December 24, 2017

Christmas puzzle

The University is closed until after the New Year, so this is the StatsChat silly season.

To start with, a quiz question:

What is unusual and StatsChat-relevant about this molecule?

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Thomas Lumley (@tslumley) is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. His research interests include semiparametric models, survey sampling, statistical computing, foundations of statistics, and whatever methodological problems his medical collaborators come up with. He also blogs at Biased and Inefficient See all posts by Thomas Lumley »

Comments

  • avatar
    Malcolm Gillies

    What about:

    ‘As of 2016 caprolactam had the unusual status of being the only chemical in the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s lowest hazard category, Group 4: “probably not carcinogenic to humans”‘

    [Posted as I pass the time waiting out a nasty chest cold in a dinky Reykjavik hotel room]

    3 weeks ago Reply

  • avatar
    Nick Iversen

    Something to do with it’s uniqueness in a group of chemicals? I don’t believe that this group has been discussed but similar groups are a popular subject in StatsChat.

    3 weeks ago Reply

    • avatar

      Uniqueness may have something to do with it. From the Wikipedia entry: “As of 2016 [this molecule] had the unusual status of being the only chemical in the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s lowest hazard category, Group 4: ‘probably not carcinogenic to humans'”.

      Apologies for any repetition, it just seemed that my initial reply, including something about goat cheese manufacturing, didn’t make it through, or was moderated out.

      3 weeks ago Reply

  • avatar
    Alain Vandal

    As it turns out, it may have something to do with uniqueness: ‘As of 2016, [this molecule] had the unusual status of being the only chemical in the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s lowest hazard category, Group 4: “probably not carcinogenic to humans”‘. (Excerpt from the Wikipedia article) From its name, I might have thought it featured in the production of goat cheese, but that seems not to be the case.

    3 weeks ago Reply

  • avatar
    Craig Marshall

    Some enquiring suggested this is ε-caprolactam or Hexano-6-lactam used primarily in the manufacture of nylon 6 and has the distinction of being the only chemical in the “International Agency for Research on Cancer’s lowest hazard category, Group 4: “probably not carcinogenic to humans” (courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caprolactam)

    3 weeks ago Reply

  • avatar
    megan pledger

    Chemistry was one of my favourite subjects at high school but it’s the also the one that I have forgotten the most knowledge about so google and wikipedia had to be my friend.

    It’s Caprolactam – (CH2)5C(O)NH – which is an irritant and mildly toxic.

    I would guess the stat’s chat relevant thing is (quoting wikipedia again)
    “As of 2016 caprolactam had the unusual status of being the only chemical in the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s lowest hazard category, Group 4: “probably not carcinogenic to humans”. “

    3 weeks ago Reply

    • avatar
      megan pledger

      Weird! When I replied I could only see Nick Iversen’s post. Never mind.

      3 weeks ago Reply

  • avatar
    Thomas Lumley

    Yes, the IARC “Probably not carcinogenic” was what I was looking for. Congratulations to everyone.

    3 weeks ago Reply

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