This Cheap Sensor Will Tell Your Phone When Food Goes Bad

Some MIT eggheads invented a very impressive and very inexpensive sensor that stands to protect you against anything from a bomb to a bad pack of beef. And it's so simple. The new sensor is just a modified near field communication (NFC) chip that can detect the presence of specific gases with the help of carbon… » 12/08/14 5:30pm 12/08/14 5:30pm

Tattletale Smoke Detector Knows When and What You're Smoking

Just because it's illegal for people to smoke in certain areas, it doesn't necessarily mean they won't, and putting up a 'No Smoking' sign isn't much of a deterrent. So Joseph BelBruno, a chemistry professor from Dartmouth College, has turned his research on second-hand smoke into a new kind of smoke detector that's… » 10/29/14 12:12pm 10/29/14 12:12pm

Study the Science of Shots With a Chemistry Set For Your Bar

When you think about it, is there really much difference between someone with their PhD in chemistry and a bartender? Both are probably dealing with a crippling mountain of debt, both concoct solutions and mixtures, and both are hoping for a positive reaction. So why wouldn't a mixologist feel right at home serving… » 9/26/14 5:20pm 9/26/14 5:20pm

Maven Delivers Its First Ultraviolet Images From Mars

Piling on to the good news from Mars this week, NASA's Maven spacecraft sent home its first ultraviolet images from Mars. While they may not be flashy, these images will help determine the composition and variability of the upper atmosphere, and investigate the mystery of when the water escaped. » 9/26/14 2:18am 9/26/14 2:18am

The Chemistry Behind the Different Colors of Autumn Leaves

At some point when you were a wee child, your parents or teachers probably gave you a simple—but incomplete—explanation of why leaves change color in the fall: green chlorophyll fades to reveal the yellows and oranges that have been there all along. That's true, but that's not the whole chemical story. » 9/18/14 2:25pm 9/18/14 2:25pm

A Chemistry Set Spice Rack Puts Science in the Spotlight At Supper Time

Even something as simple as making toast involves a whole lot of complex science that most of us don't even think about. But when dinner preparation involves a chemistry set full of spices, you'll be hard pressed to not wonder about all the chemical reactions going down in your dinner. » 9/17/14 5:00pm 9/17/14 5:00pm

Your iPhone Houses All These Chemical Reactions Every Single Day

Other than the times we notice our battery bars inching towards the red or our screens go silent, we usually don't think too about how it is our phones actually function. But as a new video from the Reaction YouTube channel shows, there's a whole host of complex chemical reactions going on both during production and… » 9/15/14 4:48pm 9/15/14 4:48pm

New Nanotech Sensors Could Put Bomb-Sniffing Dogs Out of a Job

TSA lines are the very definition of a "necessary evil." Everyone hates the long waits and the awkward disrobing dances as you rid yourself of all your shoes, smartphones, metal, etc. Yet, we're eternally grateful when crazy people with samurai swords don't fly coach. Now, a new breakthrough in nanotechnology could… » 7/22/14 12:31pm 7/22/14 12:31pm

Guy turns jar of warm liquid into ice just by putting his hand inside

This is like a scene from X-Men: A man puts his hand into a jar seemingly full of water. Instantly, ice starts growing around it despite the fact that the liquid is warm, expanding until all the content is solid, with the texture of ice cream. What is this sorcery? It's something called hot ice. » 7/09/14 1:34am 7/09/14 1:34am

Cadmium Arsenide: A 3D Alternative to Graphene That's Way More Useful

There's no denying that graphene is a wonderful material—strong, flexible, and highly conductive—but it's taking a long time to become a commercial reality. Now, scientists working with a material called cadmium arsenide believe it offers many of the same benefits—but could actually be far easier to use in the real… » 6/04/14 5:07am 6/04/14 5:07am