Category Archives: chemistry

Google doodle celebrates Nobel Laureate

When I saw today’s Google Doodle, which looks like this:   I knew instantly that it had something to do with Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (1910-1994), who won the Nobel Prize in 1964. In fact, she would have been 104 today had she lived. And you should know that this Doodle was about her, too, because I’ve posted […]

New chemical element found

Well, element 117, which has the titular name of “ununseptium”, was actually discovered by a team of Russians and Americans four years ago, and has been submitted for recognition as an “official element,” but its creation was just replicated by a group in Darmstadt, Germany, and that should speed its acceptance. The new discovery and its implications […]

The ninth pitch drop fell

What I’m about to describe is supposedly the world’s longest-running scientific experiment, and, although we already know the result, it gets demonstrated repeatedly: once every decade on average. In 1927, Professor Thomas Parnell of the University of Queensland set up an experiment to demonstrate that some substances that appear to be solid, like pitch, are […]

Fred Sanger died

According to the BBC News, Fred Sanger (I never heard anyone call him “Frederick”) died yesterday at age 95. He was the only English person to ever win two Nobel Prizes. These were both in chemistry. One, given in 1958 (and to Sanger alone), was for determining the amino acid sequence of insulin from cows, […]

The world’s most politically correct salt

From Amazon: 1. FDA approved 2. Non-GMO 3. Organic 4. Halall (sic) 5. Kosher, and, best of all 6. NO CHEMICALS! And really—approved by the NIH? Since when do they approve salt? Some of the reviews are hilarious: Pure sodium chloride (a CHEMICAL) is white, and one reviewer suggests that the pink color comes from […]

Paul Davies, chemistry, and the origin of life

How the unique properties of life originated from inert matter is still one of the great unsolved problems of biology. Creationists, of course, claim that our failure to solve it means that God did it: as Ingersoll noted in yesterday’s quote, “Our ignorance is God; what we know is science.” And perhaps we’ll never know […]

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