Symbol, Linear, Lone, Molecular, Octahedral, Octet, Polar, Molecule, Pure, Resonance, Forms, Hybrid, Single, Tetrahedral, Planar, Triple, Vsepr, Vector

Selected additional terms: Acid, Airborne, Amplitude, Antenna, Asteroid, Au, Blackbody, Calorimetry, Cell, Clone, Dalton, Element, Embargo, Enthalpy, Extinct, FDA, Function, Guano, Heat, Hertz, Hybrid, Ice, Internal, Jurassic, LAN, mL, Namibia, Neptune, Odor, Photon, Pulse, Shell, spdf, Subshell, Symbol, Thermal, Time, Valence, Wavelength

Words: Over 7 x 100+ · Puzzle Score: Over 7 x 150+
Includes Chemistry Crossword Puzzles 1–7.

Words: 113 · Puzzle Score: 177

Core terms: Antibonding, Bond, Bonding, Degenerate, Diamagnetism, Homonuclear, Hybrid, Hybridization, Linear, Molecular, Diagram, Orbital, Node, Overlap, Paramagnetism, Pi, Mixing, Sigma, Valence 

The core terms were a bit scant for this chapter, so a robust selection of additional terms from previous chapters was deployed.

Selected Additional Terms: Amplitude, Angle, Biome, Blackbody, Calorie, Cell, CO, Dilute, Electronegativity, Element, Energy, Exothermic, Gene, Heat, Hertz, Human, Iris, ISS, Kinetic, Land, Lattice, Lone, Magnetic, Mammoth, Mars, Mole, Nano, Nonmetal, Nucleus, Orbit,  Period, Photon, Pluto, Potential, Pure, Quotient, Radical, Richter, Saturn, Shell, Shock, Slope, Solute, Solvent, State, Stoichiometry, Subshell, Symbol, THz, Tornado, Vector, VSEPR, Wavelength, Yeti

Words: 109 · Puzzle Score: 168

Core terms: Absolute, Gaylussac, Atmosphere, Avogadro, Bar, Barometer, Boyle, Charles, Compressibility, Dalton, Diffusion, Effusion, Graham, Hydrostatic, Ideal, Constant, Gas, Kinetic, Manometer, Free, Mole, Partial, Pascal, PSI, Pressure, Rate, Square, STP, Standard, Torr, Vanderwaals, Vapor

Selected additional terms: Acid, Base, Battery, Biome, Cell, Cold, Core, Covid, Egg, Element, EPA, Error, Excited, Frog, Group, Hypothesis, Insoluble, Ionization, Ions, Isomers, Isotopes, Jupiter,  Moons, NAS, Nasa, Ne, Neptune, NIH, Noble, Organs, Oxygen, Period, PET, pH, Photon, Pnictogens, Precipitate, Quotient, Resists, Run, Shell, Soluble, Spectrum, STEM, Stoichiometry, Subshell, Sun, Systolic, Valence, Venus, Volume, Webb

Words: 113 · Puzzle Score: 186

Core terms: Adhesive, Amorphous, BCC, Boiling, Bragg, Capillary, CCP, Cell, Cohesive, Condensation, Coordination, Covalent, Critical, Crystalline, Crystallography, Deposition, Diagram, Diffraction, Dipole, Dispersion, Dynamic, Equation, FCC, Freezing, HCP, Hole, Hydrogen, Induced, Instantaneous, Intermolecular, Ionic, Isomorphous, Lattice, Melting, Molecular, Normal, Octahedral, Point, Solid, Sublimation, Supercritical, Surface, Tetrahedral, Triple, Vacancy, Vapor, Vaporization, Viscosity

No shortage of core terms in this chapter! Fewer additional terms required.

