World’s Strangest

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Job Swapping Changes Honeybee DNA

Honeybees in a hive have fairly identical genes. The queen is the mother, a very few drones are the fathers, and those drones are closely related to each other anyway. But “epigenetic” changes in the DNA, those that switch genes on or off chemically, differ among bees that do different jobs. And bees can change [...]

The End of Cavities?

A team of scientists led by José Córdoba from Yale University and Erich Astudillo from the University of Chile have developed a chemical that can kill all the cavity-causing bacteria in a person’s mouth -in only 60 seconds! They call it Keep 32, because using it may let you keep all 32 of your teeth [...]

How Do Glowsticks Glow?

Picture an atom. Now picture that atom getting excited. Maybe its birthday is coming up. Anyway, when an atom or a molecule gets excited, its electrons’ energy levels go up. When the electrons fall back down to their normal state, they release energy in the form of photons, a basic unit of light. For most of [...]

11 Wars That Led to Natural Disasters

An hour ago, we discussed 11 Natural Disasters That Led to Wars. Let’s switch that around. 1. Flooding of Babylon, 689 BCE The Assyrians still rank as one of history’s meanest groups of people: skinning captives alive, throwing babies on spears — all in a day’s work for these brutal empire-builders in the ancient Near East. So [...]

Self-Cleaning Fabric

Are you a messy eater? Is ketchup for whatever reason incredibly attracted to the front of your t-shirts? University of California, Davis is working on a solution that could be designed just for you; a fabric that kills bacteria and breaks down compounds for all your fashion needs. “The new fabric has potential applications in biological [...]

Scientists to Create Inorganic Life

It’s probably a bit too soon to welcome our new inorganic life overlords, but that doesn’t mean that scientists in Scotland aren’t trying hard! They’re busy at work to create self-replicating, evolving cells made from [...]

Robotic Armpit

Why did Kevin Grennan make a robot that simulates the functions and odors of a human armpit? Certain scents, his research revealed, manipulate human emotional reactions: It was important to me that the odours and chemicals came from within the robots and that they were an integrated means for them to communicate with the humans who [...]

Roman soldiers killed by chemical weapons

The remains of 20 men who died almost 2,000 years ago may have fallen foul to an early chemical weapon. The 19 Roman soldiers were defending the Syria…

A Day Without Chemistry

(YouTube link) The American Chemical Society produced the video A Day Without Chemistry to raise awareness of the many ways we depend on chemistry in our daily lives. The International Year of Chemistry (IYC) officially begins on February 1st. The 63rd General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry, envisioning a [...]

“Wet Computer” Will Mimic A Biological Brain

A team of European computer researchers are building a computer that will simulate the way that neurons work. They hope that successful development could aid in nanotechnology and smart pharmaceutical control systems. Here’s how it works: What distinguishes the current project is that it will make use of stable “cells” featuring a coating that forms spontaneously, [...]