Chemistry

Even though arsenic is toxic for many organs in the human body, it is used in therapeutic medicine and the treatment of some forms of cancer, and is an active component of drugs against parasitic diseases.
A new study shows that ursolic acid, a natural substance found in apple peel, can partially protect mice from obesity and some of its harmful effects. 
What do diamonds and chocolate have in common?  Well, urban legend says girls love them both.  Maybe we can add volcanoes if we are using correlational woo.

A previously unrecognized volcanic process similar to one used in chocolate manufacturing is important in the dynamics of volcanic eruptions. 'Fluidised spray granulation'  is a type of gas injection and spraying process used to form smooth coatings on confectionaries but it can also occur during kimberlite eruptions to produce well-rounded particles containing fragments from the Earth's mantle - most notably diamonds. 
If you're an anti-science hippie obsessed with the notion that 'natural' is always superior to whatever 'inorganic' means to people who know nothing about science or medicine or food or generally what carbon-based life means, I have good news for you; you may soon be able to determine if that caffeine in your Organic, Free-Range Red Bull is really natural.

What? Organic, Free-Range Red Bull doesn't exist?  Well, it should. Farmer's Market shoppers will dutifully line up for that, I can just feel it.
In my ever-continuing quest to become an actual adult, I have recently begun to cook. I use a real oven and everything!

In my usual encounter with the oven it takes just a few minutes of pre-heating before I realize that I have yet again left the big skillet inside. Panicked, I pull it out of the oven, and notice something weird! Finally I decided to repeat the skillet-in-the-oven experiment and document my findings. Here we go!

Step #1--observe the condition of the skillet before its trip into the oven.


Perfluorinated Polar Bears!

 
No, this is not an exasperated exclamation by Captain Haddock, but might well be a shout of surprise at learning that Canadians have been searching for compounds of that nature in these snowy animals.  But why should Scott Mabury and his group at the University of Toronto be looking for them?
 
The simple answer is that they are terribly persistent in the environment.  Bit odd, one might link, considering that Fluorine is the most reactive of all the elements in the periodic table.  So reactive[1], in fact, that
 
Champagne, unlike other wines, undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle to trap carbon dioxide gas, which dissolves into the wine and forms the fabled bubbles in the bubbly. More than 600 different chemical compounds join carbon dioxide in champagne, each lending its own unique quality to the aroma and flavor of champagne. 

But even with all of that flavor, champagne would be just another white wine without those tiny bubbles. As the bubbles ascend the length of a glass in tiny trains, they drag along molecules of those 600 flavor and aroma substances. They literally explode out of the surface as the bubbles burst, tickling the nose and stimulating the senses.

Glow-in-the-dark stickers are nothing new; they emit visible light after being exposed to sunlight.  A paper just published in Nature Materials emits a long-lasting, near-infrared glow after a single minute of exposure to sunlight.

Why is that good? It has the potential to revolutionize medical diagnostics, give the military and law enforcement agencies a 'secret' source of illumination - because the near-infrared range can only be seen with the aid of night vision devices - and maybe even provide a foundation for solar cells that aren't complete rubbish.
Researchers have discovered how Golden orb web spiders (Nephila antipodiana) add a chemical to their web silk to repel invading ants, which means spider silk is even more awesome than it was before; it was already strong, elastic and adhesive, and now it can improve pesticide design.

Insects who can scale walls are able to do so because of the thousands of tiny hairs that cover their feet and legs. The hairs have flattened tips that can splay out to maximize contact, even on rough surfaces. 

The ability of insects to run up walls and hang from ceilings have fascinated humans for centuries. Scientists from the Zoological Institute at the University of Kiel, in Germany, have created a dry tape similar to the hairs on insects that can be repeatedly peeled off without losing its adhesive properties. They presented their work at the AVS Symposium held last week in Nashville, Tenn.