Wonder Bread is already semi-miraculous: It’s impossibly soft, sweet, and shelf-stable. But unlocking the true potential inside this fluffy stuff results in a substance nearly impervious to heat and electricity, not dissimilar from what used to cover the exterior of spacecraft.
Saturn’s moon Titan is a frigid hellscape by Earth standards, but it’s also one of the most hopeful spots for discovering alien life in our solar system. A new scientific paper hints that conditions on Titan’s surface might be favorable for the chemistry of life to emerge.
In news that offers hope that human civilization won’t end up drowning in soda bottles and plastic wrap, Chinese chemists have developed a remarkably efficient method for converting polyethylene into liquid fuel. If it proves scaleable, it could make a real dent in global plastic pollution.
Many of us keep our coffee beans in the fridge or freezer to keep them fresh, but a new study suggests there’s added benefit to this practice: more flavorful coffee.
Platinum is one of the rarest and most useful metals on the planet. A new video from Cody’s Lab explains why a significant amount of this precious element exists in the dirt and dust by the roadside—and how it can be extracted.
The case that we’re all just highly organized lumps of space candy keeps getting better. For the first time, scientists have created ribose—the key sugar underlying RNA—in laboratory conditions simulating the cold, radiation-blasted vacuum of outer space.
The 17th century manuscript, which was handwritten by Isaac Newton, describes a procedure for making mercury—a substance that alchemists thought could turn lead into gold.
Many of you may remember this slow motion video from a little over a year ago. The American Chemical Society has now taken this footage—shot at an astounding 4,000 frames per second—to explain what’s actually happening at the molecular level when a match is struck.
Materials scientists typically rely on their eyes to analyze data, but soon they could employ their ears as well. Setting the motions of molecules to music can help scientists identify hidden patterns in their data that might otherwise be too small, or occur over such short time scales that they’re easily missed by…
Millions of people around the globe were enthralled when the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft successfully landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November 2014. Artist Ekaterina Smirnova was one of them—so much so that she has created an entire series of giant watercolor paintings inspired by the comet.
What happens if you add metallic lithium to a glass of 7-Up? First, it bubbles like Alka-Seltzer. Then, it starts to heat up and boil. As it does so, the color changes: to green, yellowish-brown, and reddish brown, until it is pretty much black sludge.
If you want beautiful fireworks bursting in the sky, you’re going to need to mine the Earth first. Here’s the geology of the minerals that give fireworks their vibrant colours.
An international team of researchers has shown that specially treated drops of oily chemicals can take on bizarre shapes and structures during the freezing process. These insights could allow us to create artificial structures with very life-like properties.
Do you like being able to drive in cars? Do you like the way World War I turned out? Do you not like Nazi collaboration? If your answer to all three questions is “yes,” then Eugene Houdry is your kind of guy.
When NASA hired chemist Barbara Askins to salvage the photos they were getting back from astronauts, they never expected she’d revolutionize how to restore details to underexposed photographs.
A group of scientists wanted to find the most effective mosquito repellents. So they tested 10 different substances, including campout standbys like DEET, as well as a random choice: Victoria’s Secret perfume Bombshell. Turns out the perfume is almost as good as DEET.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and that includes a man’s (or woman’s) urine. Scientists have figured out how to transform your pee into tiny semiconducting nano crystals they’ve dubbed “quantum pee-dots.”
Conservators working at the University of Virginia’s Rotunda have inadvertently uncovered a chemical hearth designed by Thomas Jefferson. The discovery is offering fresh insights into how chemistry was taught over 200 years ago.