Chemistry

Queen of Carbon: The Ongoing Materials Science Legacy Of Mildred Dresselhaus (Women In Science 27)

Queen of Carbon: The Ongoing Materials Science Legacy Of Mildred Dresselhaus (Women In Science 27)

  Carbon. Its astounding versatility is matched only by our total and historic complacency in the face of its wonders. “Carbon? Whatever – it’s, like, all over the place. Now, protactinium, there’s an element…” Working on the logic that exotic elements must breed exotic properties, and intoxicated by the trans-Uranium revolution of the 30s and 40s, the potential of carbon to surprise us still... »

The Secret Life of Hormones: Rosalyn Yalow and the Discovery of Radioimmunoassaying

The Secret Life of Hormones: Rosalyn Yalow and the Discovery of Radioimmunoassaying

There’s an unsung immensity in the craft of Measuring Things Better. Within our twisting cleverness for developing better and better measurement tools there lies the secret of our advancement not only as science-doers, but as a species generally. The dramatic potential for improving human life through better measurement has no grander success story than that of Rosalyn Yalow, co-discoverer of Radi... »

Molecular Gastronomy: Play with your food!

Molecular Gastronomy: Play with your food!

This post is based on a Sandbox interactive session I ran as a part of the SkepchickCON track at CONvergence 2014. There were so many people excited to try their hand at molecular gastronomy that we couldn’t fit everybody in. I also performed this demo at Science, Neat: CHOMP in June in San Francisco. This post will explain what we did and provide links to recipes you can follow yourself at home. ... »

The Science of Bubbles + Bubble Universe Cocktail

The Science of Bubbles + Bubble Universe Cocktail

This post is based on a demonstration I gave in the Skepchick Space Lab at CONvergence 2014 on the science of bubbles. If you saw the demo and came to check out the blog, welcome! (My post about the molecular gastronomy Sandbox will be up next week!) Below is a video of the demo, filmed by our wonderful volunteer Chris Pederson. A written version of the presentation is below the fold, followed by ... »

Life is not a ladder. Or, really, a tree.

Life is not a ladder. Or, really, a tree.

I’m going to stand on a soapbox for a second and talk about life. In particular, I’m going to talk about evolution. In a lot of common parlance, and a lot of media, we refer to evolution as something like a ladder — think the terrible image I used as my featured image. Humans are usually at the top. Even when we’re being really careful about it, we use a metaphor like a tre... »

Biological Units: The Strength of A Single Cell

Biological Units: The Strength of A Single Cell

Several recent papers have proposed methods of seeing huge numbers of individual RNA molecules within a cell. I suspect that half the appeal of these methods is the beautiful images they generate. But they’re significant largely because they allow us to pick apart biology at an increasingly tiny scale — in this case, see how an individual cell functions, rather than how the average cel... »

Stem Cells, Stressed Cells, Healing, and the Lure of Rejuvenation

Stem Cells, Stressed Cells, Healing, and the Lure of Rejuvenation

A recent study in Nature, entitled “Stimulus-triggered fate conversion of somatic cells into pluripotency“, suggests that subjecting cells to dangerous but non-lethal conditions (such as a bath in acid, or a mechanical squeeze) can turn them into stem cells. Unsurprisingly, this publication set off a bit of a media blitz, and then it turned out that there were numerous problems with th... »

Clean Water, Breathable Air, and the Science of Food: The Legacy of Ellen Swallow

Clean Water, Breathable Air, and the Science of Food: The Legacy of Ellen Swallow

Every morning we wake up to a feast of assumptions.  We assume that the place our sewage gets dumped is not the same place our drinking water comes from.  We instinctually expect a complete list of ingredients to be found on the side of all of our food purchases, and know as a matter of course the relative merits of carbs, proteins, and sugars.  We know that our children, be they sons or daughters... »

Page 1 of 7123»