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Better Than a Baking-Soda Volcano

A dozen people were honored by US President Barack Obama for their achievements in science, reports the Associated Press. Among the National Medal of Science winners were the Whitehead Institute's Rudolf Jaenisch, who was recognized for his work on epigenetic regulation of gene expression, and California Institute of Technology's Jacqueline Barton for her study of DNA repair. "It's safe to say that this is a group that makes all of us really embarrassed about our old science projects," Obama said, according to this transcript from the White House. "You know, the volcano with the stuff coming out — with the baking soda inside — apparently, that was not a cutting-edge achievement even though our parents told us it was really terrific." On a more serious note, he added that not enough US undergraduates are pursuing degrees in science and engineering. "And that's troubling, because no matter how many great minds we attract from around the world, it won't be enough if we can't grow some here at home," Obama said.

HT: Scientific American's Observations blog

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