Chemicals & Chemistry

Should the U.S. learn from China about air pollution? A history professor says yes, and he bases his argument on an epidemiological paper that utilizes deceptive maps and dubious methods.
If you think ozone is just up there in the sky somewhere, think again. It's also being used more and more to combat bacteria and infections, like MRSA. So the next time the conversation turns to ozone, it's good to know the context before you weigh in. And so that you can look knowledgeable here's your quick overview. 
As great as is it, who would have expected the TV series Game of Thrones to be fodder for a chemistry lesson about electrons, oxidation, reduction and tin. But it is, thanks to (former) King Stannis Baratheon. Whoever said that chemistry wasn't magic?
Air pollution in China has a substantially negative impact on public health. But with the exception of central and southern California and the upper Midwest, the United States has extremely clean air. And in fact, most regions in this country would not benefit from tighter air pollution standards.
The origin of life is a profound mystery. Once life arose, natural selection and evolution took over. But the question of how a mixture of various gases created life-giving molecules that arranged into structures capable of reproducing themselves remains unanswered.
This story should remind us how easy it is to pull off acts of terrorism. With drugs like fentanyl and carfentanyl pouring into our country, officials should treat synthetic opioids as a terrorist threat in addition to a public health threat.
Agent Orange was used as a defoliant during the Vietnam War. A recent paper indicates that the chemicals which comprise AO persist in high concentrations in some pockets of South Vietnam. In addition, they could be causing hormonal imbalances in babies born in those regions.
A recently published working paper states that the water in Flint, Michigan is presumably responsible for startling drops in fertility rates, and increased fetal deaths, as compared to neighboring cities. How reliable are these data and should we really be sounding alarm bells?
Gatorade needs a better marketing team. A very curious advertisement contained a diagram of an organic molecule that, if it actually existed, would probably be dangerous. You certainly wouldn't be drinking it.
Gases are being now infused into various beverages, especially coffee and beer for a variety of reasons. But there is a viral video of two maniacs who tried "helium-infused beer." If they were looking for laughs they succeeded mightily. But is it real?
CNN's science team must have been in a coma when they swallowed whole a nonsense study about 9/11 dust raising cholesterol in kids. They look pretty foolish, but not nearly as much as the study authors. It will be some time until anyone can "top" this. Don't hold your breath. 
Worried about North Korea tossing nukes around? Ebola? Killer hurricanes? While all of these are dreadful, you might as well forget about them and every other threat around. They are irrelevant. We are already doomed. Because someone put a fleece jacket in the dryer.