Top 10 Chemistry Videos Of 2013
Jan02

Top 10 Chemistry Videos Of 2013

Although it’s our mission at Chemical & Engineering News to describe in words the wonders of chemistry, sometimes words just don’t do justice to the dynamics of a particular reaction or funky new material. Sometimes our prose just doesn’t capture a scientist’s excitement for research (or the time he spent playing the theme song to Super Mario Bros. with a chromatography column in the lab). It’s those times when we turn to video. Following are some of the Newscripts gang’s favorite clips of 2013. They’ve been collected from our blog and from our YouTube channel. Some we even homed in on and plucked from the roiling sea of inappropriate pop stars, prancercisers, and talkative foxes on the Interwebz last year. And we did it all for you, dear readers. So pour something delicious into that mug that looks like a beaker, kick back next to your science fireplace … and enjoy! Number 10: Alright, so this video isn’t technically chemistry—that’s why we’re ranking it last. But when a theoretical physicist uses the melody to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” to sing about string theory, we’re gonna take note. Did we mention the Einstein sock puppet? Number 9: Unless you lived under a rock in 2013, you probably heard about a little show called “Breaking Bad.” In this clip, Donna Nelson, science advisor to the show and chemistry professor, discusses some memorable chemical moments from the series. (Alright, alright, we admit this video made the countdown not only because it’s awesome but also because we like hearing Nelson talk about C&EN.) Number 8: Last year, the folks across the pond at the Periodic Table of Videos filmed a number of chemical reactions with a high-speed camera to learn more about reaction dynamics. This video, about a reaction called “the barking dog,” is their most recent—and one of our faves. It’s got historic footage of explosives lecturer Colonel BD Shaw and current footage of Martyn “The Professor” Poliakoff. Need we say more? Number 7: Yo, yo, yo! These dope 7th graders made a hot “rap battle” video last year that details the historic tensions between Rosalind Franklin and the notorious DNA duo, Watson & Crick. Word … to their mothers, for having such creative kids. Number 6: You couldn’t open your news feed in 2013 without finding at least 10 concurrent stories about 3-D printing. One stood out for us, though: Researchers at the University of Oxford printed eye-popping, foldable structures out of liquid droplets. Number 5: Nostalgia for two cartoon plumbers + a handful of test tubes + a chromatography column + Vittorio Saggiomo (a researcher who happened to have some time...

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Molecular Mimics Of The Olympic Rings
Aug03

Molecular Mimics Of The Olympic Rings

This post was written by C&EN reporter Jyllian Kemsley. In the July 23 print Newscripts column, I wrote about olympicene, a molecule composed of five fused rings that was synthesized by chemists at the University of Warwick and resembles the Olympic rings. Now the Periodic Table of Videos has tackled the subject, and the University of Nottingham's Martyn Poliakoff ups the ante. Poliakoff says that to truly mimic the Olympic rings, chemists need to interconnect circular molecules rather than fuse them together. He suggests ways that it might be done using catenanes and challenges viewers to make it happen. Can any Newscripts readers out there think of other ways to make interconnected Olympic ring mimics? Share your ideas here....

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Valentine Perfumes Made By Chemists
Feb14

Valentine Perfumes Made By Chemists

In this week’s print Newscripts column, Associate Editor Linda Wang wishes readers a happy Valentine’s Day by writing a feature about a chemist who makes his own perfumes. Frederick J. Lakner first wrote in to C&EN in a Letter to the Editor about his frustrations at being unemployed. But it turns out that when Lakner isn’t patiently seeking a new job, he uses his chemistry skills to concoct fragrances for men and women. To check them out, click here. The folks at the Periodic Table of Videos have also been having “a bit of fun for Valentine’s Day,” according to their website, by trying their hands at perfumery. In this clip, they pass around a bottle, and each team member adds a special component to create the perfect fragrance. As Martyn Poliakoff explains, cheap perfumes have very few components and evaporate quickly. The more expensive ones, he says, have lots of complex ingredients layered over one another. If so, their perfume, “Mendeleev’s Dream,” is quite sophisticated, containing components such as vanillin, vodka, citronellol, cinnamaldehyde, boron trioxide, and hexachloroplatinic acid (for “a little bling”). The kicker, I think, might be the red dye 23 put in at the end, turning the solution blood red. Kids, do not apply this at home. For a man-on-the-street look at how “Mendeleev’s Dream” tests with science students at the University of Nottingham, here’s some extra...

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