Major Breakthroughs in Chemistry in the year 2007

This article highlights some of the advances in chemistry in last year-2007. At the end of each year, time is to evaluate what scientists have done in their respective field. This article was published in Chemical and Engineering News.

You may also like chemistry blog: NepaChem

Stu Borman
EACH YEAR the editors of C&EN select some of the most important research advances from among the stories we've reported throughout the year and highlight them in a year-end issue. This year we've selected about two dozen examples of chemistry-based research at its best.
© 2007 Science

Two Approaches Similar structures (one gold and one blue and red) of the membrane receptor β2AR were obtained by stabilizing the receptor with T4 lysozyme (gray, left) or an antibody fragment (gray, right). β2AR is only the second G-protein-coupled receptor ever analyzed structurally.

Of the various chemically related subdisciplines spanned by our selections, structural analysis stands out as the most prolific. Highlighted breakthroughs include structures of a G-protein-coupled receptor, a type of protein that's been nearly impossible to analyze; and a new technique that made it possible to obtain the first detailed structure of one of the largest biomolecular complexes in cells.

Other selections this year range from advances in neurochemistry and molecular biology to key discoveries in organic synthesis, nanotechnology, molecular imaging, and environmental chemistry. They include a possible cure for a mental retardation disorder, a surprising finding about a common mechanism of different types of antibiotics, the design and synthesis of one of the lowest-density crystals ever known, a source of power for nanoelectronic devices, and the real-time imaging of gene regulation in living cells.

Our choices are necessarily subjective and do not pretend to be comprehensive. Indeed, these studies represent only a few examples of the many ways in which chemistry-related research advances our society and improves people's lives each and every year.

Rett Syndrome Research Foundation

Rett Reversed Rett syndrome patients often have trouble walking. A study showed that Rett syndrome could be reversed in mice.

Complete Article here


Universal Studio Tour #Hollywood

Universal Studio in Hollywood is the place where most of the Hollywood movies are made. I am not that much familiar to the movies. I have watched very few Hollywood movies. During my winter vacation trip to San Diego, I had an opportunity to go to world movie center city Los Angeles. According to our guide "More movies and TV shows" have been shot at Universal than at any other studio. In this occasion I would like to take you to universal studio.
Welcome to Universal Studio: Red Carpet for everyone
It was great opportunity to learn the Hollywood film industry.

They have permanent sets of different places that you have been watching on movies and TV shows. Lets go to these sets by riding tram. We saw a New York Street, Small Town, Old Mexico, Six Points Texas, Little Europe, the Square of Warriors and others. You might have seen "Little Europe" in movies like Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, Pink Panther, Pirates of the Caribbean. New York Street was seen in Spider-Man 2 as well as TV series such as Alias, Boston Legal, The A-Team.

Some pictures are in this photo story.

There is an impressive set from 2005’s "War of the Worlds" (with Tom Cruise), where an airliner has crashed into a residential neighborhood.

A crashed plane which destroyed houses(right below).

This set is used to show broken bridge.

They have a set which is used to show rain and flash flood in a village. They demonstrated us the event. They also showed us how they film the fire events in the movie. Watch this video clip.


Happy Xmas

Portland International Airport, OR:
How do you feel when you are waiting for the time to board your flight? Lets say how do you pass time in this situation. I have to wait for 1 hour and 40 minutes. I was not aware that this airport has internet access on its waiting room. I opened my notebook computer and was trying to kill time. Fortunately, I got internet connection. And tried to write to something.

I am going to some place: thats San Diego for my winter break. For graduate students, there is no holiday at all. But, I think, its better to have some time off from the lab. Don't be lab rat all the time. Its 6 days trip to south western part of the US. Good place for winter, warm weather unlike rainy, cold here in Oregon-Corvallis/Portland.

It is raining out here. Whole day is screaming in north west and north east part of US today.

I will post something about my trip later.

I want to say happy x-mas to all of you.

Write how you are celebrating this winter break.


Good Resource for Chemistry Teachers and Students

The link given here has great videos that teach you some fundamental aspects of chemistry. It is free. Its a World of Chemistry. It is appropriate for students taking high school or college chemistry, from introductory to advanced levels, and is easily applicable to different teaching approaches. It includes physics and Earth science components, and is also valuable for teachers seeking to review the subject matter. There is a collection of 26 videos on different topics related to chemistry.



Politics! Are you Interested?

Just a question. Well not just a question, its kinda discussion.

