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Lab-grown horns and tusks could stop poaching — or not

Lab-grown horns and tusks could stop poaching — or not
Scientists are making mimics of rhino horns and elephant tusks, hoping to drive down the prices of these items on the black market and discourage poaching. But many conservation groups argue that it could have the opposite effect, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, January 25, 2018 - Full Story

Pearly material for bendable heating elements (video)

The iridescent shimmer of a string of pearls may one day be more than pretty adornment. Scientists now report in ACS Applied Nano Materials a hybrid material consisting of imitation pearl combined with silver nanowires that works as a heater, with the added benefit of high flexibility, suggesting a potential role in wearable devices.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, January 25, 2018 - Full Story

A step toward ridding register receipts of BPA

Although the U.S and other countries have banned or restricted the use of bisphenol A (BPA) because of environmental and health concerns, it is still used in thermally printed receipts and labels. Now researchers report in a study in the ACS journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research that they have developed potentially safer polymers that could replace BPA for printed papers.

By American Chemical Society - Friday, January 19, 2018 - Full Story

Scaling to new heights with gecko-inspired adhesive

Scaling to new heights with gecko-inspired adhesive
Some animals, such as geckos, can easily climb up walls and across ceilings. But currently, no material exists that allows everyday people to scale walls or transverse ceilings as effortlessly. Now, scientists report in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces a dry adhesive that could someday make it easier to defy gravity.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - Full Story

Watch: How to spot fake metals with acids

WASHINGTON — Acids are reactive, with even weak acids like vinegar interacting with other materials to wow students. But strong acids can really put on a show. For example, aqua regia, or royal water, is a mixture of two strong acids—hydrochloric and nitric acids – that can dissolve gold, a noble metal. This reaction can be put to use.

Watch as Reactions employs some acid know-how to explain a chemistry detective story to sort real gold from its imposters:

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, December 21, 2017 - Full Story

Creating surfaces that repel water and control its flow (video)

Creating surfaces that repel water and control its flow
To prevent water and ice from making our shoes soggy, frosting our car windows and weighing down power lines with icicles, scientists have been exploring new coatings that can repel water. Now one team has developed a way to direct where the water goes when it’s pushed away. Their report appears in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, December 21, 2017 - Full Story

Bringing ‘Avatar’-like glowing plants to the real world

Nanobionic-Light Emitting Plant
The 2009 film “Avatar” created a lush imaginary world, illuminated by magical, glowing plants. Now researchers are starting to bring this spellbinding vision to life to help reduce our dependence on artificial lighting. They report in ACS’ journal Nano Letters a way to infuse plants with the luminescence of fireflies.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, December 21, 2017 - Full Story

Meet Roku’s new entry level unit - and a high tech backpack that can charge your phone

Roku Express, Lifepack Solar Powered & Anti-Theft Backpack
Cord cutter wannabes,  also known as folks who want to pull the plug on conventional television delivery systems such as cable and satellite, have a new low cost reason to make that move thanks to Roku’s new entry level Express.

This $40 CAD unit is the latest in the Roku line of streaming devices that all offer similar programming but with different capabilities - from "entry level" HD to 4K with HDR.

And if you’re using your cord cutting experience as a way to get out into the supposedly great outdoors, Lifepack has created a backpack that not only carries your stuff, it helps keep your tunes close and charges your electronics at the same time.

But let’s talk about the Roku first, because I need to screw up my courage to actually go outdoors to use the Lifepack before I can write about  it.

By Jim Bray - Thursday, December 21, 2017 - Full Story

Buds on Mars

Buds on Mars

Can’t wait for having a cool Bud on Mars?

A commemorative replica of a 1475 beer-stein from Landshut, Germany, (height 7.5”). At that time, the numeral “four” was written as the upper half of the numeral “eight” as shown in the enlargement. Photos by the author.

Why not just take the next rocket to that holiday resort there? Sure, it’s a long journey but the vistas are breath-taking. In fact, not just the vistas, the atmosphere too!

By Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser - Saturday, December 9, 2017 - Full Story

How Do Hand Sanitizers Work?

WASHINGTON  — Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are the ubiquitous little squeeze-bottle heroes of airports and hospitals, our allies during cold and flu season, and supposedly effective against a huge variety of disease-causing viruses and bacteria. But what’s really in hand sanitizers? And is it true that they kill 99.99% of germs, as popular brands claim?

By American Chemical Society - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - Full Story

Pulling iron out of waste printer toner

Pulling iron out of waste printer toner
Someday, left-over toner in discarded printer cartridges could have a second life as bridge or building components instead of as trash, wasting away in landfills and potentially harming the environment. One group reports in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering that they have devised a method to recycle the residual powder in “empty” cartridges into iron using temperatures that are compatible with existing industrial processes.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - Full Story

The art and science of glassblowing (video)

WASHINGTON—If you’ve ever tapped a screen to send a tweet, opted for a glass bottled soda because of taste, or drooled over art glass in a gallery, then your life has been changed for the better by the transparent yet durable combination of sand and simple chemicals we call glass. Reactions visited McFadden Art Glass in Baltimore, Maryland, to learn about the chemistry of this ancient material.


