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.
It is very tempting to purposefully mislabel a product if you can make extra money and get away with it. But, using isotope analysis, chemists have devised a way to discriminate conventional and organic milk.
The Florida man who was arrested for synthesizing the "Mother of Satan" claims that he was just making fireworks. Uh-huh. Celebrating the Fourth of July early, we suppose? Here, we explain the chemistry behind the explosive.
Unlike human skin or electronic gadgets, aging makes red wine better. While the reasons are complex, they all boil down to chemistry.
Laetrile, which is found apricot seeds, has been used by quacks to "treat" cancer for 70 years. It works, assuming that your goal is to poison yourself. But cancer claims, which were ridiculous in the 1950s, continue today. Psst. Keep this secret. It's cyanide, no more, no less. Don't let the screwballs tell you otherwise.
Veteran New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof fancies himself an expert in chemistry and toxicology. Chemists and toxicologists disagree.
What these two processes share is baked into the math of each. In fact, in that respect, they're nearly identical. They both involve some stuff (atoms or money) that is either growing or shrinking. And best yet, they both have a magic number.
The media often uses the words "opioid" and "opiate" interchangeably. However, there are subtle but important differences between them.
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.
Someday, everybody will be wearing smart clothes. Not just clothes that look dapper, but ones that sense the environment and the body's vital signs, before pinging the data to your wristwatch or doctor. To get there, we'll need functional fabrics, and nothing beats the touch and feel of cotton.
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.
Kurt Eichenwald, a journalist with enormous influence, claims to have predicted features of Hurricane Irma using a climate change equation. A contributing editor to Vanity Fair and a New York Times bestselling author, he took to Twitter to boast about his accomplishment. It didn't take long for him to be rightfully mocked.