Posts tagged as: chemistry


Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Children’s toy banned after poisonings

‘Australia’s 2007 Toy Of The Year, Bindeez, was being pulled from shelves after it was revealed the product’s “magic beads” contain a chemical that when swallowed converts into the toxic illegal drug fantasy.

Two NSW children have been hospitalised over the past 10 days suffering seizures after eating the beads, while a two-year-old boy from Toowoomba in southeastern Queensland was flown to a Brisbane hospital after swallowing Bindeez beads. [..]

Testing by scientists in NSW found the chemical link to the drug gamma-hydroxy butyrate (GHB) – also known as fantasy or Grievous Bodily Harm – which can also cause drowsiness, coma and can lead to death. [..]

Sydney-based poisons specialist Dr Naren Gunja said the list of Bindeez’s ingredients supplied by the manufacturer said it should contain the non-toxic chemical known as 1,5-pentanediol.

“What we’ve found in the beads from testing done … by our hospital scientists is that it contains 1,4-butanediol,” Dr Gunja said, adding this chemical was metabolised by the body into GHB.’


Friday, November 2, 2007


Animals In Formalin Preservation

‘In the preservation of animal specimens for study, animals are usually preserved using formalin where the whole body would be immersed in the posture in which it is supposed to stay permanently because it will be hardened. The ratio of formalin to carcass must at least be 12 to 1 to ensure a good fixation.

Here is a series of great specimens of animals submerged in formalin with 31 more pics after the jump.’


Wednesday, October 31, 2007



‘Untriseptium (IPA: /ʌntrʌɪˈsɛptiəm/) is a chemical element which has not yet been observed to occur naturally or be synthesised. Its atomic number is 137 and symbol is Uts. [.]

In a non-relativistic approximation, the speed of an electron in a 1s electron orbital, v, can be obtained using the expression:

v = Zac = Zc / 137.036

where Z is the atomic number, and α is the fine structure constant, a measure of the strength of electromagnetic interactions. Under this approximation, any element with an atomic number of greater than 137 would require 1s electrons to be traveling faster than c, the speed of light.’


Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Garlic Boosts Hydrogen Sulfide To Relax Arteries

‘Eating garlic is one of the best ways to lower high blood pressure and protect yourself from cardiovascular disease. A new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) shows this protective effect is closely linked to how much hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is produced from garlic compounds interacting with red blood cells.

The UAB researchers found this interaction triggered red blood cells to release H2S, which then led to the relaxation of blood vessels. Fresh garlic was used at a concentration equal to eating two cloves. The resulting H2S production caused up to 72 percent vessel relaxation in rat arteries.

This relaxation is a first step in lowering blood pressure and gaining the heart-protective effects of garlic, said David Kraus, Ph.D., a UAB associate professor in the Departments of Environmental Health Sciences and Biology and the study’s lead author.’

Monday, October 1, 2007


Water forms floating ‘bridge’ when exposed to high voltage

‘”Water undoubtedly is the most important chemical substance in the world,” explained Elmar Fuchs and colleagues from the Graz University of Technology in Austria in a recent study. “The interaction of water with electric fields has been intensely explored over the last years. We report another unusual effect of liquid water exposed to a dc electric field: the floating water bridge.”

When exposed to a high-voltage electric field, water in two beakers climbs out of the beakers and crosses empty space to meet, forming the water bridge. The liquid bridge, hovering in space, appears to the human eye to defy gravity.

Upon investigating the phenomenon, the scientists found that water was being transported from one beaker to another, usually from the anode beaker to the cathode beaker. The cylindrical water bridge, with a diameter of 1-3 mm, could remain intact when the beakers were pulled apart at a distance of up to 25 mm.’

Woolly Mammoth Hair Yields ‘Fantastic’ DNA

‘Hair is a better source of ancient DNA than bone or muscle, a new study involving woolly mammoth hair suggests.

“The main problem with things like bone is that it contains real DNA from the source, but also a load of DNA that is undesirable,” said study team member Tom Gilbert of the University of Copenhagen. “For example, when a mammoth dies and the body starts putrefying, bacteria gets all throughout the body. Later, as it’s buried in the ground, soil bacteria get into it.”

Contamination from bacteria DNA generally make up 50 to more than 90 percent of the raw DNA extracted from the bone and muscles of ancient specimens, Gilbert said. In contrast, more than 90 percent of the DNA extracted from hairs taken from woolly mammoth specimens in the new study belonged to the extinct mega-mammals themselves.

“The quality of the DNA was fantastic,” Gilbert told LiveScience. “It was way better than we ever imagined. There’s both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA in there.”‘

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Inside a Soviet Bomb factory

These are images from inside a Russian bomb making factory.

