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Chemicals

  1. Science

    Pee Might Become Toxic When Introduced to Chlorine, So for the Love of God, Get out of the Pool First

    Needless to say, a feeling of disgust overcomes you when you're swimming in the ocean or a pool and you suddenly feel that warm spot. You're desperately hoping that it's not pee, but hey, accidents happen. However, a new study shows that those "accidents" can be potentially harmful and toxic.

    Read on...
  2. Science

    Relax, Everyone, Female Sea Snails Are No Longer Growing Penises Due to Harmful Chemicals. Situation Normal

    Feel free to go about your normal lives again, everybody. Toxic chemicals are no longer causing female sea snails to grow penises, so you can rest easy tonight. If your reaction to that is, "Wait, at some point female sea snails were growing penises? What?" Congratulations, the Internet has not dulled your ability to find things surprising.

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  3. Science

    Flowers Could Clean Up Polluted Land, Act As Nanoparticle Factories

    The alyssum flowers pictured above aren't just pretty -- they're good for the planet, too. A recent study from the University of Warwick suggests that the common flowers and their relatives could help restore chemically poisoned land to a more livable state by leeching toxins from the ground. As an added bonus, researchers think they could one day harvest those same toxic chemicals  -- now broken down to tiny nanoparticles -- for use in new technologies.

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  4. Science

    Scientists Develop Straw That Can Detect Date Rape Drugs

    Researchers at Tel Aviv University's school of chemistry have developed a sensor that can detect if your drink has been spiked by the most common date rape drugs. The sensor can be used as a straw or a stirrer that will light up to indicate if someone has slipped something into your drink.

    The sensor absorbs a drop of the beverage, and brings it into contact with a chemical formula created by lead researchers Fernando Patolsky and Michael Ioffe. So far, the exact make up of the chemical formula hasn't been released. But, the researchers say it is extremely effective at detecting the drugs. Ioffe told the AFP:
    "The drug itself is reacting with this chemical formulation and the previously clear formula becomes dirty and when the light shines it you can detect it. You don't have to do anything but dip it in your drink."

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  5. Science

    Chemistry Set Contains No Chemicals

    Sign of the times: A children's chemistry kit sold by a company called Elenco boasts "60 fun activities with no chemicals" on the box. Amazon description: "There is no fear of working with dangerous chemicals or poisons. The topics covered in the kit deal with chemical reactions, acids and bases, chromatography, crystal growing, surface tension, solutions and colloids, expansion of gases, magnetism, optics, growing plants and more. Simple experiments are performed using the contents of the kit and common household items." (Presumably, such potentially hazardous substances as vinegar and baking soda must be obtained from one's own home.) MAKE's Sean Michael Ragan nails it: "I post this not so much in the spirit of “shame on such-and-so” for creating this astounding oxymoron of a product, but rather to lament the general state of affairs we have come to thanks to litigiousness, chemophobia, and flagging scientific literacy." (MAKE via Neatorama)

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