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56 Videos of American Chemical Society

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What Makes Rubber Rubbery?

Reactions is looking at sports science today. Sports balls owe their reliability to an unusual polymer. Learn about the chemistry of rubber the all-star’s best friend!

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Dragon's Blood Could Save Your Life

This week Reactions is looking at chemistry in bizarre places that could save your life. The science within the blood of the Komodo dragon or in a horseshoe crab can help with antibiotic resistance. But it doesn't end there, so we're taking a closer look at other wild places in nature that we've ...

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Why is Olive Oil Awesome?

Whether you sop it up with bread or use it to boost your cooking, olive oil is awesome. But a lot of chemistry goes on in that bottle that can make or break a product. Take the “extra virgin” standard: Chemistry tells us that a higher free-fatty-acid content leads to a lower grade, less tasty ...

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Microbots zoom around water, destroying bacteria

One day, the tiny robot you see here could help clean up contaminated water. In places where potable sources are scarce, they can destroy disease-causing bacteria in its path and unlike conventional disinfectants, the microbots can be removed easily with a magnet.

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The chemicals we leave behind

Identifying chemical footprints

The products we use every day leave behind chemical footprints. Learn how and why researchers are now studying those trails. Mass spectrometry is helping researchers learn more about our interactions with the everyday chemicals we use, such as DEET, caffeine, even medications. In this episode of ...

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How Do We Tell Temperature?

We have a lot of confidence that we measure temperature accurately. But how do thermometers in the kitchen or doctor’s office work? Thanks to the laws of thermodynamics, thermometers respond to heat moving from hot to cold as a means of measuring temperature. Clever physical chemists and ...

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How to make tomatoes taste awesome again

Supermarket tomatoes account for nearly 10% of produce sales in the U.S., but they taste terrible. What can be done to make them great again? A huge thanks to the tomato researchers Harry Klee and Jim Giovannoni who helped us with this episode’s science.

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What's the Best Way to Cook Pasta?

Pasta noodles contain only three ingredients: eggs, water and flour. But how can you achieve a tasty result every time? Cooking pasta chemically changes how the proteins and starches interact, making the noodles sticky and springy. Therefore, what you do — or don’t do — to the cooking water can ...

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Detecting nerve agents with the touch of a finger

There’s a reason why farmers wear protective gear when applying organophosphate pesticides. The substances are nerve agents that are very effective at getting rid of unwanted bugs, but they can also make humans sick. Even more potent, related compounds -- organophophate nerve agents -- are ...

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When Water Levitates

The Leidenfrost Effect

Have you ever seen a drop of water navigate a maze? It’s possible thanks to a weird phenomenon called the Leidenfrost Effect. Understanding Leidenfrost — first described more than 200 years ago — helped engineers make more efficient steam engines. Today, scientists are using high-speed cameras to ...

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