#ChemMonthly May 2019: Plastic bottles to jet fuel, and simulating dark chocolate aroma

June 6th, 2019|

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Here’s the monthly summary of chemistry stories that have hit the news. This month features news on a method for converting plastic bottles into jet fuel components, a new record for the longest half-life ever measured, and more! Larger summary images for each item are provided below, along with links to articles and studies for all the featured stories.

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IYPT 2019 Elements 034: Selenium: Shampoos and skunks

June 5th, 2019|

Element 34 in our International Year of the Periodic Table series is selenium. Named after the moon, selenium compounds pop up in shampoos and are also partly responsible for the awful smell of skunk spray.

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IYPT 2019 Elements 033: Arsenic: Poison and poultry feed

June 3rd, 2019|

Element 33 in our International Year of the Periodic Table series is arsenic. Well known for its use as a poison, compounds of arsenic are also used to treat wood, while other arsenic-containing substances were previously used in poultry feed.

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IYPT 2019 Elements 032: Germanium: Camera lenses and guitar effects pedals

May 30th, 2019|

Element 32 in our International Year of the Periodic Table series is germanium. Found in some camera lenses and guitar effects pedals, it’s also present in some LCD TVs.

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What’s in an epidural? – Medications for labour and birth

May 28th, 2019|

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As you might have picked up from previous pregnancy-related posts on the site (here and here), my wife and I have been expecting our first child. During labour and birth, terms like ‘epidural’, ‘gas and air’ and ‘induction of labour’ get thrown around, but what specific drugs do these involve? How do they work? What are the benefits and risks? This graphic and post aim to provide the chemical answers.

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IYPT 2019 Elements 031: Gallium: Reading discs and powering the Mars Rover

May 26th, 2019|

Element 31 in our International Year of the Periodic Table series is gallium. Gallium is a low melting point metal; combined with arsenic it is used in some types of solar cells, and it’s also a key component of the lasers that read from Blu-ray discs.

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