Last week I was talking with my friend from Ukraine. In the mean time I asked her something that happened in Ukraine recently and was in bbc news. But she didn't know that. Why not? I was just curious because it should be a big news for her. She didn't know because she didn't get the news, she don't care about her own country, or what? I asked her. "I am not interested in politics" she replied this way. Ok, you are not interested in politics then why don't you listen, read or watch news? I asked her again as I was not satisfied with her answer. Her second answer surprised me. I have not even thought about about her opinion. "What do you get from news?". She put another question to my question rather giving answer. "You get to know what is happening or what happened or anything else in all field of life around the world or whatever you are interested in" I tried to convince her. "Then how will you be benefited from that?" Another question in stead of answer. I didn't have right answer to her question. I had another question though. Then I talked to her in different way. Don't you like games, aren't you interested to know social news and so on. Then she replied as she didn't have time. This makes sense to some extent.

I know many(most) young generations don't like politics. But it doesn't necessarily mean that they are not interested. In my opinion its not a matter of likeliness or hate. Its a part of everyone's life because it is affecting your life in many aspects. It plays major role to influence your life in underdeveloped or developing countries.

One thing you always remember. You don't care when you are student. After you are done with your study and try to find job and after you realize getting job is very difficult then you will try to understand why you are not getting job. And you ultimately end up to a point that this is politics that makes policies and creates more job to you.

Fundamentally politics is the brain of all sciences.

May be because I am from Nepal, I always keep me updated with mainly political news around the world with special emphasis Nepal. People say that Nepalese are far more interested and involved in politics. And some say that due to more politics Nepal is suffering from a number of problems. But for me the bad situation of country makes me interested in politics and political news. Because I always want to know what is going to happen tomorrow, when is my country going to be in normal.

But the condition of developed countries like USA is totally different. They don't care about who is leading the country and where they are going. Most of the youngsters are busy to make credit history, making love(which is not bad though) and what else? Thats why Bush is doing whatever he wants.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is thanksgiving day. I am writing these lines from my laboratory. Its a 4 day long weekend. The entire campus is empty. Nobody is in my lab except me. I am probably alone in this huge building. People are celebrating this holiday with their family/friends. Actually my lab mates were in holiday mood yesterday and they left lab early. Some times I love to work during night because there is nobody to disturb me, its calm and quite. Today there is no body in the lab and its quite enough but I am also feeling the festival mood.

Its a traditional holiday in North America. Its one of the biggest festivals in US. This was started to give thanks for the things that one has at the conclusion of the harvest season about 400 hundreds years ago. Turkey is the main meal for this festival. People cook whole turkey, in some houses more than one depending on the size of the family and guests, serve with wine. I am also invited to join the thanksgiving party in one of my american friends house today evening. This will be my first thanksgiving celebration. Last year I didn't realize that this is the biggest festival and it is so important to north Americans like Dashain and Tihar for us.

The day after thanks giving day i.e. Friday is called black Friday. Economic activity drastically increases during this time. Almost all business companies/malls announce sale on many stuffs. So its good time buy something if you are planning to buy and if you find good deals.

Unlike our festivals in Nepal, almost all festivals in USA are always in weekends or in last days of the week. For example this THANKSGIVING is on Thursday, some others are in Friday. But, interestingly, always on the same days. This might be because they are more concerned with their work and always want to celebrate their festivals during weekends so that they don't need to spend weekdays.

more about thanksgiving




Air Pollution in Kathmandu

Air in Kathmandu is polluted. It doesn't require any test from any scientists. A person who goes to the city in the morning and comes back home in the evening can feel the effect of air pollution.

Photo: www.ekantipur.com

This photo taken recently from airplane shows the effect of air pollution in Kathmandu's air. The reduction of visibility is due to polluted air. The first one on the left side is taken from above the polluted air. You can see clear snowy mountain peaks and down there is layer of polluted air. The second picture on the right side was taken from below the polluted air and you barely see the beautiful mountains because the polluted layer of air blocks and visibility is very poor.


How many hours on internet?

Internet has become a part of our life-most of the people in developed countries, though very few people in countries like mine(Nepal) have access to internet. Living in a developed country and working as a graduate student makes much more dependent on internet. Besides searching for literatures for research and course, I do use internet for communication and to be in contact with friends as well.

Everyday I surf news sites. Even during my exams or deadlines, I anyhow make time for these sites. My day begins with checking my email. I always try to reply emails instantly. After checking emails, BBC nepali service is my next choice. While listening to this radio, I quickly go over bbc world news. Some online research journals are next to bbc news. These online journals keep me updated to research going on in my field. Everyday I check Environmental Science and Technology, Analytical Chemistry; Science, Nature and other related journals once per week.

Nepali news sites from around the world are other ones. Reading ekantipur is like my regular duty. Some others are: nayapatrika.com, newsofnepal.com, nepalihimal.com, nepalnews.com, nepalipost.com, nepalbritain.com, samudrapari.com, nepaljapan.com etc. Mysansar.com is a blog but like most of others I use it as a source of news.

