Chemists are usually asked to invent a solution, but without considering hazardous by-products. Green chemists now are doing both with success, but will it take regulations to enforce the approach broadly?...
A Mad Science Room activity from Crazy Aunt Lindsey
Many of the most profound scientific questions—and some of humanity's most urgent problems—pertain to the science of atoms and molecules
The Elements Revealed: An Interactive Periodic Table
Gas, liquid or solid, radioactive or stable, reactive or inert, toxic or innocuous, see what makes your favorite element unique
I Was a Teenage Element Hoarder
I knew I wasn't like the other kids. Oh sure, I collected baseball cards and model airplanes, but not with the passion that I saved for my real obsession—collecting each and every element of the periodic table.This was just part of my chemical romance, which also involved (but was not limited to): watching phenolphthalein solution in test tubes change color, launching sodium carbonate/acetic acid (vinegar)–powered rockets, generating the sulfurous odor of rotten eggs and making a smoke bomb that accidentally detonated in the basement, and eventually graduating to electrolysis and various combustibles that fortunately resulted only in singed eyebrows, but no loss of digits or eyesight.Outside of explosives, however, lay the Holy Grail—a complete set of the fundamental building blocks of the universe...
Toxins All around Us
Exposure to the chemicals in everyday objects poses a hidden health threat
Congress needs to give federal agencies greater authority to test and regulate chemicals
Rare Earths: Elemental Needs of the Clean-Energy Economy
So-called rare earths are not rare, but with no current domestic source the essential trace elements can be harder to come by than U.S. makers of wind turbines, hybrid cars, weapon systems and other technology would prefer...
Saving Face: How Safe Are Cosmetics and Body Care Products?
The government knows just about as much as you do about what you're putting on your skin—that is to say, not much
The Discovery of Quasicrystals: The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Listen to the announcement of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, to Daniel Shechtman of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Then hear comments from the president of the American Chemical Society, Nancy Jackson, of Sandia National Laboratories...
Chemistry Day at Scientific American Blog Network
This year is the International Year of Chemistry.This week, many chemists are gathered in Puerto Rico for the World Chemistry Congress.And here, at the Scientific American Blog Network, today is the Chemistry Day...
Swimmers, Hoppers and Fliers: How Do Toxic Chemicals Move around the Planet?
Toxic chemicals created by human activity reach unusual concentrations in the Arctic, among other places
Unlocking the Chemistry of Exercise: How Metabolites Separate the Physically Fit from Unfit
A screening of hundreds of metabolites in the blood plasma of people at rest and after exercise paints a newly detailed picture of changes within the body--and reinforces links with metabolic and cardiovascular diseases...
The Poisoner's Handbook: The Sinister Side of Chemistry
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Deborah Blum talks about her new work, The Poisoner's Handbook, a look at how easy it used to be to kill someone with poison and the researchers who made poisoning much harder to get away with...
Chemistry: The Human Science
A tiny molecule harvested from a soil bacterium on Easter Island that evolved billions of years ago for no obvious purposes should have nothing to do with human beings.
The International Year of Chemistry 2011: The chemical secrets of chocolate revealed [Video]
If it stinks, it's chemistry—that's one memory trick some smart-aleck high-school students might recommend to identify the core sciences. But chemistry goes far beyond noxious fumes...
Better Killing through Chemistry
Buying chemical weapons material through the mail is quick and easy
Perilous Plastics?: FDA Joins Other U.S. Health Agencies in Chorus of Concern about BPA
The Food and Drug Administration and other federal health agencies now share a growing concern about bisphenol A--and are undertaking more research
Shift happens: Will artificial photosynthesis power the world?
One drinking-water bottle could provide enough energy for an entire household in the developing world if Dan Nocera has his way. A chemist from M.I.T.
Wild Green Yonder: Flying the Environmentally Friendly Skies on Alternative Fuels
From liquid coal to biofuels, military and commercial aviators are searching for domestically sourced, cost-effective and clean alternatives to petroleum-derived jet fuel
How to Tear Down a Nuclear Power Plant [Slide Show]
What happens to nuclear reactors like those at Fukushima after they melt down or reach the end of their useful lives?
What Was in the World Trade Center Plume? [Interactive]
Ten years later, what exactly residents and rescue workers were exposed to remains at least a partial mystery
The Scent of Your Thoughts
Although we are usually unaware of it, we communicate through chemical signals just as much as birds and bees do
How National Security Depends on Better Lithium Batteries
ARPA-e funds potential breakthrough work to make energy-dense batteries that enable long distance travel
Atom Power: Tackling the Problems of Modern Life
2011 is the International Year of Chemistry—a well-deserved celebration of that science's profound power