Selected additional terms: Agua, Arc, atm, Atom, Buret, Coati, Cobra, Crest, Dilute, Earth, Element,    ENIAC, ESPN, Ice, Jupiter, kilo, LIDAR, Lunar, Mercury, Net, Nova, OH, Radian, REM, Ruby, Seismic, Spaceport, Venus, Virus, Wind, Xray

Words: 106 · Puzzle Score: 172

Core terms: Alloy, Amphiphilic, Boiling, Colligative, Colloid, Crenation, Cryoscopic, Dipole , Dispersed, Dispersion, Dissociation, Ebullioscopic, Electrolyte, Emulsifying, Emulsion, Freezing, Gel, Hemolysis, Henry, Hypertonic, Hypotonic, Ideal, Immiscible, Ion, Isotonic, Miscible, Miscible, Molality, Nonelectrolyte, Osmosis, Osmotic, Raoult, Saturated, Semipermeable, Solubility, Solvation, Spontaneous, Strong, Supersaturated, Suspension, Tyndall, Unsaturated, Vanthoff, Weak

Additional terms: Acid, Astra, Atom, Base, Beaker, Capillaries, Cinema, Crest, Digital, Distilled, Element, Erie, EVA, Femur, Igneous, Ionic, Light, Mars, MRI, NGO, OH, PSI, Reactant, Saturn, School, Second, tan, Tesla, Tycho, Vegan

Words: 116 · Puzzle Score: 186

Core terms: Activation, Arrhenius, Average, Bimolecular, Catalyst, Collision, Complex, Constant, Determining, Diagram, Elementary, Expression, Frequency, Halflife, Heterogeneous, Homogeneous, Initial, Instantaneous, Integrated, Intermediate, Law, Mechanism, Method, Molecularity, Order, Overall, Rate, Termolecular, Unimolecular

Selected additional terms: Alloy, BCC, BP, Chip, cm, Cone, cos, Dipole, Ear, Electrolyte, Enigma, Free, Freezing, Gas, Gel, Gold, Heel, Ideal, Ion, IV, Jupiter, Kilo, Kinetic, Lattice, Liquid, Lung, MD, Melting, Meta, mg, MIDI, Milli, Mole, NFT, Northern, Pascal, Pi, Plasma, Polonium, Psi, Rhesus, Roman, Run, Saturn, Solid, Solubility, SPDF, Stabile, STP, Strong, Sublimation, Titan, TNT, Vaporization, Viscosity, VOC, Volta, Weak

Words: 110 · Puzzle Score: 173

[OpenStax Chemistry 2e spreads its coverage of equilibrium across three chapters: 13, 14, and 15.]

Core terms: Acid, Acidic, Action, Adduct, Amphiprotic, Amphoteric, Autoionization, Base, Basic, Brønsted, Buffer, Capacity, Chemistry, Common, Complex, Conjugate , Constant, Coordinate, Coupled, Curve, Diprotic , Dissociation, Equilibrium, Formation, Henderson, Heterogeneous, Homogeneous, Indicator, Interval, Ionization, Le Châtelier, Leveling, Ligand, Lowry, Molar, Monoprotic, Neutral, Oxyacid, Percent, pH, pOH, Product, Quotient, Reversible, Selective, Solubility, Stepwise, Triprotic.

Selected additional terms: AC, Act, Add, CGI, Code, Cougar, DC, Earth, Errors, Hypothesis, Ice, Indigo, kPa, Lark, Leech, LXV, Mercury, Molecule, Nordic, Oceans, Sequester, SI, Spin, Stargazers, STEM, STI, Taurus, Tc, Titan, Tsunami, Uuu, Venus

Words: Over 6 x 100+ · Puzzle Score: Over 6 x 150+
Includes Chemistry Crossword Puzzles 8–15.

Words: 120 · Puzzle Score: 183

Core terms: Change, Entropy, Formation, Free, Gibbs, Microstate, Nonspontaneous, Reversible, Second, Spontaneous, Standard, Third

This chapter was light on core terms, so recent chapters were called upon to volunteer additional terms as tribute.

Selected additional terms: Acidic, Activation, Alloy, Amphiphilic, Amphoteric, Basic, Bohr, Catalyst, Colloid, Conjugate, Constant, CPR, Crenation, Curve, Diagram, DNA, Electrolyte, Element, Emulsion, Filter, Gel, Giga, GPS, GPT, Gram, Halflife, Hertz, Hypotonic, Hz, Ideal, Inch, Indicator, Initial, Io, Ion, Isotonic, Isotope, Joule, Jupiter, Ligand, Llm, Magma, Mercury, Miscible, Molar, Mole, Neutral, OpenAI, Osmosis, Overall, pH, Pi, Playa, pOH, Probe, Product, Quotient, Rate, Rays, Rho, RN, Sedimentary, Sg, Sodium, Solubility, Stepwise, Suspension, Tan, Terabyte, Tone, Valence, Venus, Virgo, Waves

