Science In My Life is maintained by John R. Hoffman, Professor of Biology and a scientist examining the recovery of the nervous system after injury.

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4/20 Pasteurization, White gold, Gulf oil spill, and EPA Earth Day activities

First test of pasteurization (1862)
In 1862, French chemist Louis Pasteur  (1822-1895) and  physiologist Claude Bernard (1813 – 1878) completed their first test of pasteurization process.  Pasteurization is a method of heating of preserving food by heating a liquid in order to kill bacteria.  The process has to be carefully applied to avoid spoiling the food or beverage.  The process has been used to preserve diary products, beer, and wine.

Franz Karl Achard died (1821)
Franz Karl Achard (1753 – 1821) was a German chemist who invented a cost-effective way to produce table sugar (sucrose) from beets. Prior to that time, table sugar could only be refined from sugar cane plants and was so expensive that it was referred to as white gold.  Use of the sugar beet as a source allowed the production of sugar at a price that almost anyone could afford.

Deepwater Horizon explosion/BP oil spill in Gulf of Mexico (2010)
On April 20, 2010 an explosion on the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and leading to largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.  The leak was finally capped on July 15th after an estimated 4.9 million gallons of crude oil was released into the gulf.  The long-term ecological impact of the spill remains unknown.

EPA Earth Day Activities
The Happy Earth Day Coloring and Activity Book is a popular publications for young children from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.  While copies can be ordered, the pdf is available for downloaded and multiple copies can be printed.  The EPA also provides a number of lesson plans and teaching resources for older students.

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