Internets sites not only provide you information-news and research resourses but also they are good sourse of entertainment. I watch youtube.com for videos and nepali videos are my targets there. nepal123.com has very good videos like nepali comedy, TV serials, movies and much more. Some other entertaining sites are cybersansar.com for models watch, murchunga.com for online live musics.

There are some community making sites in which I am in like hi5.com, facebook.com, orkut.com etc. I have contacted many old friends through these sites. We can interact and discuss on some topic, share photos and videos. We have our one group and networks. For example there is Nepalese Chemists group and Nepalese in Corvallis group in facebook. sajha.com is another popular site in Nepali community. I like to read story in it.

In fact, we are so dependent on internet that without internet I can't imagine life. Some time we make joke that internet is somebody's girlfren/lifefren. Specially it is helping a lot to stay away from home.

I would like to ask the viewers of my blog to share their view.


Europeans more intelligent than Africans?

When James Watson and Francis Crick published their findings in a medical journal about the structure of DNA, it had created a storm in the scientific community of that time. Again after 54 years he tried to shake(intentionally or un-intentionally) the world by saying that "Whites are more intelligent than Blacks". But at this time the 79 year old scientist couldn't create a storm, rather he is forced to retire from his own job.

Dr. Watson and Crick made a breakthrough by unlocking the structure of DNA, "the most secrete of life", popularly known as 'Watson and crick double helix structure of DNA' in 1953 and for which they got Nobel prize in 1962.
Dr Watson directed the 'Human Genome Project' at the American National Institutes of Health from 1988 to 1992. Until few days ago he was the director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. This is not the first time he made controversy.

Dr. Watson
In the past, he has said a woman should have the right to abort her unborn child if tests could determine it would be homosexual. He has also suggested a link between skin colour and sex drive, proposing a theory that black people have higher libidos.

After his interview published in Sunday times he is getting many criticisms not only from ethical and social experts also from Scientists from same field.

Dr. Craig Venter, the scientist/businessman who led the private effort to decode the human genome, has said that "Skin colour as a surrogate for race is a social concept not a scientific one" . "There is no basis in scientific fact or in the human genetic code for the notion that skin colour will be predictive of intelligence", Dr. Venter said.

After the interview The Bristol Festival of Ideas has canceled an appearance by Dr. The Science Museum has canceled a talk by American DNA pioneer Dr James Watson. After getting so much criticism, suspended from his job and later forfully regigned he apologized later by saying that "To all those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologize unreservedly."

My question is " how did he make such a huge mistake? Is that due to his age or his racial thought or anything else. I hope scientists are not saying anything on the basis of race.


“The Many Faces of Chemistry”

American Chemical Society(ACS) is celebrating its 20th National Chemistry Week(NCW), October 21-27. According to ACS NCW is a community-based annual event that unites ACS local sections, businesses, schools, and individuals in communicating the importance of chemistry to our quality of life.

This is mainly focused to school children and undergraduate students to encourage them to be interested in chemistry and related field so that many faces will be seen in future. There are several contests,like posters, going on in several communities.

Participate in the local community based programs to celebrate NCW.


Can science really save the world?-Your ideas important

There is no doubt about global warming. Despite 10 years of international negotiations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide levels by between 60-80 per cent, global emissions are still rising. Then how can we save our earth? How can we cutoff the effect of climate change? or How can we tackle this problem? Is there any meaningful way? Well, what we can do is reduce green house gases and/ or solar radiation. But this is limited to anthropogenic emission only.

Scientists are trying to protect earth from this fearful warming in a way that could be only possible in science fictions. They want to change the planet, alter its oceans and reshape its cloud cover and thus reshaping our world.

The latest assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) has considered three major techniques to reduce sunlight reaching the Earth: orbiting mirrors, sulphur particle schemes and projects for enhancing cloud cover. Another idea is by increasing agricultural productivity and forestry. Carbon dioxide would be left in the atmosphere, stimulating plant growth, while reductions in sunlight would stop temperatures from rising even as CO2 levels continued to increase.

Do you have any ideas?

Look at some ideas:

1. Ocean Pumps: Pump deep cold water water to the sea. Cold ocean water is considered to be more 'productive' than warmer water because it contains more lifeforms which brings more lifeforms into contact with the atmosphere and its CO2. And these lifeforms are vital for absorbing CO2. These lifeforms would absorb CO2, die and then sink to the ocean floor, storing the carbon away for millennia.

2. Sulphur Blanket: Another idea is making a 'blanket' of sulphur that would block the Sun's rays from reaching Earth. Scientist has proposed as "hundreds of rockets filled with sulphur being blasted into the stratosphere".