Lots of cool looking bits and pieces with Russian text on them.

Seems like a fucken lot of nerve agent to store in that manner tho. 🙂

Saturday, September 29, 2007


‘Hot’ Ice Could Lead To Medical Device

‘Harvard physicists have shown that specially treated diamond coatings can keep water frozen at body temperature, a finding that may have applications in future medical implants.

Doctoral student Alexander Wissner-Gross and Efthimios Kaxiras, physics professor and Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics, spent a year building and examining computer models that showed that a layer of diamond coated with sodium atoms will keep water frozen up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit.

In ice, water molecules are arranged in a rigid framework that gives the substance its hardness. The process of melting is somewhat like a building falling down: pieces that had been arranged into a rigid structure move and flow against one another, becoming liquid water.

The computer model shows that whenever a water molecule near the diamond-sodium surface starts to fall out of place, the surface stabilizes it and reassembles the crystalline ice structure.’

Friday, September 28, 2007


Barmaid: Pine O Cleen shot was a joke

‘A rmaid who served a drunk customer a shot of disinfectant as a joke at a Melbourne nightclub made him so ill he vomited and his skin became ulcerated, a court was told today.

Melbourne Magistrates Court was told the customer drank a 30ml shot of Pine O Cleen served by barmaid Emily Craig, 22, on March 4.

He vomited in the street outside the Evolution nightclub in Prahran before an ambulance was called.

He also later developed ulcers on his skin.

Craig’s defence counsel George Balot told Magistrate Bill O’Day it was a “misguided practical joke”.’


Thursday, September 27, 2007


Man drowns in vat of sulfuric acid

‘The father of an 18-year-old Redwood City man found his son dead after he fell into a waist-high vat of sulfuric acid early Sunday morning in a bizarre industrial accident, police said.

When Fernando Jimenez Gonzalez failed to come home after his shift at Coastal Circuits, his father went looking for him at the Redwood City manufacturing plant, said Sgt. Steve Dowden of Redwood City police. He found his body shortly before 2 a.m. [..]

Police believe Gonzalez passed out from chemical fumes as hesubmerged circuit boards into one of the plant’s three acid-copper-plating tanks, Dowden said.

The other employee at the facility, located in a Redwood City industrial area, was uninjured. It’s unclear why that worker didn’t call emergency crews.’


Monday, September 24, 2007


Lunchbox warning: Health officials say toss them

‘The state’s public health department asked parents Thursday to toss certain Chinese-made lunchboxes potentially containing dangerous levels of lead – the same ones it distributed in a campaign to promote healthy eating.

The department distributed more than 350,000 of the canvas lunchboxes, only to find out that at least three that were tested in a batch of 56,000 contained “significant” levels of lead.

“It certainly is unfortunate that an item we’re using to promote healthy behavior is discovered to be in itself a health hazard,” said Mark Horton, the director of the Department of Public Health. “We will be reassessing our policy on the distribution of our promotional products.”‘


Thursday, September 20, 2007


Scores ill in Peru ‘meteor crash’

‘Hundreds of people in Peru have needed treatment after an object from space – said to be a meteorite – plummeted to Earth in a remote area, officials say.

They say the object left a deep crater after crashing down over the weekend near the town of Carancas in the Andes.

People who visited the scene have been complaining of headaches, vomiting and nausea after inhaling gases.

But some experts have questioned whether it was a meteorite or some other object that landed in Carancas.’


Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Engineers develop higher-energy liquid-transportation fuel from sugar

‘Reporting in the June 21 issue of the journal Nature, University of Wisconsin-Madison chemical and biological engineering Professor James Dumesic and his research team describe a two-stage process for turning biomass-derived sugar into 2,5-dimethylfuran (DMF), a liquid transportation fuel with 40 percent greater energy density than ethanol.

The prospects of diminishing oil reserves and the threat of global warming caused by releasing otherwise trapped carbon into the atmosphere have researchers searching for a sustainable, carbon-neutral fuel to reduce global reliance on fossil fuels. By chemically engineering sugar through a series of steps involving acid and copper catalysts, salt and butanol as a solvent, UW-Madison researchers created a path to just such a fuel.’


Tuesday, September 18, 2007


How this 12inch miracle tube could halve heating bills

‘It sounds too good to be true – not to mention the fact that it violates almost every known law of physics.

But British scientists claim they have invented a revolutionary device that seems to ‘create’ energy from virtually nothing.

Their so-called thermal energy cell could soon be fitted into ordinary homes, halving domestic heating bills and making a major contribution towards cutting carbon emissions. [..]

