The Chemistry of Olive Oil Will Make You an Instant Food Snob

Dipping bread in a bowl of fresh, extra virgin olive oil ranks as one of the most pleasurable gastronomic experiences possible. But as this new Reactions video explains, there’s more to this delicious and surprisingly healthy condiment than meets the eye. Read More >>

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Mixing Oil, Paint, and Soap Looks Like Flying Over a Distant Alien World

The next time NASA releases spectacular footage from a flyover of a distant planet or moon, you’ll have good reason to wonder if what you’re watching actually came from a spaceship, or from a microscope in a studio filming oil, paint, and liquid soap all mixed together. Read More >>

Talk Everyone’s Ear Off Thanks to This Video On the Science of Whiskey

There’s no feeling more rewarding than being the smartest person in the room. Sure, your friends might think it’s annoying. But just imagine the sheer joy of going to the bar, hearing what drink they ordered, and explaining it to them. Try doing it on a date! Read More >>

Most Habitable Earth-Like Planets May Be Waterworlds

Over 70 per cent of our planet is covered in water, and we tend to think that’s a lot. A new study suggests that our world is special in this regard, and that most habitable planets are dominated by oceans that consume over 90 per cent their surface area. That may be good for primitive marine life, but not so good for aspiring civilisations. Read More >>

Saturn’s Moon Enceladus Has the Basic Ingredients For Life

Saturn’s moon Enceladus features a warm subterranean ocean covered in ice. In an extraordinary new finding, scientists have confirmed the existence of a chemical energy source within this moon’s water that’s capable of sustaining living organisms here on Earth. Enceladus is now officially the best place beyond Earth to look for life. Read More >>

There Are Way Worse Ways Carbon Monoxide Can Kill You

Us Earthlings are quite lucky to be living at around standard temperature and pressure. Life has evolved to comfortably handle the shapes most molecules arrange themselves in at one atmosphere of pressure at whichever temperature nature is capable of throwing at us. But on other planets, at other temperatures and pressures, lots of things we take for granted would probably just kill us. Even the usual killers might be worse. Read More >>

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Chemistry Should Only Be Taught Using Gorgeous Microscopic Footage of Chemical Reactions

Hands-on experiments can make studying chemistry slightly more enjoyable, but the bulk of the learning usually comes from a massive and boring textbook. Maybe the world would have more aspiring chemists if lessons were instead taught using these microscopic videos of chemical reactions happening right before your eyes. Read More >>

How Did You End Up With Red Hair?

People from different parts of the world look different, and sometimes it feels weird to ask why. But yes, there is in fact chemistry and genetics behind the way we look. Read More >>

Startup Makes the First Lab-Grown Chicken Tender and Duck L’Orange

A San Francisco startup plated some fairly familiar dishes at a tasting yesterday, like fried chicken with collared greens and duck l’orange. But these meats didn’t come from gutted bird corpses. They were all lab-grown, and our lab-grown meat experts are bummed we were not invited to taste, too. Not that we would have been able to go or anything, we’re very busy. But come on, guys! Read More >>

Scientists Have a Sneaky Way of Telling If You Peed in the Pool

Pools are giant toilets. Around one in five Americans admit to having peed in a swimming pool at least once. Every pool probably contains a shot glass full of urine per swimmer, according to a story by Chemical and Engineering News from last year. Read More >>

The Chemical That Killed Kim Jong Un’s Half-Brother Is Horrifying

Kim Jong-nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half brother, was assassinated last week by a nerve agent called VX, according to the Malaysian police as reported by the Washington Post. What the heck is VX, and why is it so awful? Read More >>

There Could Be a Crazy Health Benefit to Eating Stale Bread

Every other day, someone writes a story about something causing or preventing cancer. Usually, it’s all hype or the explanation is a snooze, but sometimes, the research is just strange enough to grab our attention. That’s the case with a new study, which details how stale bread might help ward off colon cancer. Read More >>

A Wild New Helium Compound Could Rewrite Chemistry Textbooks

Here’s a popular GCSE school chemistry fact: Helium atoms don’t interact with other atoms to create compounds. Well, that fact might need some reevaluating. Read More >>

Even Your Fast Food’s Wrapper Is Bad For You

You don’t go to a fast food restaurant expecting a healthy meal, but you generally don’t expect potentially carcinogenic compounds, either. It turns out that a third of the time, that’s what you’re getting, and not in the food, but in the wrapper. Scientists aren’t sure how concerning this new health revelation is just yet, but it appears that even fast food wrappers can be bad for you. Read More >>

This Promising New Tool Can Help Us Find Life on Europa

If alien life is out there in our solar system, it’s probably very small and very hard to detect, buried deep beneath the surface of an icy moon. But, rejoice alien seekers: a new test developed by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory could improve our chances of spotting extraterrestrial microbes and ending our cosmic loneliness once and for all. Read More >>