3. Mirrors:
This idea introduces the use of mirrors to cut radiation from the Sun by firing giant mirrors into its orbit. They are thinking about using a mesh of aluminium threads, a millionth of an inch in diameter. It would be like a window screen made of exceedingly fine metal wire. The screen wouldn't completely block sunlight but would filter infra-red radiation.

4. Cloud Shield
: Increasing cloud cover using a seawater spray 'seeding' process could increase cloud cover by 4 per cent - enough to counter a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by shielding Earth from solar radiation. This plan is one of the cheaper ideas for countering rising carbon dioxide levels and is relatively low-tech.

5. Synthetic trees: Scientists are proposing a surprise technological variant- synthetic trees. These trees would not grow or flower or leaf - but they would absorb carbon dioxide.One of the synthetic trees could remove about 90,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in a year - the output of more than 15,000 cars and a thousandfold improvement on the natural behaviour of a real, living tree.

6. Forests of the seas: Another idea is to increase blooms of plankton and algae on the grasslands and prairies of the oceans. They absorb carbon dioxide, die and then sink to the seabed carrying the carbon dioxide they absorbed during their lifetimes. The favoured method for stimulating plankton growth is to use iron fertilisers. It is known that tiny amounts of iron are critical in stimulating phytoplankton growth in seas.

Please add your thought and ideas that may solve today's key environmental problem.

related link


Constituent Assembly Election Uncertain in Nepal

The much awaited constituent assembly election has been postponed by election commission after it received request from government, though the commission was fully prepared to hold the polls. The election was scheduled on November. This is the second time the election has been postponed. But the new date for the election has not been announced yet. This makes the constitution assembly election uncertain. Nepalese are waiting for 'Constituent assembly election' for more than half decade. There is a possibility of repeatation of history.

I was actively involed in the 'April movement'. There were two reasons. We were suffering from kings autocracy and moists armed struggle. We wanted to get rid of both of these. From that movement we had hope that moists would come to peaceful politics and a republic setup would be formed in the country. And constituent assembly would be held to legistilate all changes which would also re-structure the country.

This is sad to know about the future of the polls.

Who is responsible for it?
Nepali Congress or Maoists? I think both of them are responsible to postpone the election date.

What will be result of this decision?


Competition for North Pole

All scientists believe that the temperature of the earth is increasing due to the effect of global warming. There could be an debate regarding the cause and effect of global warming. Most of the scientists and policy makers agree to the point that it is due to human activities, still there is small number who say that there is also dominating natural cause. The bad impact of global warming has been told by in many sectors. It causes the melting of Himalayan snow which provides drinking water to downstream population. And the melted water raise the water level of the sea causing millions of people displaced. Global average temperature is increased by about 0.6C in the 20th Century. Sea levels have risen 10-20cm - thought to be caused mainly by the expansion of warming oceans. If nothing is done to reduce emissions(green house gases), current climate models predict a global temperature increase of 1.4-5.8°C by 2100. Climate change is another bad effect of global warming.

The effect of warming in North pole has been monitored these years
very carefully. It has been found that the rate of shrinkage of ice on the north pole-arctic region is faster than that it was expected before. US scientists have confirmed that Arctic sea ice shrank to the smallest to the smallest area on record this year. You can see the shrinkage of ice on the picture below. The red line represents the 30 year average ice in the area.

Due to this faster shrinkage of ice, countries surrounding the arctic region have started to claim that part of the region lies in their territory.
There are disputes involving all of the five - the United States, Canada, Russia, Norway and Denmark.
The US and Canada argue over rights in the North West Passage, Norway and Russia over the Barents Sea, Canada and Denmark are competing over a small island off Greenland, the Russian parliament is refusing to ratify an agreement with the US over the Bering Sea and Denmark is seeking to trump everyone by claiming the North Pole itself.
But why? do you know it?

According to US geological society, about one fourth of the worlds oil depository lies in this area and ice is still main barrier to get it. So, they hope that with less ice in the area, they will be able to dig oil wells.
Russian explorers have planted their country's flag on the seabed 4,200m (14,000ft) below the North Pole to further Moscow's claims to the Arctic. Danish researchers had set sail for the North Pole to collect geological data last month, on a mission similar to Russia's trip.The month-long Danish expedition will study the Lomonosov Ridge. Russia believes the underwater feature is linked to its territory. Canada has announced plans for six naval patrol vessels and a deep-water port in the north to assert its claim to territorial waters in the Arctic.

And, according to ESA(the European Space Agency),
the most direct shipping route from Europe to Asia is fully clear of ice for the first time since records began.

If you want to know much more about this here is a useful link.