Words: 111 · Puzzle Score: 181

Core terms: Active, Alkaline, Anode, Battery, Bridge, Cadmium, Cathode, Cell, Concentration, Corrosion, Dry, Electrode, Electrolysis, Electrolytic, Faraday, Fuel, Galvanic , Galvanization, Half, Hydrogen, Inert, Lead, Lithium, Nernst, Notation, Potential, Primary, Protection, Sacrificial, Secondary

Selected additional terms: Acidic, Adduct, Alloy, Ape, Basic, Bismuth, Change, Curve, EMF, Emissions, Entropy, Fe, Formation, Free, Gibbs, Indicator, Ligand, Mantle, Metamorphic, Microstate, Molar, Nano, Nebula, Neptune, Neutral, Obtuse, Odor, pH, Pluto, pOH, Proton, Reversible, Second, Skeptic, Solubility, Spontaneous, Standard, Stepwise, Sum, Sun, Tan, Third, Uranus, XOR, Xylem

Words: 114 · Puzzle Score: 179

Core terms: Alkaline, Allotropes, Amorphous, Anhydride, Base, Bicarbonate, Bismuth, Borate, Carbonate, Carbonate, Chemical, Chloralkali, Disproportionation, Downs, Element, Frasch, Haber, Halide, Heroult, Hydrogen, Hydrogenation, Hydroxide, Interhalogen, Metal, Metalloid, Nitrate, Nitrogen, Ostwald, Oxide, Ozone, Passivation, Peroxide, Photosynthesis, Pidgeon, Polymorph, Silicate, Sulfite, Superoxide

Selected additional terms: Air, Anode, Arachnid, Astra, Battery, Calorie, Caribou, Cathode, Chloro, Compound, Corrosion, DC, Digit, ENIAC, Entropy, Faraday, Gibbs, Golgi, GPT, Ice, Ion, Laika, Li, Mars, MKS, Na, Nano, NASA, Noble, Np, OH, PDF, Petri, pH, Primary, Rb, Red, Second, Secondary, SHE, sin, Snow, Tera, Third, Time, Tumor

Words: 105 · Puzzle Score: 180

Core terms: Actinide, Bidentate, Central, Chelate, Chelating, Cis, Coordination, Crystal, dBlock, Donor, Earth, fBblock, First, Fourth, Geometric, High, Hydrometallurgy, Ionization, Lanthanide, Ligand, Linkage, Low, Monodentate, Number, Optical, Pairing, Platinum, Polydentate, Second, Smelting, Spectrochemical, Sphere, Splitting, Steel, Strong, Superconductor, Third, Trans, Weak

Selected Additional Terms: AI, Allotropes, Angle, Anhydride, Anode, Atom, Avogadro, Base, Battery, Bohr, Bop, Cathode, Dune, Dynamite, Email, Enigma, Ennui, Halide, Inch, Ionic, Iris, kPa, Luna, Nanometer, Orion, Oxide, Ozone, Pluto, Saturn, SBF, Serbia, Signal, Silicate, Siri, spdf, Stoichiometry, Stoma, Torr, Toxic, Wood

20. TBA at TPT
Words: TBA · Puzzle Score: TBA

Core terms: TBA

Selected additional terms: TBA

21. TBA at TPT
Words: TBA · Puzzle Score: TBA

Core terms: TBA

Selected additional terms: TBA
Coming soon!

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Inside China's Tech Boom

This is a story of how we came to be in a tech war with China. It might be a bit jarring to some as it's not told from a populist or conservative political perspective. Some may cast it as Chinese propaganda promoting Huawei or some such. It's not that.

My own takeaway is that the US is hoping to slow China's technological world dominance, and current techniques could be effective in the short term. But when China overcomes the US speed bumps, we're going to find ourselves in a situation. A situation not of our liking, and with little to bargain with. We've got a head start, but I fear we won't make the best if it. Who knows? I've been wrong before.

In the span of just a few decades, China has transformed into a science and technology superpower. But how did it get here and where is it headed? Take an insider’s tour of high-profile tech companies and labs that are driving China’s meteoric rise to the forefront of global innovation. How does China innovate? What drives its bid for technological supremacy? And what does its rise mean for the future of the global economy?