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Are We Running Out of Vanilla?

Surely, there’s no greater sign that a child has matured to adulthood than the realization that vanilla is not a waste of an ice cream flavor, but rather the best flavoring in the universe. Although I have no data backing

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Did Comets Kickstart Life on Earth?

That’s right. Comets may have helped seed life on Earth. Far out, right? Sarah Everts has the chemical clues that back up this out-of-this-world hypothesis. Comet collisions may have helped seed life on Earth | C&EN Philae Probe Sniffs Out

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How Bacteria Make It Rain (with Kim Prather) – Speaking of Chemistry Road Trip

Did you know that the ocean launches bacteria and other goo into the atmosphere? And that those particles can seed clouds? In our last stop of the Speaking of Chemistry Road Trip, atmospheric chemist Kimberly Prather of UCSD and the

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The Scent of Death (and Why It’s Important)

Studying odors from corpses may sound macabre, but it’s actually a virtuous vocation. Researchers in this field are helping find missing bodies lost in natural disasters or hidden by murderers. Huge thanks to Mary Cablk for her help with this

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The Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Molecular Machines, Explained – Speaking of Chemistry

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir Fraser Stoddart, and Ben Feringa. Read all about it. In this episode of Speaking of Chemistry, we look at how three molecular machinists earned this year’s Nobel Prize in

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The Quest To Make Any Molecule: Total Synthesis with Hosea Nelson

Speaking of Chemistry caught up with UCLA’s Hosea Nelson to learn about how chemists are trying to copy nature for a brighter future. Don’t forget to subscribe: http://bit.ly/ACSReactions Check out the Talented 12 website for everything you need to know

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How Sniffing Priceless Art and Artifacts Could Save Them

Art and cultural heritage conservators are getting an assist from some smelly chemistry. Don’t forget to subscribe for all the latest Speaking of Chemistry videos: http://bit.ly/ACSReactions Come closer, lean in, and… inhale deeply. Some of our most valuable heritage objects—think

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The Science of Spotting Fake Foods

Food fraud often boils down to politics or semantics. Something labeled parmesan cheese may not come from Parma, for instance. But sometimes food producers try to feed us cheap fillers and other lies. In this episode of Speaking of Chemistry,

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These tiny satellites could take on NASA’s riskiest missions—Speaking of Chemistry Road Trip

Speaking of Chemistry set a course for JPL to learn about NASA’s plans for cubesats, little satellites with interplanetary aspirations. Not a subscriber? Make it so: http://bit.ly/ACSReactions Andy Klesh of the Jet Propulsion Lab welcomes us to the cleanroom to

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The Truth About Wasabi

Oh, you love that spicy wasabi kick…except you’ve probably never tasted real wasabi. Sarah Everts explains. Don’t forget to subscribe! http://bit.ly/ACSReactions Unless you’ve had a sushi chef grate a $50 wasabi stem right onto your plate, you’ve probably not had

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How to make electronic skin with Stanford’s Zhenan Bao—Speaking of Chemistry Road Trip

The Speaking of Chemistry California road trip continues as we scope out some cutting-edge, flexible electronics at Stanford University. Don’t forget to subscribe! http://bit.ly/ACSReactions Stanford’s Zhenan Bao and her research team are developing electronics that could revolutionize wearables and prosthetics.

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What makes blue-green algae dangerous?

Pond scum is usually just a nuisance, but it can become dangerous. Check out the chemistry behind these harmful algal blooms. And don’t forget to subscribe! http://bit.ly/ACSReactions When the environmental conditions are right, blue-green algae (which are actually blue-green bacteria)

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Whisky Versus Coffee: Dueling Droplets

Check out the story behind this video. And don’t forget to subscribe! http://bit.ly/ACSReactions Photographer Ernie Button showed us that dried whiskey droplets are a captivating and unusual sight to behold, especially compared with the more familiar coffee ring. Speaking of

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Experiment: Whiskey Versus Coffee

For the scientific background for this experiment, check out this video. And don’t forget to subscribe! http://bit.ly/ACSReactions After we learned why whiskey and coffee dry so differently, we wondered how mixtures of the two would dry. Join us with our

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Why does your hair turn gray?

Subscribe! http://bit.ly/ACSReactions It’s an inevitable side effect of longevity: your hair will turn gray. In this episode, Sophia Cai chats about the chemistry of your natural hair color, why it eventually turns white, and how scientists may be able to

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