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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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The Elements Were His Element
27 January 2000 7:00 pm
Victor Goldschmidt, the father of modern geochemistry, was born on this day in 1888. A Swiss-born Norwegian chemist, Goldschmidt was fascinated by the elements, their origins, and their relationships in nature. With the new tool of x-ray crystallography, he and his co-workers studied 200 compounds made of 75 elements and constructed the first tables of ionic and atomic radii. Goldschmidt showed that a compound's hardness was related to the distances between atoms in its crystal structure. Goldschmidt also pioneered spectrographic methods for rapidly discerning minute amounts of elements and determined that Earth's crust is made up primarily of oxygen anions--90% of its volume--along with silicon or metal cations.
[Source: Roy Porter, Ed., The Biographical Dictionary of Scientists (Oxford University Press, ed. 2, 1994).]