Biology, Chemistry, Health & Medicine, News

Sea Snails Paralyze Their Prey With Unique Type of Insulin

Conus geographus, the cone snail used for this study.

What do you do if you need to catch your own food… but you’re just not fast enough? That’s the problem cone snails had to face, and the solution they came up with is pretty amazing: they kill fish by lowering their sugar levels with a unique type of insulin, researchers found

Astronomy, Chemistry, Did you know?, Feature Post, Science

How to Build Carbon Soccer Ball Molecules in Space


Carbon buckyball molecules rarely exist naturally on Earth. Nonetheless, that did not stop astronomers from finding an unexpected abundance of buckyballs in space. Three years ago, Dr. Olivier Berné and Professor Xander Tielens – then, both at Leiden University – suggested a way to form these carbon buckyballs by sifting the hydrogen from larger carbon-hydrogen molecules. Now, a team of astrochemists

Biology, Chemistry, News

Tourist pollution is changing the colors of Yellowstone’s pools

The Morning Glory pool was blue 200 years ago, a new model shows. Image via AsianTown.

The bright, rainbow-colored thermal pools of Yellowstone park may owe their spectacular color to tourist pollution, a new study suggests. Using mathematical models, the study showed the initial colors of the ponds – the ones they had before tourists started polluting them. Morning Glory Pool is a hot spring in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park. Its distinct

Chemistry, News

Former BAYER Chief Who Promoted Heroin Use Spurned by German Cities


The German cities of Dortmund and Luedenscheid have decided to rename streets named after the former BAYER chief executive Carl Duisberg. Similar initiatives are also underway in Frankfurt, Wuppertal, Krefeld and Leverkusen. This carries a special weight as Wuppertal is the birth place of Carl Duisberg, Leverkusen is the home of BAYER‘s headquarters. Carl Duisberg is a controversial figure in German

Chemistry, News, Renewable Energy

New process turns CO2 into alcohol using enzymes

alcohol to CO2

We’ve previously told you how our ancestors’ adaptation to metabolizing alcohol which first happened some 10 million years ago may have been essential to their survival. There’s more to it though. The same enzyme that metabolizes alcohol, dehydrogenase (ADH4), may be eventually used to transform CO2 into alcohol, which could be later used as a fuel, according to a paper

Chemistry, Videos

Liquid DNA crystals imaged in stunning timelapse

DNA pattern

DNA is widely recognized by its double helix, but if you look at the molecule through a microscope you might be disappointed. That’s because the double helix is an atomic model, and you’d need a really powerful microscope to see the helix. On a grander scale, DNA can take some interesting shapes. Take for instance these images of liquid DNA

Biology, Chemistry, News

Scientists create ‘artificial evolution’ for the first time

Photograph showing the pumps: cleaning and oil phases, the mixing array, the syringe array held in the X–Y stage, the evolutionary arena, the optical imaging system held below the evolution arena, the motors controlling the X–Y carriage and the computer interface.

Scientists have made a significant step towards developing fully artificial life – for the first time, they demonstrated evolution in a simple chemistry set without DNA. In a way, the researchers showed that the principle of natural selection doesn’t only apply to the biological world. Using a simple a robotic ‘aid’, a team from the University of Glasgow managed to create an evolving

Art, Chemistry, Videos

Chemistry doesn’t suck, Chemistry is Beautiful! [Incredible reactions shot with 4K UltraHD resolution]

Chemical reaction

The Tsinghua University Press and University of Science and Technology of China partnered to release an amazing video which zooms on various chemical reactions  at ultraHD resolution. Using  advanced computer graphics and state-of-the-art interactive technology, a group of 3D artists in Shanghai created this extraordinary short animation to express their impression of chemical structures. Check out the result in the embedded video below

Chemistry, News, Physics, Renewable Energy

Graphene membrane allows mobile Fuel Cells to harvest Hydrogen straight from Air

In simple terms, graphene, is a thin layer of pure carbon; it is a single, tightly packed layer of carbon atoms that are bonded together in a hexagonal honeycomb lattice. Image: Wikimedia

A team of UK researchers led by none other but  Nobel Laureate Andre Geim – one of persons involved in graphene‘s discovery in 2004 – has shown that the wondrous two dimensional material graphene can used as a proton exchange membrane in fuel cells. The find took everybody by surprise since no one expected graphene could allow protons to pass through