Amazing fight! Lions and buffaloes are fighting

Few lions are sitting on the side of the water(may be river or lake). Looks like they are eagerly waiting for their food. A few number of buffaloes are also going somewhere through the way. When the buffaloes are nearby to the lions they realized that their life are in danger and started run away. But it was too late. Lions are able to catch one young member of buffalo community. It falls into water. Lions try hard to pull their 'nice food' away from water to the land. The young buffalo is still alive. The other buffaloes who escaped from the attack of lions and survived for that time come up with more buffaloes, actually hundreds of them and attack lions. They cry after seeing their young member having very hard time. They finally are able to get rid of the lions.

I liked this video very much because it shows working together is far more better than being alone in this world. It is a lesson for us. There is famous saying in Nepali that " ekle thuki suki, sayele thuki nadi". It means that if there is one drop it dries, and if there are group of drops it makes river.

On the other hand it is nature. Nature balance its diversity if not disturbed by human activity.

Its 08.23 min long video from youtube and have been viewed by 68,318,981.

Enjoy it.


तीज को रहर आयो बरिलै-तीज को लहर गयो बरिलै

आज तीज।
बिहानै दिदि बहिनिले नुहाई धुहाई गरि अस्ति बाले बजारबाट ल्याइदेका नया लुगा लगाउने तरखर गर्दै छन ।पहिले आमाले ब्रत लिन्थिन आजकल त कहिले काहि मात्रै। उता दिदि-बहिनि त जागरनै गर्दैनन। उनिहरुले बुझिसके ब्रत बसेर उनिहरुले केहि पाउदैनन भनेर।कसैले राम्रो श्रीमान पाउला भनेर ब्रत बस्छन।तर उनिहरुले पनि भने जस्तो पाएनन क्यारे।आजकलका केटिहरु ब्रत बस्ने भन्दा पनि रमाइलो गरेर तीज मनाउछन।दिदि र फुपै हिजो आफ्ना घर बाट आएका हुन। उनिहरुका घरमा पनि चेलिबेटि आएका छनरे अनि सबै काम आफ्ना घरकाले-गर्नु पर्छ भनेर गुनगुनाउदै छन।

यसपालि त 'नयागाउ' जानु पर्छ रा-म हेर्न। पोहोर थापाटोल गाको रमाइलोनै भएन के।बहिनि आमालाई फकाउछे।हेर्दा हेर्दै काइला-बन्जातनि उनका लावालस्कर् सहित अैपुगिन।हैन इन्ले कति ढिलो गरेका।बेर भैसक्यो के।चाडै गर-कति नक्कल पार्न परेको हो यि नक्कलिलाइ।बन्जातनि कडकियिन।हेर्दा हेर्दै पारिबाट लामै लस्कर अैसक्यो।नयागाउ जानेहरुको।सबैले राता लुगा लाएका छन।अनि सबैका नया लुगा।तिन्को गन्ध नै भिन्दै छ। नयागाउमा ठुला-ठुला बर र पीपलका रुखमुनि हजारौ महिलाहरु जम्म भयेका छन्- आ-आफ्ना समुहमा।हाम्रा टोल्काले पनि आफ्नो छुट्टै ग्रुप बनएर गाउन र नाच्न सुरु गरे।ुता 'चर्खे' र 'डोरे' पीङ खेल्नेको घुइचो छ। चर्खे पीङमा आफ्ना चेलिबेटि लाई पीङ खेलाउन केटाहरु तल्लिन छन। आफ्नो ग्रुपबाट आर्को ग्रुप्मा जानलाई ठिटीहरु उठे। बुढिहरुको समुहमा रमाइलो भएनरे उनिहरुलाई। होस पनि कसरि। पुरानो पुस्ताको आफ्नै तालका गीत अनि आफ्नै तालका नाच।

हामी पनि हेरौ है त कस्ता कस्ता गीत गाउने रैछन अनि कसरी कम्मर मर्काइ-मर्काइ नाच्ने रैछन। केहि मलाई मन परेका भिडियोहरु।ल त रङगले हेर्नुस।
सबैलाई तीज को शुभकामना!
सबैलाई तीज को शुभकामना!

बहिनीले दिदि सङग भिनाजुको कुरा लाउदै
भाग १

भाग २

ढल्की-ढल्की नाच दिदि बहिनी

मेरो त कम्मर खायो बरिलै-अब लोकतन्त्र आयो बरिलै

मैना मादल ठोक-काठमान्डु वरिपरिको तीज
आधुनिक हुन खोज्ने आफ्ना श्रीमानको बखान सङी हरुसङ गर्दै

दुध र घिउ खानि भा-चट्ट कपाल कोर मैया माइत जानिभा
दुध र घिउ खानि हो-एक्लै बस म त बुडा माइत जानि हो

एुटा ग्रामिण परिवारको आन्तरिक समस्या


My First Year in Corvallis

It was 9/11 last year I entered United States of America. The day was remarkable in the world’s history and in the US because it is remembered as the terrorist attack on the twin tower buildings in New York City in 2001. Just before few days of my departure from Kathmandu, one Plane was hijacked in Europe and air-travel was very tight during that time. While booking my ticket, I did not take into consideration of that date. During my travel I realized the importance of the day.

