Thanks to the help of some hungry bacteria and plants, a 150-foot high garbage dump in Colombia is being transformed into a public park. The microbes and greens are neutralizing the contaminated soil, sucking up heavy metals and feasting on chemicals. Wired’s Olivia Solon describes how the project got off the ground: A team from [...]
June 27, 2012 | By Rachel Nuwer
The creation of Ununseptium, the unpronounceable element from the weirdest corner of the periodic table, has finally been confirmed! It’s produced by smashing calcium atoms into berkelium, another synthetic element. The chemical goes by the placeholder name Ununseptium–chemical symbol Uus. This confirmation follows the original discovery, made in 2010 by a joint US—Russian team. Andrei [...]
June 26, 2012 | By Colin Schultz
The genius of “Breaking Bad” is that the show lures viewers into the mental space where it seems totally OK to be rooting (most of the time) for a character that makes his living off of meth. And this genius recreation of Walt’s tricked-out meth lab makes cooking dangerous drugs seem almost like good clean [...]
June 21, 2012 | By Sarah Laskow
Seventy-five years later, opinions still vary on what caused the airship to explode so suddenly
May 10, 2012 | By Joseph Stromberg
The juicy fruit can cause negative side effects with a number of prescription and over-the-counter medicines
March 08, 2012 | By Joseph Stromberg
Sixty years ago, with nothing but numbers, logic and some basic know-how, the inventor of the Turing Test explained how to make a stripe
February 21, 2012 | By Virginia Hughes
A chemist from the Textile Museum is perfecting a new technique for understanding the past
February 2012 | By Joseph Stromberg
Naturally occurring uranium doesn't have enough of the fissile isotope U-235 to set off a nuclear reaction, but scientists found ways to increase the stuff
January 10, 2012 | By Sarah Zielinski
Some books, toys, art and clothing for the scientist or geek in your life
December 05, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
The answer is far more complicated than it first appears—water doesn't always turn to ice at 32 degrees Fahrenheit
November 30, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
This rare and dangerous element, discovered by Marie Curie, is found in cigarettes and was used to poison an ex-KGB agent
October 03, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
Other than the human tendency for imitating magpies, gold really isn't all that special
August 08, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
As the space shuttle program ends, a salute to some of its most surprising studies
July 08, 2011 | By Erin Wayman
Scientists are beginning to analyze sewage to track the use of illegal drugs
June 21, 2011 | By Erin Wayman
It’s official: Elements 114 and 116 do exist and belong on the periodic table
June 07, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
Deep in the oceans, hydrothermal vents spew superheated water full of dissolved minerals. The vents spawn diverse communities of unique creatures that not only withstand the extreme temperatures and acidity but even depend on the chemicals in the water to live. New research in Nature Geoscience sho...
May 11, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
If you put something down a drain you shouldn't have and the drain gets blocked, it's usually not much more than annoying. But for the people who manage the sewers, blockages in the pipes that go from our homes and businesses to treatment facilities cause bigger problems---sewage spills called "san...
April 25, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
When you hear the term "ozone hole" you think about the ozone depletion over Antarctica, and how people in the far south of the Southern Hemisphere have to protect themselves from the Sun. It's why my friends have to buy hats for their little girl and slather her with sunblock every time she goes o...
April 06, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
One of the features of Vincent Van Gogh's art that set him apart was his use of bright colors, made possible by the invention of industrial pigments such as chrome yellow. But in the century since, many of these colors, including the bright yellows of his famous sunflowers, have faded, turning brow...
February 16, 2011 | By Sarah Zielinski
The United Nations has dubbed 2011 the International Year of Chemistry, with the unifying theme "Chemistry—our life, our future."The goals of IYC2011 are to increase the public appreciation of chemistry in meeting world needs, to encourage interest in chemistry among young people, and to generate...
December 30, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski