WASHINGTON—Baking powder is used to raise baked goods like cakes and cookies. It’s often sold under the label “double-acting,” but what does that mean? In this video, Reactions explains the chemistry of how baking powder can act twice to make bubbles in your baked goods:
Aggressive wildfires are rampaging through many countries this summer, bringing death and destruction in their wake. In California alone, firefighters are scrambling to control 18 separate blazes.
Texas, Oregon, Florida, New Jersey, as well as Canada, Greece, India, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK are among other areas battling massive forest fires, a phenomenon experts expect will only increase due to climate change.
People are exploring the use of 3D printing for wide-ranging applications, including manufacturing, medical devices, fashion and even food. But one of the most efficient forms of 3D printing suffers from a major drawback: It can only print objects that are gray or black in color. Now, researchers have tweaked the method so it can print in all of the colors of the rainbow. They report their results in the ACS journal Nano Letters.
WASHINGTON—Air conditioners pull off the seemingly magical feat of making the air inside a home, car or shopping mall deliciously chilly. The source of that sweet relief is chemistry. In this video, Reactions explains how refrigerants and physical chemistry combine to help you beat the summer heat:
I’m not sure this means we’ll soon be making contact with Uncle Martin or Gazoo, you dum dums.
There may not be any life on Mars at all, and Rob is the big Bowie fan so it feels like he should have written this. But water is a necessity for any type of life – plant or animal – and until now we didn’t know for sure that there was any water at all on Mars.
When buying a new outfit, most people don’t consider the process that went into tinting that vivid red shirt or colorfully patterned dress. But dyeing clothes requires massive amounts of water, energy and chemicals. So companies are working on new ways to color textiles that are both environmentally friendly and cost-effective, reports an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.
When it comes to the “smell test,” the nose isn’t always the best judge of food quality. Now in a study appearing in ACS’ journal Nano Letters, scientists report that they have developed a wireless tagging device that can send signals to smartphones warning consumers and food distributors when meat and other perishables have spoiled. They say this new sensor could improve the detection of rotten food so it is tossed before consumers eat it.
Nerve agents are scary stuff. They are among the most deadly substances on earth, yet can be odorless, tasteless and difficult to detect. But researchers now report in ACS Central Science that they have adapted building materials normally associated with children’s toys and a cell phone to help sense these compounds.
WASHINGTON —In a previous video, the Reactions team attempted to demonstrate the color-changing science of hydrangeas by using aluminum citrate to try to turn cut flowers from red to blue. The experiment didn’t work, but it did demonstrate why failing and trying again is so important in science. In this video, the team finally sticks the landing:
Emergency mobile communications technology developed by Israeli company Maxtech Networks is being used by rescue teams working to save 12 teenagers and their 25-year-old coach who have been trapped for 11 days in a flooded cave in Thailand.
First came frozen TV dinners and ready-to-microwave meals. Now there’s Genie, an Israeli high-tech startup offering a countertop “smart oven” claiming to cook restaurant-quality meals and snacks from freeze-dried pods within three minutes. They contain no preservatives, artificial flavorings, colorings or additives.
Cord cutters are referred to usually as people who’ve dumped cable TV, either going only with off the air signals or using alternative services such as Netflix, YouTube and the like as ways to get their programming fixes.
Hunters don camouflage clothing to blend in with their surroundings. But thermal camouflage – or the appearance of being the same temperature as one’s environment – is much more difficult. Now researchers, reporting in ACS’ journal Nano Letters, have developed a system that can reconfigure its thermal appearance to blend in with varying temperatures in a matter of seconds.
China has more laboratory scientists than any other country, outspends the entire European Union on research and development, and produces more scientific articles than any other nation except the United States. But in its rush to dominance, China has stood out in another, less boastful way. (1)
Bloodhounds are famous for their ability to track scents over great distances. Now researchers have developed a modern-day bloodhound – a robot that can rapidly detect odors from sources on the ground, such as footprints. The robot, reported in ACS Sensors, could even read a message written on the ground using odors as a barcode.
Bendable portable keyboards for use with computers and other electronic devices are already on the market, but they have limited flexibility, and they’re fairly sizable when rolled up for transport. Now researchers have crafted an inexpensive keyboard that is so tough, flexible and thin that it can be crumpled up and tucked in a pocket without damaging it. The study appears in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
WASHINGTON— Are you breathing air molecules that were once exhaled by Caesar, Joan of Arc or Madame Curie? And why did Albert Einstein try to break into the refrigerator business? Writer Sam Kean, author of Caesar’s Last Breath and The Disappearing Spoon, explains in this video,
Electronic textiles could allow a person to control household appliances or computers from a distance simply by touching a wristband or other item of clothing — something that could be particularly helpful for those with limited mobility. Now researchers, reporting in ACS Nano, have developed a new type of e-textile that is self-powered, highly sensitive and washable. A video of an e-wristband in action is available here.