I came to the USA as PhD student in Chemistry @ Oregon State University. My first year was focused to this goal. During this time, I took 6 courses and 3 seminar courses. I decided to work with Prof Staci and it was very important decision. I filed my graduate program of study with the formation of graduate advisory committee to the graduate school.

In the mean time I have traveled to three neighboring states other than Oregon. They are California, Nevada and Washington. First out of state tour started in last winter. It was 15 days travel to Nevada and California. I visited Reno, Lake Tahoe, and San Francisco. I like to visit different places and meet people. This summer I went to Seattle. Other places I have visited so far in Oregon are Portland, Salem, Eugene, Albany, Mary’s Peak, and Crater Lake. Recently I went to Red Wood national park to spend 3 days Labor Day weekend(Sep 1-3). To know about my Crater Lake, Seattle and Red Wood trip please see previous blogs.

Obviously, during this period I miss my family, friends in Kathmandu, though I am contact with my family and to some of friends through telephone and internet. I also miss festivals Dashain, Tihar Teej etc. I used to go to Maurighat-my home town at least in Dashain after I moved to Kathmandu for my higher studies. I liked the specific way women of my town celebrate Teej. Whatever you do in your childhood greatly influences.

At this moment I would like to thank Dr. Kailash Ghimire and family,Suva and other Nepalese in Corvallis for their generous help.

Nepalese community in Corvallis


Labor day Weekend in Red Wood National Park

Redwood national and state parks in US are well known for tall and wide trees. These parks are recognized as both a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve. The redwood trees are tallest trees in the world upto 379 feet high and wider- wider to pass your car through them.

A drive through redwood tree. With big drive through door this tree stands tall. We drove through the tree.

Roosevelt elk (Cervus elaphus ssp. roosevelti)

These were once about to extinct but now you can see many of them there. We were lucky during our hiking to redwood hiking trail, we saw a heard of Elks. It was 4 hours hiking. We were having rest and having lunch on the river side. At the same moment, we saw them sitting on the other side of the river. They started to look at us. Elks are like deer but much more bigger.

Our group members looking at the Elks.

It was good time to see sun set from sea beach. Actually that was my first time to be on the sea beach. I really enjoyed the time.

Posing at the time of sun setting.

Water of the ocean was very cold. We stayed on the beach for 2 hours looking at the sea waves and we saw whale and sea lions there.


Poll result

Time to vote on poll has been expired. When I started writing blog, I wanted to know how other people like my blog. I wanted to know their view about the content and layout of the blog. For this I had started a poll with question "How did you like my blog?" There were four options- good, ok, not bad and don't want to comment. Time to vote was 40 days. Withing that period I got 15 votes. 60% voted for good, 33.33% for ok and 6.66% for not bad, and nobody wanted not to comment.This poll has inspired to write blog and continue it.



Welcome in US

Every year hundreds of Nepali students come to US for their further study. Among them at least ~80 are graduate students. This is my tentative figure. Nobody knows exact data, even the Government of Nepal. Very few undergraduates get scholarship/free ship and most of them don't get that opportunity. Only getting VISA is great for their departure to the so called dreamland of many people. Actually this is a dreamland. Life is very hard without funding. A very handful students get funding from home back in Nepal otherwise others do hard work to make money for their living, tuition fee and others. Ok, lets leave this matter here. I will write about this in depth later on.

And welcome to graduate students!

All graduate students get either teaching assistantship(~95% at the beginning) or research assistantship which includes fee waive and stipend. They don't need to worry about economic problems. You can have American standard life (with your family). Some are even able to save some money from the stipend- thats great.

My friend Nabin has written on his blog that approximately there are 25 new comers in physics. And in chemistry about 30. I have talked to some of them to make approximation. How many in mathematics? Some body from the same subject can tell. Some are from geology, agriculture & veterinary, engineering etc. This number is huge number from a country like Nepal. We have only Tribhuvan University to produce Masters in almost all science streams. In case of chemistry intake every year is 90. This year ~30 came to US and others in other countries for M.S or PhD. So about 40-50% go abroad every year.

You have got new life in a sense and it is challenging as well. Any you made it. Congratulations! to all of you and welcome once again. I wish all the best to everyone in future.


