What is swimwear made of and why can it fade and stretch? – in C&EN

Promo image for graphic on C&EN site, titled 'the materials science of swimwear' and featuring images of swimming trunks, water and sun. Full graphic is available at the click-through link with full alt-text
Click to view the full graphic on the C&EN site

Hitting the swimming pool this summer? Swimwear relies on a range of materials to keep you comfortable and prevent it from breaking down. This edition of Periodic Graphics in C&EN looks at what swimsuits are made of, and how a little chemistry knowledge goes a long way when it comes to keeping them in good shape and stopping their materials from fading and stretching.

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Six surprising side effects of medicines – in C&EN

Click to view the full graphic on the C&EN site

This month’s edition of Periodic Graphics in C&EN comes off of the back of my ending up on tetracyclines for a chest infection a month or so ago. This alerted me to their ability to make the skin of people taking them more sensitive to sunlight. It turns out that there are a number of odd and unexpected side effects of medications people take for a variety of conditions, so this graphic rounds up some of the oddest I came across. View the full graphic on the C&EN site.

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What do the IARC’s carcinogen classifications actually mean?

Infographic on the IARC carcinogen classification system. Classifications are shown along with example substances that fall within each category. Classifications range from group 1 (carcinogenic to humans) to group 4 (probably not carcinogenic).

Alcohol: Well known to be carcinogenic to humans. Despite this, a large proportion of the population drink it regularly. More surprisingly, whenever the International Agency for Research on Cancer updates its carcinogen classifications for other substances with a lower cancer risk, there’s often media fanfare. In recent years, the IARC has upgraded classifications for red meat and aspartame, leading to a spate of panicked articles. This republished and updated post takes a look at what the classification groups actually mean, and how worried we should be about a substance’s classification.

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