This week on CENtral Science: Tacky ancients, Solar upswing, and more
May24

This week on CENtral Science: Tacky ancients, Solar upswing, and more

Tweet of the week: "In discrepancy is discovery" - Lesson learnt from scientific research.— Curious Wavefunction (@curiouswavefn) May 20, 2013 To the network: Artful Science: Was antiquity really so tacky? Cleantech Chemistry: Never Mind All That: Solar on the upswing Newscripts: In Print: Toys Will Be Toys and Amusing News Aliquots The Safety Zone: Dow launches Lab Safety Academy website The Watch Glass: Teflon: Newcomer to heat exchange and What's That Stuff? Chicken Eggs and Texas City: Portrait of a Chemical Town and C&EN Talks With Mae Jemison and Chemist tried in Chicago riot...

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C&EN Picks for ACS New Orleans #ACSNOLA
Apr02

C&EN Picks for ACS New Orleans #ACSNOLA

How can chemists mitigate the effects of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina? What are the latest chemistry mobile apps? And how are emulsions making a difference in medical imaging? Sessions at next week’s ACS National Meeting in New Orleans will be covering those timely topics. Watch all of our picks below. If you’ll be in New Orleans, you can also see these videos in the convention...

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This Week on CENtral Science: Reality Chemistry, #RealForbesProfessors, Pimped-Out PPE, and more
Jan18

This Week on CENtral Science: Reality Chemistry, #RealForbesProfessors, Pimped-Out PPE, and more

This week the chemblogosphere was captivated by the Up-Goer Five Text Editor, which challenges folks to explain a complex topic with only the one thousand most common English words. Our own Electron Pusher Glen's attempt is here, at friend of CENtral Science See Arr Oh's Just Like Cooking blog. Well done, Glen. Now, from the network: Artful Science: Ancient Roman cosmetics: Skin cream from the 2nd century A.D. Grand CENtral: David Kroll on HuffPostLive 1PM today on #RealForbesProfessors Just Another Electron Pusher: Web roundup: Nontraditional careers—they’re not just for chemists anymore Newscripts: Keeping Up With The Khemists: Series Recap & Review and Amusing News Aliquots The Safety Zone: Enhancing eye protection and livening lab coats and Friday chemical safety...

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Amusing News Aliquots
Apr27

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week's science news, compiled by Bethany Halford and Lauren Wolf. MIT’s latest hack—that’s prank to all you landlubbers—might be the coolest yet. Students rigged the windows of a building to play Tetris. [PCWorld] With all the other stuff we’ve been sending into space, it’s about time someone sent a rubber chicken there. [CNET] Enormous bunny rabbits with big, pointy teeth once roamed the Earth. Were they looking for shrubbery? [NPR] Last year, Newscripts wrote about Forbes’ ranking of the 15 wealthiest characters of the fictional universe. But we had a bone to pick with its valuation of Smaug the dragon. Forbes now reconsiders the err of its not-nerdy-enough ways. [Forbes] Why every crematorium needs a metal detector. [Guardian] Seriously, what is up with kids these days? Teenagers are now drinking hand sanitizer for its alcohol content. [LA Times] From the Portlandia files: A retirement home for chickens. [NY Times] Moles beat archaeologists to buried British treasure....

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Mayan Art Meets Nanotechnology
Sep16

Mayan Art Meets Nanotechnology

Sometime before 600 BC, Mayan artists painted one of the few frescoes--still in existence--that displays the domestic life of normal people in this ancient civilization (other Mayan frescoes display the lives of deities and rulers). The frescoes were found in a pyramid at the Calakmul archaeology site in Mexico. Calakmul is one of the biggest Mayan sites around, but it hasn’t been excavated to the same extent as say, Tikal, which had a cameo  in "Return of the Jedi" as the Ewok planet and is also host to a constant throng of tourists. As they work, archaeologists at Calakmul have tried to protect the wall frescoes from the subtropical climate of Mexico, but a mixture of light, temperature, humidity and sulfate-based pollution was starting to hurt the precious frescoes. That’s where Piero Baglioni comes in. He’s a physical chemist at the University of Florence, who has earned a certain amount of fame for his development of nanoparticles that can clean up frescoes harmed by pollution or by other restoration attempts. In particular, the nanoparticles can deal with the salts that lead to pigment deterioration and flaking of the frescoes. (Baglioni’s nanoparticles can also help reverse ill-thought-out attempts to protect frescoes by covering them with vinyl or acrylic polymers, a problematic restoration technique that can cause complete powdering of a painting. As recently as a decade ago, polymers were widely applied to give frescoes some water repellency but they’ve caused havoc at other Mesoamerican sites, including Tehotihuacan and Mayapan, Baglioni says.) In the case of Calakmul, the frescoes were suffering from sulfate salts, but six months after application of a “humble” calcium and barium hydroxide nanoparticle solution, flaking of the frescos was reduced (Chem. Eur. J. 2010, 16, 9374). See the before (left panels) and after (right panels) below.        ...

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