Chemists! don't worry about Job

During my Bachelor's degree third year I had very hard time to choose my major. I had three options, Botany, Zoology and chemistry. I was equally interested to botany and zoology because I had thought that these subjects could bring me closer to community and nature than others. But for us(at least me, how abt you?), our interests is not the only one factor that decides your career. We look for availability of job also. Thats why I decided chemistry as specialized subject in the third year. The time was critical because you couldn't get admission in the subject other than your specialized one in Tribhuvan University. I decided chemistry as my major because I thought "I can earn for my living by tutoring private students." This is still true in Kathmandu. You can get more tutoring job with chemistry than with botany. I know most of the students feel chemistry is hard subject. Actually that was my good decision and I have no frustration after it. In my masters degree, I did very good. Now I am enjoying this area, though I have shifted little bit from pure chemistry to analytical-environmental chemistry.I can't guaranty that you can get good job in Nepal, but in USA a PhD chemistry graduate can earn $90000 per annum in average. Recently one article published in SCIENCE reveals that chemists have a broad, and broadening, range of career options to choose from, both in and out of the lab. This doesn't only include lab oriented works but also it explores 'not traditional roles'. Even with the exponential growth in the life science arena, chemists are central to the biotech and life science industries. Life science companies are crying out for postgraduate chemists.

According to the news report, Sigma-Aldrich which is a leading life science and high tech company hires about 45% chemists to 55% biologists at PhD level.

Non traditional chemists include all the science companies-chemical companies, biotech companies, pharmaceutical companies-but also law firms, companies involved in public policy, and companies involved in manufacturing or information technology.

Some of the chemistry areas in which you can find highly paid job easily are biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, analytical chemistry, combinatorial chemistry, synthetic organic chemistry etc.
Here are some links to some big organizations and companies. You can find more there.

Agilent www.agilent.com
American Chemical Society www.chemistry.org
Balbes Consultants www.balbes.com
Genentech www.gene.com
Royal Society of Chemistry www.rsc.org
Sigma-Aldrich www.sigmaaldrich.com


Incredible! Tabala Player

Young and Promising tabala player from Nepal is playing 'Tabala' very well. His name is Niroj Shakya. The boy is showing his awesome skill. Great work of Niroj. He plays like a professional player. He is less than 10 years old, I guess. Woh! .The video was recorded in Yala Maya Center, Patan Dhoka Nepal on June 16, 2007. Tabala is a drum type of classical musical instrument mainly played in eastern culture. Enjoy the play.


Divorce: Good or bad

Its been almost 11 months after I came to the United States of America. I landed on Los Angels airport 11th September last year. Working on my research which will lead me to get my degree is my main job. Besides that I am learning western culture and life style of people. Well, there is gig differences between west and east of the world. I am not an expert about this. I will just try to write whatever I see, my experience, and my feeling.

Yesterday I was pretty busy in lab with my work. My lab had group meeting, but due to "ASE" problems, I was not able to attend the meeting all time. Actually I couldn't leave the ASE unattended. After group meeting we went for drinks. At the mean time, my adviser told that it was for her "separation". I got surprised. really? I asked her. "Is it good news or bad news?" In between good and bad, she replied my second question.


How do you use toilet in Space?

NASA has lunched its space shuttle Endeavour to International space station today from Kennedy space center in Florida.

Lets talk about one interesting thing here today-related to space travel. Here on earth there is a great force called "Gravity". Because of this we can walk, and more things possible..........But imagine the place where there is no gravity. You can't even walk on the ground as you are doing here on earth. Here is a video that tells how you use toilet in space-there is no gravity.

Great science and great scientists!



17 children from same parents in Arkansas, USA

Everyday I start my work by checking email and looking at news all around the world. Yesterday morning in the lab, my eyes got stuck on this news. I have heard many news related to the number of children in underdeveloped countries. This happens in the place from where I am from. May not be to the same number. In my village there is a family known as "Kanchha jyoti". This is the name of the family by which villagers call them. I know they have about 1 dozen children. In some places some family have more than this number.

My fathers youngest uncle had 9 children. Now all of them are grown up and doing good in their professional life. My mothers uncle had akin number of children. My guess is their first kid was born about at least 5 decades ago and youngest was born about 3 decades ago. At that time they didn't have the facility of family planning that's why they were compelled to give birth to so many children. Even these days some parents have about half dozen children. This is because they are not sensitive to the result of their kid's future or they don't have excess to contraceptives. One more reason is that due to some social miss-conception and due to religious belief athey need their son at the time of their last mourning work. So, hoping to get son, many mothers are forced to give birth to many daughters. This is the situation of developing countries or under developed villages. But here in USA why some crazy people want and give birth to so many children? Its a big  surprise  for me.


