Our atmosphere is crawling with things called “chemical scavengers.” Inside our body, they can be deadly. Out in the sky, they do very good work. Here’s why you want do chemical scavengers in the atmosphere and you don’t want them anywhere near you. »
Ever heard of thioacetone? If you live in Freiburg, Germany, you probably have. It takes a lot for people to forget a stink that once evacuated an entire city. »
The quick and dirty route to gaining strength is to take some kind of anabolic steroid. These drugs actually trick the body into building up muscle mass and endurance — but they can also age you far beyond your years. »
There was once a time when the cutting edge in pain relieving technology was a stick to bite down on. It was only when sticks ran short that people turned to pills. How do these work?
It takes a lot to make a diamond burn — but it can be done. Watch these people prank a Nobel Prize winner, while demonstrating that diamonds are made of carbon and can burn like carbon. »
If you want to find out what’s unusual about chloroauric acid, look at the “Au” in the middle. It indicates that this is an acid made using gold. We’ll tell you why people make this acid, and how it can hurt you. »
Viagra. Levitra. Cialis. Stendra. For millions of men with erectile dysfunction, these drugs are the action heroes of the bedroom, breaking down the barriers that keep them from a normal sex life. Here’s how they work. »
This is Ruhemann’s purple, and you can probably figure out, from the picture, the legal reasons it will ruin your life. Now let’s talk about the chemistry behind that.
People in China discovered the cure for leprosy in the 1300s, and yet for six hundred years, the cure didn’t actually work. We’ll tell you why a known cure wasn’t good enough, and how to make it good enough. »
Researchers using a sensitive chemical analysis say they have found evidence of fracking fluids in well water near a shale gas drilling site in Pennsylvania. It’s one of the first scientifically documented cases of fracking fluids seeping into drinking water. »
When you have a fire, you add water. Problem solved. Sometimes, though, adding water isn’t an option, which is why some fire systems involve adding materials that can decompose into poisons or smother everything in the building. »
The highest proof alcohol you can buy is Everclear, at 190 proof. That’s nothing! Let’s get together and make an alcohol that’s 200 proof! Except we can’t possibly do that. There’s a physical limit to how pure alcohol can actually get, and we’ll tell you why. »
If you are a lady, you have probably at one point slathered your lips in fish scales. (If you are a gentlemen, you have probably pressed your lips against those scales.) Why? Because it looks pretty. And because of physics.
The latest episode of MinuteEarth offers a surprisingly deep dive on the origins of clouds, (explaining, for example, why warm, humid air is more buoyant than warm, dry air), and in characteristically clear, concise, and accessible terms. One of my favorite installments in recent memory. »
In the 1970s, newly-discovered pictures of “Victorian waifs” were a hit with both historians and art collectors. The chemistry seemed right. The context . . . not so much. But people only learned that too late. »
By making your house smell nice you are also making it filthy. Though it may make a house smell clean, secretly, most air fresheners fill the house with tiny particles of dust — all thanks to limonene.
Scientists cleaning their labs have discovered that a plain old sponge is surprisingly well suited to removing bisphenol A (BPA) from surfaces and equipment. »