Chemistry

The stars in our cells

The stars in our cells

A relatively recent study showed that transcription factors tend to hang out in specific areas of the nucleus, clustering like stars in galaxies. And it’s been rattling around in my head as potentially perfect for Mad Art Lab because they do, in fact, cluster like stars in galaxies — the statistical methods used to model both phenomena are exactly the same. It’s one of those rare... »

The Illustrated Women In Science: Year One!

The Illustrated Women In Science: Year One!

Thrill to the jungle-crawling entomology of Maria Merian, cheer at the multi-dimensional mathematics of Maryam Mirzakhani, weep at the tragic end of Sofia Kovalevskaya, and gasp at the universe-cracking insights of Emmy Noether!  All 26 of the MadArtLab Women In Science cartoons and essays are now available in one handy volume, dear friends.  With luscious full color interiors and a lovely introdu... »

Of  Artificial Radiation  and  Natural Genius:  The Chemistry of Irène Joliot-Curie  (Women In Science 29)

Of Artificial Radiation and Natural Genius: The Chemistry of Irène Joliot-Curie (Women In Science 29)

  Radioactivity is a great thing. Terrible, but great. The medical applications of radioactively tagged molecules, as Rosalyn Yalow proved, are legion, and have saved millions of lives since their introduction. Tricky thing, though – the big atoms that tend to be radioactive also tend to be achingly rare and not particularly present in biological compounds. Radium, to take just one exam... »

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... »

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