Chemicals & Chemistry

Recent breakthroughs in stem-cell have raised the prospect of one day "breeding" humans and growing organs in a lab. How realistic are these scenarios? Netflix just released an embarrassing miniseries about the opioid epidemic. Let's take a closer look at the show's claims.
If alien life does not resemble ET or the Lead Alien in the eponymous movie, how will we recognize them once we meet? Assembly theory may offer a clue.
"Painkiller" is a textbook example of a show clearly meant to sway public perceptions on a critical public health issue — even if that means lying to viewers along the way.
On July 20, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the principal trade association for the chemical industry in the U.S., sued the EPA and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) over the EPA’s 2022 draft IRIS Assessment on Formaldehyde. Lawsuits against the EPA are not unique, but those including NASEM are another story.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer's (IARC) conclusion that the sweetener aspartame "possibly" causes cancer is ... definitely stupid. Meanwhile, you can eat a diet consisting of 91 percent "ultra-processed" food and be healthy. So says a new study. Let's take a closer look.
There's a codeine analog with a strange name: "Thebacon." How does one pronounce this? Is it useful? And are there other obscure chemicals with meat-containing names? And A Dreaded Chemistry Lesson From Hell (TM) for no extra charge.
A new health scare is brewing as reporters speculate about the cancer risk of consuming the sweetener sucralose. Is there any evidence behind the panic? No. A team of scientists recently argued that it's time for oil companies to pay reparations for causing climate change. Let's take a critical look at their claims.
Chemistry is hard enough to understand. But this already-convoluted field of science can be even worse because of some stuff that defies logic. Here are five examples.
It's not often that one stumbles across one million pennies in their attic. But this is just what happened to a California family. Those folks found sacks of pre-1982 pennies weighing 2.7 tons. Could there be a better time to look at the fascinating and colorful properties of copper? I think not.
A recent study linking marijuana use to schizophrenia attracted widespread attention. Now that the excitement has died down, let's take a closer look at the science. How does Pfizer's weight-loss pill compare to Ozempic, the obesity treatment beloved by celebrities the world over?
Cutting the dose of Tylenol in opioids makes the drugs safer. Why? Pharma company Johnson & Johnson is developing a drug that could reduce liver damage caused by Tylenol — which J&J also sells.
Our drug laws are almost supernaturally stupid. Part of this, aside from that they're largely made by morons, is the lack of knowledge of even basic chemistry, which could, at least, introduce a little sanity to the process. Here's a bit.