Even the makers of the device are at a loss to explain exactly how it works – but sceptical independent scientists carried out their own tests and discovered that the 12in x 2in tube really does produce far more heat energy than the electrical energy put in.’


Thursday, September 13, 2007


What is the Average American Woman’s Bust Size?

‘In the last 15 years, the average bust size has increased from 34B to 36C. Whether the lift is due to breast augmentation surgeries or a side-effect of expanding waistlines is not known.

Either way, from slinky to full-coverage undergarments, bras have graced the bodies of women since the 1800s. But modern bra sizing didn’t come into fashion until 1928. [..]

Bras must support a pair of breasts that can weigh just over a half pound (0.3 kilograms) to a whopping 20 pounds (9 kilograms).’

I wonder what the caterpillar spit is for.


Boys reported after factory blast

‘Three boys have been reported to the Children’s Panel after an explosion and major fire at a chemical plant in Ayrshire, police have said.

Flames were spotted at the Nobel Enterprises factory in Stevenston at about 2000 BST on Saturday.

The fire involved highly-flammable nitrocellulose, which is used in inks and coatings. [..]

Anne Graham, also 56, said: “It was terrible. I thought the sun had come out, then my husband phoned and said ‘Do you see?’

“I couldn’t believe it. I stood on a nearby hill and could feel the heat on my face.” [..]

Strathclyde Police said about 1,500 to 1,700 tons of the nitrocellulose had been involved in the incident.’

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Japanese schoolchildren fed toxic dolphin meat

‘Councillors from the home of the Japan’s whaling industry have revealed that schoolchildren in the area have been served dolphin meat containing dangerous levels of mercury, prompting warnings of a potential public health disaster as the country attempts to boost consumption of cetacean meat.

In a rare departure from the official line that the meat is safe and nutritious, two assembly members from Taiji in Wakayama prefecture broke ranks to say that tests on samples of short-finned pilot whales – a type of large dolphin, despite its name – had found mercury levels 10 to 16 times higher than those advised by the health ministry.

“In kindergartens, elementary schools and middle schools, children are served the meat two or three times a month, but their parents believe that it comes from whales caught in the Antarctic. They seem to be unaware that their children are eating these pilot whales,” said Hisato Ryono, who described the meat as “toxic waste”.’

Friday, August 31, 2007


One Cool Dude

‘My senior year of college opened with the customary research projects, grad school applications, and the like. But that all changed two months ago. Some of you may have heard rumors of some bizarre accident that I was involved in. Here is the truth, unabridged, for those who actually want to know.

In the second week of school, the society of physics students held a roughly annual welcome back party. As tradition dictates, we made our own ice cream with liquid nitrogen, 77� Kelvin, as a refrigerant and aerator. We spilled a little liquid nitrogen onto a table and watched the tiny little drops dance around. Someone asked, “Why does it do that?” That may have been the point of no return.’

The World Without Us

‘Without us on the earth, what traces of us would linger? What would disappear?’

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Dust ‘comes alive’ in space

‘Scientists have discovered that inorganic material can take on the characteristics of living organisms in space, a development that could transform views of alien life.

An international panel from the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Max Planck institute in Germany and the University of Sydney found that galactic dust could form spontaneously into helixes and double helixes and that the inorganic creations had memory and the power to reproduce themselves.

A similar rethinking of prospective alien life is being undertaken by the National Research Council, an advisory body to the US government. It says Nasa should start a search for what it describes as “weird life” – organisms that lack DNA or other molecules found in life on Earth.’

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Paper-thin battery may revolutionise electronics

‘US researchers say they have invented a lightweight paper battery that could serve as an enhanced power storage device for the next generation of consumer electronic devices.

The battery produces electricity in the same way as the conventional lithium-ion batteries that power so many of today’s gadgets, but all the components have been incorporated into a lightweight, flexible sheet of paper.

An early prototype of the device, just big enough to be held between thumb and forefinger, kicks out 2.5 volts, enough juice to power a small fan, or illuminate a light, and its inventors say the battery can be easily scaled up to provide enough power to run any number of electronic gadgets.

“You can stack one sheet on top of another to boost the power output,” said Robert Linhardt, a biology and chemistry professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and a project team member.’


Sunday, August 12, 2007


Boy burnt by ‘caustic’ park slide

‘A five-year-old boy is being treated in hospital after using a park slide smeared with a mixture of caustic soda and shampoo in Dysart, near Kirkcaldy.

He suffered extensive burns on his legs and bottom and is in Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

Three other youngsters had to undergo medical checks for similar, but not so serious, injuries.

It is believed the boy and his friends found the substance in a litter bin and rubbed it on the slide themselves.’


