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We Do Not Recommend Making a Sword With Thermite, But Hey

Thermite, a mixture of powdered iron oxides and aluminium, can be burned to produce temperatures it would be hard to argue are truly safe outside of a meticulously controlled environment (over 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit / 2,200 degrees Celsius). It’s used for a variety of purposes, from metal cutting and welding to military incendiaries. Read More >>

space
The Latest Discovery of Organics in Space is Nothing to Get Excited About

Astronomers have detected traces of an organic compound known as methyl chloride around a group of young stars. The discovery comes as a complete surprise to scientists, but instead of signifying the presence of alien life, it’s forcing them to re-evaluate the source of this molecule and its role as a basic building block for habitability. Read More >>

space
Hubble Observations Suggest Water May Be Abundant on Outer TRAPPIST-1 Planets

From the moment that seven Earth-sized planets were discovered in orbit around TRAPPIST-1—an ultracool dwarf star located 39 light years away—astronomers have been busy trying to learn everything they can about this intriguing star system, particularly its potential to foster life. Recently, an international team of scientists used the Hubble Space Telescope to assess the chances of water existing on these planets—and the results are promising. Read More >>

science
Common Antiseptic Chemical Can Harm Important Cell Function

There are many bad things to worry about. Be it climate change, diseases, rabid dogs or ticks, life is just chock full of worry. So, here’s another thing: virtually everything in your medicine cabinet. Sorry :( Read More >>

space
Massive Tides Could Boost TRAPPIST-1’s Prospects For Life

Earlier this year, Earthlings rejoiced when scientists announced the discovery of three rocky exoplanets in the habitable zone of TRAPPIST-1, an “ultracool dwarf” star located just 39 light years away. Soon after, astronomers brought us back down Earth, pointing out that it might be hard for life to survive on a world in such a tight orbit around such a dim star. But the debate has now taken yet another delicious twist, this time, in favour of aliens. Read More >>

science
Science Reveals the Secret to Ancient Rome’s Indestructible Concrete

Roman concrete is famous for its durability, lasting for thousands of years and seemingly stronger with each passing year. New research has uncovered the chemical processes responsible for the sturdiness of this ancient building material — a finding that could inspire modern engineers to revive this forgotten technique. Read More >>

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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 >>

booze
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 >>

science
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 >>

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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 >>

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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 >>

science
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 >>

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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 >>