A trip to the deepest lake in the US: Crater Lake

Crater lake with Wizard Island
One of the best places to visit in Oregon is Crater lake. It is the first deepest lake in USA and seventh deepest lake in the world. This place has a good combination of deep pure blue water, sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high, two picturesque islands, and a violent volcanic past. It was formed about 77000 years back when mount Mazama collapsed due to huge volcanic eruption. It is 592 m deep and it doesn't have any inlet and outlets. Water is collected as snow and is removed by evaporation seepage.

It is about 3 hours drive from Corvallis. We were altogether 2 dozens of friends. It was the idea of not being "lab rat" and getting fun and good time with nature and its beauty at least during the weekend.

Our expedition team:2 of our teamembers are not here.

Did you bring any fish or water from the Lake?
We headed up there Friday evening and ended up to Diamond lake camping area and returned to Corvallis on Sunday. Diamond lake was our base camp(like we are going to the top of the world 'Mt. Everest' and 'Namche' is base camp there). sounds interesting....? That was my first time of spending night inside tents. Actually it was fun....how? by not getting enough sleep? at least we had 2 night close contact with nature. is that true? I think so.

My little nice house for two nights

Add caption

Here is one more photo(right) from the camping site. यो धूनी बालेर भजन गाएको होइना है। It was fire work for making our dinner. We made camping special with banana, chocolate and marshmallow. That was tasty. I don't know the name. Susie knows it, doesn't you Susie? We listened some interesting short stories from friends about something that happened in their life. That gave me the memory of my childhood listening stories from my grand mom. However the stories were different and were relevant to the culture and society of that time and place.

Saturday we went for hiking. The main hiking route was 3 hours mountain trail. Everybody was excited and interested for the hiking. It was cold morning and there was no clear sun. We were at the summit of the mountain at around noon. The Crater lake was surrounded by cloud and we had to wait for a while to see it. The cloud sometime uncovered the lake and gave us chance to see and take pictures.

Ready for the mountain trail hiking?
Second hiking route was a short trail around wild flowers. And third was all the down way hiking trail to Crater Lake. We did fishing but were not able to catch any fish. As the lake was formed by the collection of water in the bowl like structure created by volcano, there are no native fish in this lake. The water is so pure that it is blue and doesn't have enough natural food for fish in it. I think thats why population of fish is very low.
worthless try but was fun, is that true Juan?
As I mentioned above, our base camp was diamond lake. It is also a beautiful lake 45 min drive from Crater lake. We did kayaking on the diamond lake at evening. That was wonderful time in the diamond lake. That was also my first Kayaking. It was surrounded by conifer forest. You can see mountains with snow. No noise at all and time after sunset. I enjoyed a lot. Sunday morning most of us did swimming on the diamond lake.
Jill and I Kayaking on Diamond Lake
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A memorable summer trip to Seattle, Washington

I visited one of the big cities of United States of America, Seattle, with my friends on second weekend of July. After coming to the USA, I had traveled to Reno, NV and San Francisco, CA. This is my second time visiting big cities of the USA. Corvallis, where I live, is a very small city and it does not give me a feeling that I am in USA. That's why I wanted to visit some of the big cities.

We were 9 people from Corvallis, Reno and Portland. Lekh, Krishna and Madhu traveled all the way from Reno. They drove all the way to Corvallis-Portland-Seattle. I, Kailash, Rama and Maya from Corvallis. Girish and Sarita joined us from Portland.

Just below the Space Needle
From left Maya, Sarita, Rama, Lekh(front),Kailash, Basant, Girish and Madhu

I want to mention three places in Seattle. The first is Space needle. It was made in 1962 and is 184 meters high (as I remember), it has a restaurant at the top. You can see whole City in 360 degree. The architecture of the needle is really nice. We were able to see the evening and night scene of the city from it. The city was beautiful in the night light.

Space Needle

From Top of the Space Needle to Downtown Seattle

Feri (?) riding and cruise riding were exciting to me. It was my first time to have such rides on sea bay area. It was real fun. The Feri took us to one of the islands from near by Farmers market. It was about 1.45 hours ride altogether.That was a big feri which could carry 2000 people and 200 cars. Next day, we took Cruise ride. That was 1 hour ride and they explained all about the city during the ride.

The third thing I want to mention is Museum of flight. It contains all the historical events/things about airplane and space shuttle. It is really a good place to visit and know about the history of plane/space industry. We didn't have enough time to see all the stuffs there. So I suggest you to save more time for Museum of flight if you are planning to visit it in near future.
First Nepali astronaut in Space...............do you believe it?

Other places we visited: Zoo, Science center, Aquarium, Pikes market. We didn't visit old city i.e. underground city area.

One more picture...
I don't know why these two girls were interested to take pictures with these Nepali guys.