Sunday, August 5, 2007


Japanese students served toxic whale meat

‘Whale meat served in school lunches in an area of rural Japan is contaminated with alarming levels of mercury, a local assemblyman said today, calling for a halt in plans for the meat to be shipped to schools nationwide.

Hisato Ryono, a assemblyman in Taiji, a historic whaling town some 450km west of Tokyo, said two samples of short-finned pilot whale had mercury levels 10 to 16 times more than advised by the Health Ministry.

The samples, bought from two local supermarkets, also had 10-12 times more methyl mercury than advised levels, he said.

Mr Ryono and a fellow assemblyman conducted tests after local authorities ignored their calls to have the whalemeat inspected before it was served in school lunches in the town’s kindergartens and elementary and junior high schools.

“We were shocked that it continued to be served in school lunches,” Mr Ryono.’


Friday, August 3, 2007


Laminar Reverse Flow

‘This colored corn syrup is dropped into a mixture, stirred up, and when the direction is reversed, the drops return their original state.’

(4.7meg Flash video)


Thursday, July 26, 2007


Common Chemicals that Misbehave

‘Following textbook instructions in performing chemical experiments at home may be conducive to safety, but the real thrills of research come from those experiments which you work out for yourself.

Certain chemicals just do not get along well together, and can misbehave in a manner which may cause acute embarrassment—and pain. To avoid accidents, keep the following list of chemical tricksters in mind whenever you venture into free-lance experimenting. [..]’


Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Shopper Accused Of Putting Mothballs In Soup

‘A woman is accused of dropping mothballs into a vat of soup at an Austin grocery store deli.

Lea Suzan Sechler, 44, faces a felony charge of tampering with a consumer product. She was released on bail after her arrest Thursday.

Sechler had been a regular customer at the Randall’s supermarket where at least three times customers and employees noticed the soup had the scent of mothballs.

Randalls Food Markets said no illnesses related to the tainted soup were reported.

The second time the soup smelled like mothballs, a manager sent the batch for testing. It tested positive for dichlorobenzene, a primary ingredient in many mothballs and a chemical that can contribute to a range of ailments.’


Almost Bulletproof Sheet of Gold Is Only 50 Atoms Thick

‘Scientists managed to create an ultrastrong material that has many of the characteristics of the plexiglas, used to make bulletproof glass. The strange thing about this material is the fact that it’s made of a 50-atom-thick layer of gold particles.

Seen under a microscope, the new material, developed by scientists at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory looks like a transparent sheet of closely packed gold nanoparticles separated by organic spacers, placed atop a silicon chip. It consists of gold particles separated by organic “bumpers” to keep them from coming into direct contact.

“It’s an amazing little marvel,” said Heinrich Jaeger, Professor in Physics at the University of Chicago. “This is not a very fragile layer, but rather a robust, resilient membrane.” Some of the properties of this sheet are remarkable, like the fact that it maintains its structural integrity at relatively high temperatures, even when poked with ultrafine tips of metal.’


Monday, July 23, 2007


Testing Hydrocarbon Refrigerants In A Car

This actually happened at the university I used to go to. Our lecturers would occasionally tell us stories about stupid experiments that don’t end well.

This was always my favourite. 🙂

(10.5meg Flash video)

see it here »

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Chemical Burns From Rubber Sandals

‘Well, after wearing them my feet would be red and sort of tingly, but I figured that it was just because it was first flip flops of the year so my feet need to get used to them. Blabity blabity… Well I have now had this chemical burn for 11 days, (As of July 3rd) I really thought it would just go away on it’s own. It is absolutely going away very well at all…this started on June 22nd 2007 and has just gotten worse basically. I have only worn those shoes 15 minutes here, half an hour there, hour there…and so on, NOT enough time to burn my feet like this!

I apologize for you having to look at my feet, really….. sorry!’

$75,000 Offered For MD to Publicly Drink Vaccine Additives

‘Jock Doubleday, director of the California non-profit corporation Natural Woman, Natural Man, Inc., has offered $75,000 to the first medical doctor or pharmaceutical company CEO who publicly drinks a mixture of standard vaccine additives.

The additives would be the same as those contained in the vaccines recommended for a 6-year-old according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, and the dose would be body-weight calibrated. It would include, but not be limited to:

* Thimerosal (a mercury derivative)
* Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)
* Phenol (a disinfectant dye)
* Aluminum
* Benzethonium chloride (a disinfectant)
* Formaldehyde (a preservative and disinfectant)

On August 1, 2007, if no one has taken the challenge, the offer will be increased to $90,000 and will increase at a rate of $5,000 per month until someone accepts.’