Your world’s a toxic, dark hole

Your home is your only place of sanctuary. Yet, lurking in the walls is a silent menace. It is a noxious, suffocating, toxic presence, creeping out of cracks and threatening to overwhelm you if you let your guard down. If you venture out to collect food, you face attack: your only option is to flee […]

Two membranes are better than one at purifying water

Globally, polluted water kills 14,000 people every day.  In India, over 350,000 children die of diarrhoea from dirty drinking water every year.  In China, 90% of cities suffer from some type of water pollution.  In the US, a recent study found contaminants in 45% of the country’s stream miles and 47% of lake acres.  Despite […]

Science Behind the photo #17

  If you own cows, don’t feed them mouldy beet silage – it could be their last meal. Experts were called to a farm in Belgium recently to investigate why cattle were refusing their food and dying.  They found that mould on the cows’ feed contained a powerful neurotoxin. It’s the first observed link between ingestion […]

Science Behind the Photo #4

The startling yellow chemical in this photo is the ferricyanide anion, [Fe(CN)6]3−. Ferricyanide has a colourful history, rising to prominence for its use in the dark Prussian Blue dye when combined with iron. More recently, its electroactivity has become important in a range of applications. In this experiment, the ferricyanide is being used to mediate, […]

Copycats

Apart from a few eccentric Germans, being eaten is probably the last thing any of us would ever like to have happen to us. The same is true throughout the rest of the animal kingdom, of course, with millions of adaptations evolving to help prevent such an occurrence happening. Many of these adaptations are pretty […]