Clara Lazen is the discoverer of tetranitratoxycarbon, a molecule constructed of, obviously, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon. It's got some interesting possible properties, ranging from use as an explosive to energy storage. Lazen is listed as the co-author of a recent paper on the molecule. But that's not what's so interesting and inspiring about this story. What's so unusual here is that Clara Lazen is a ten-year-old fifth-grader in Kansas City, MO.
In an unusual move, an international coalition of flu researchers agreed last week to a hiatus on work surrounding a highly contagious, mammal-adapted version of the avian influenza virus. Research on transmissible H5N1 flu will halt, and two manuscripts describing how to modify the virus won't be published, at least not yet.
The voluntary pause came a few weeks after an American advisory panel recommended censoring the research in the name of security. So it raises an interesting question — is some research just too dangerous to pursue?
While some companies hope an iTunes-like approach to distributing scientific papers on the cheap will get journal articles into the hands of people who need them, a new study shows that many medical students are already taking the Napster approach. A new paper studying the downloading habits of medical students found 125,000 users of peer-to-peer filesharing services who obtained some 5,000 scientific papers for free, circumventing the usual $30 fee.