By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - Full Story

Israeli researchers discover how sponges build glass skeletons that protect them from their environs

Israeli researchers discover how sponges build glass skeletons that protect them from their environment
The technology for forming and shaping glass requires the application of heat at extremely high temperatures. So how do some marine organisms form their own glass “skeletons” in cold water?

That mystery has now been partially solved by a team of Israeli and German scientists. And while the researchers admit that what the marine organisms are doing “is far beyond the abilities of current human technology,” further study may bring us closer to the ability to mimic the mechanism at room temperature in a lab.

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - Full Story

Cool textiles to beat the heat

Cool textiles to beat the heat
Air-conditioned buildings bring welcome relief to people coming in from the heat. But creating that comfort comes with a cost to our wallets and the environment in the form of increased energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions. Now researchers report in ACS Nano the development of a new material for clothing that we could one day don as our own personal cooling unit, without any external energy needed to power it.

By American Chemical Society - Friday, November 10, 2017 - Full Story

Jellyfish-inspired electronic skin glows when it gets hurt

Jellyfish-inspired electronic skin glows when it gets hurt
Electronic-skin technologies for prosthetics and robots can detect the slightest touch or breeze. But oddly, the sensors that make this possible do not respond effectively to a harmful blow. Now researchers report in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces the development of a jellyfish-inspired electronic skin that glows when the pressure against it is high enough to potentially cause an injury.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, November 2, 2017 - Full Story

The chemistry of Hollywood bloodbaths (video)

WASHINGTON — Fake blood is a staple of the Halloween horror film experience, but there’s no one recipe to suit every filmmaker’s needs. The chemistry of fake blood has always been tweaked to create the most realistic experience, or at least the most budget-friendly. From Alfred Hitchcock to Sam Raimi, join Reactions on a Halloween tour of the chemistry of gore:

For more Halloween chemistry, listen to our latest Science Elements podcast to hear a spooky Dickensian tale about spontaneous combustion, written by Sam Kean, author of The Disappearing Spoon: .

By American Chemical Society - Monday, October 30, 2017 - Full Story

On the road to fire-free, lithium-ion batteries made with asphalt

Lithium-ion batteries can be found in everything from cell phones to hoverboards, but these power sources have recently made headlines for the fires they have inadvertently caused. To address these safety hazards, scientists report in ACS Nano that they are paving the way to better batteries with a naturally occurring form of asphalt.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - Full Story

Cielo Close to Commercialization with its First Continuous-flow Waste to Renewable Diesel Refinery

Cielo Waste Solutions (CSE:CMC) is delivering on its promise to build its first commercial-grade renewable diesel refinery. Construction is well underway at its High River facility – proving that its proprietary technology will be able to convert multiple different waste feed-stocks,  including landfill waste, into high-grade, renewable diesel has moved the company from demonstration to commercial stage.

Vancouver-based Cielo has extended its private placement offering of units, to accommodate additional subscribers. The private placement has so far raised $2,283,236 for moving its development forward.  A private lender has also signed a Term Sheet with Cielo extending the Company a $3.5 million line of credit. Currently, Cielo and the company are working thru the paperwork to get the credit facility finalized. The 356-litre-an hour continuous flow refinery that Cielo is currently building is a retrofit of a 50-litre-an-hour batch process demonstration plant, which the company and its license provider have been using as a test facility.

By Rick Mills - Monday, October 16, 2017 - Full Story

Soundlink Micro makes big sound for a tiny package; and The House falls down

First came the Soundlink, then a while later came the Soundlink Mini. So it was probably inevitable that Bose would follow up eventually with this new, micro-sized Bluetooth speaker.

It only makes sense, what with technology’s continuous process of miniaturization and optimization. A computer that used to fill a room is now outclassed by a smart phone and room-filling speakers can now fill rooms from enclosures a fraction of the size of other types of loudspeaker.

With audio, however, the fly in the ointment is bass. Bass frequencies have longer wavelengths than the higher tones and that has traditionally meant you needed those honking big cabinets to reproduce those low frequencies faithfully, while you could get away with smaller speakers for the higher stuff. Hence the proliferation of subwoofers and satellite speakers.

By Jim Bray - Saturday, October 14, 2017 - Full Story

“Cook” an Egg with No Heat— — and other weird egg science

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2017 — You can learn a lot from eggs. The versatile, delicious, humble chicken egg. You can unlock the secrets of the universe with eggs, or at least a couple of them through these fun (if slightly weird) DIY chemistry experiments in our latest episode of Reactions. Find out how you can “cook” an egg without heat, make them bounce like a basketball and whip up a batch of green eggs for the Dr. Seuss fans in your life:

By American Chemical Society - Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - Full Story