Chemicals & Chemistry

BioSil claims to promote unbreakable nails and to help thicken hair. And it has two published studies to back up its claims. But the quality of the studies -- and the quality of the results -- is what really counts when evaluating a product.
In the middle 1800s, a French industrialist who distilled alcohol from sugar beets ran into a problem when some of his fermentation vats stopped producing alcohol. His request for help from a scientist resulted in one of the most important scientific discoveries ever made. That scientist was Louis Pasteur.
The challenge is to find substances that prevent moisture loss without making the wearer feel like a greaseball. In steps Cholesterol.
Not that any of this matters to the people who get paid to lie about biotechnology. But to those activists, the scientific consensus on glyphosate is simply evidence of a gigantic Monsanto-led conspiracy. That would somehow involve the U.S. EPA, the European Food Safety Authority, the World Health Organization -- and now Brazil's national health agency, all of which agree that glyphosate doesn't cause cancer. 
Safe or low-risk doses for PFOA, and related chemicals by various governments, are currently widely disparate. Fortunately, recent findings in humans may reduce some of this disparity. Efforts to use this newer information should allow for harmonization -- or at least more consistency -- in government positions.
Have you ever noticed the message on the front of a Lysol bottle? It reads: “Kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria.” Well, that 0.1% is causing NASA some real issues.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is one of the foremost pro-science organizations in the world. Not only does it advocate for good science and science policy, it publishes Science, the prestigious journal read globally by millions. Unfortunately, AAAS has gotten a bit weird in recent months.
Perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, is a chemical commonly found in household products. Its purpose is to resist stains, grease, and other assaults. And it's been in the news for several years. In many workplaces and communities, PFOA has become a household name while triggering fears of adverse health effects and expensive, never-ending environmental cleanups. What’s going on? Let's take a look.
Question: How do you know when a "study" isn't really a study? Answer: When those who performed it also write up a brochure, hyping its results before actually bothering to publish a scientific paper.
If your skin gets pierced from anything -- be it your own kitchen knife or a rusty old screw -- it's worth making sure that your tetanus shot is up to date.
Wouldn’t we all like to have healthy brain function, a sharper mind and clearer thinking? Of course. And a dietary supplement called Prevagen, whose supposed “active” ingredient is a protein that comes from jellyfish, promises to deliver the goods. But does it really work? Let's take a look.
Recycling of plastics is not a simple job. They must be sorted, not only by type but also by the flameproofing chemical that may be added. A Danish group has figured out an automated way to sort plastic garbage using a nifty camera and an algorithm. And pretty colors. Clever stuff.