Category Archives: Chemistry

Researchers identify endocrine-disrupting chemical in bottled water

A team of researchers in Germany has identified an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) found in samples taken from commercial bottled water. In their paper published in PLoS ONE, the team describes the methods they used to isolate the EDC found in the water samples. EDCs (man-made compounds used in many plastics) have been found to interfere with hormonal systems in several types of organisms—particularly in reproductive and development activities. They have come to light as it has been determined that several … Continue reading

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World’s Thinnest Glass Made By Accident

Researchers accidentally discovered the world’s thinnest sheet of glass, just two atoms thick. Their chance finding — now immortalized in the 2014 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, out this week — gives scientists a glimpse into the puzzling properties of glass, which behaves like both a solid and a liquid. Researchers at Cornell University and Germany’s University of Ulm were creating graphene, one of the thinnest and strongest materials in the world. Sheets of graphene are just one … Continue reading

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Colloidal gels

A great video showing the remarkable properties inherent to gelatin. Technically speaking, gelatin is neither a solid or a liquid — it’s a colloid gel. Meaning that it’s a liquid suspended in a matrix of solids. Colloidal gels have a very high elastic limit, which is the point were the solid stops bouncing back from a deformed shape without breaking. Via io9

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Chemical Weapons (Sarin Gas)

Here is an interesting video from the guys at Nottingham Uni discussing chemical weapons, including Sarin and Mustard Gas. Featuring professors Rob Stockman and Martyn Poliakoff. - Deskarati

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Physicists use element 115 to highlight a way for taking new superheavy elements’ fingerprints

An international team of researchers presents fresh evidence that confirms the existence of the superheavy chemical element 115. The experiment was conducted at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research, an accelerator laboratory located in Darmstadt. Under the lead of physicists from Lund University in Sweden, the group, which included researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM), was able to present a way to directly identify new superheavy elements. Elements beyond atomic number … Continue reading

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Evidence for Ununpentium boosted

Scientists have presented new evidence for the existence of a previously unconfirmed element with atomic number 115. Temporarily named Ununpentium. The element is highly radioactive and exists for less than a second before decaying into lighter atoms. First discovered by Russian scientists in 2004, the super-heavy element has yet to be verified by the governing body of chemistry and physics. The new evidence is published in journal Physical Review Letters. “This was a very successful experiment and is one of the most … Continue reading

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Acid, not bubbles, responsible for distinctive ‘bite’ of fizzy drinks

New research from the Monell Center reveals that bubbles are not necessary to experience the unique ‘bite’ of carbonated beverages. Bubbles do, however, enhance carbonation’s bite through the light feel of the bubbles picked up by our sense of touch. The refreshing bite of carbonation is an integral part of beverages consumed around the globe. Carbonated beverages are produced when carbon dioxide is dissolved in a liquid, typically under high pressure. This can happen naturally in certain spring waters or … Continue reading

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Dispensing with the Notion of Elements

Here’s a short video just to annoy all my chemistry lovin’ friends – Deskarati

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One chemical forms two colors of crystals

Chemists have unexpectedly made two differently colored crystals – one orange, the other blue – from one chemical in the same flask while studying a special kind of molecular connection called an agostic bond. The discovery, reported in Angewandte Chemie International Edition on July 29, is providing new insights into important industrial chemical reactions such as those that occur while making plastics and fuels. “We were studying agostic bonds in a project to make liquid fuels like methanol from carbon … Continue reading

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Ravishing Rubber


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Aluminum or Aluminium?

The name aluminium derives from its status as a base of alum. It is borrowed from Old French; its ultimate source, alumen, in turn is a Latin word that literally means “bitter salt”. The earliest citation given in the Oxford English Dictionary for any word used as a name for this element is alumium, which British chemist and inventor Humphry Davy employed in 1808 for the metal he was trying to isolate electrolytically from the mineral alumina. The citation is … Continue reading

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Tiny tweezers allow precision control of enzymes

The left panel shows tweezers in the open position, with the enzyme (green) on the upper arm and the co-factor (gold) on the lower arm. Supplying a complementary fuel strand causes the tweezers to close, producing the reaction of the enzyme-cofactor pair. (Right panel) while a set strand restores the tweezers to their open position. Credit: The Biodesign Institute/Nature Communications Tweezers are a handy instrument when it comes to removing a splinter or plucking an eyebrow. In new research, Hao … Continue reading

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Solving electron transfer

EPFL scientists have shown how a solvent can interfere with electron transfer by using unprecedented time resolution in ultrafast fluorescence spectroscopy. Electron transfer is a process by which an atom donates an electron to another atom. It is the foundation of all chemical reactions, and is of intense research because of the implications it has for chemistry and biology. When two molecules interact, electron transfer takes place in a few quadrillionths (10-15¬) of a second, or femtoseconds (fsec), meaning that … Continue reading

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NeverWet Arrives


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Strange Flames

Researchers experimenting with flames onboard the International Space Station have produced a strange, cool-burning form of fire that could help improve the efficiency of auto engines.

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Better way to turn ocean into fuel

UOW scientists have developed a novel way to turn sea water into hydrogen, for a sustainable and clean fuel source. Using this method, as little as five litres of sea water per day would produce enough hydrogen to power an average-sized home and an electric car for one day. The research team at UOW’s Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) have developed a light-assisted catalyst that requires less energy input to activate water oxidation, which is the … Continue reading

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Unfrozen mystery: Water reveals a new secret

A fragment of the crystal structure of the new ice is shown where the oxygen atoms are blue and the molecular hydrogen atoms pink. Hydrogen atoms that have been pulled off the water molecules are colored gold. These appear to locate in polyhedral voids in the oxygen lattice (one of which is shaded light grey). Previously, these voids were believed to remain even after the water molecule breaks up at enormous pressures. Credit: Courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Using … Continue reading

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New all-solid sulfur-based battery outperforms lithium-ion technology

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have designed and tested an all-solid lithium-sulfur battery with approximately four times the energy density of conventional lithium-ion technologies that power today’s electronics. The ORNL battery design, which uses abundant low-cost elemental sulfur, also addresses flammability concerns experienced by other chemistries. “Our approach is a complete change from the current battery concept of two electrodes joined by a liquid electrolyte, which has been used over the last 150 to 200 … Continue reading

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Liquid Oxygen

Dropping hot charcoal into liquid oxygen – filmed with a high-speed camera.

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Making batteries out of liquid metal


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