Chemistry

Click here and sign up to be a participant on ABC’s Shark Tank. You’re probably thinking “what does appearing on a TV show have to do with The Science Play and Research Kit?” Let’s put things into perspective: you’ve designed the perfect science kit, you’ve won the $50,000 prize…then what? If you’re not thinking right now about how to build a sustainable business around your kit, then you’ve probably failed before you began. We’ll take a look at a few business models you may wish to consider. Part 1 of “Science Play and Research Kit: Business Models, Packaging, and Marketing” discusses Open Design.

Open Source Hardware

In my previous article, I posted the press release for the Science Play and Research kit. There are 76 days left in the competition. I can only produce one article per week due to my work schedule thus I’d only be able to come up with a chemistry set with 11 experiments. It wouldn't be much of a chemistry set would it? So, I’ve decided not to actually enter the competition but instead to post ideas for the set so whoever wants to use them can incorporate them into their design for SPARK. 

According to the FAQ page:

Does the entry need to be based on the science of chemistry?

Dear Science 2.0 writers:

Do any of you want to collaborate on developing a Science, Play and Research Kit (SPARK)? Here's the press release:

Polymers are found in countless commercial, medical, and industrial products and the porous kind are known as foam polymers.

Foam polymers are useful because they combine light weight with rigid mechanical properties and a group has developed a process to grow highly customizable coatings of foam-like polymers.  Foam polymers are used in a variety of ways, including the delivery of drugs in the body, as a framework for body tissues and implants, and as layers in laser targets for fusion research.


The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2013 was awarded jointly to Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel "for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems".

While today, chemical modeling is carried out in computers, in the early 1970s that was far more difficult. Chemical reactions occur at lightning speed. In a fraction of a millisecond, electrons jump from one atomic nucleus to the other. Classical chemistry has a hard time keeping up; it is virtually impossible to experimentally map every little step in a chemical process using physical models.

We're better off if chemicals we use in everyday life are created from renewable resources using biotechnology - currently many of those chemicals are instead derived from fossil resources.


Are you on Team Quantum Dots or Team Nanowires when the topic of future nanoscale energy-harvesting technology in solar panels comes up?


The quest for evidence of life on Mars could be more complicated than previously thought due to  perchlorate,, a salt comprised of chlorine and oxygen, that interferes with the techniques used by the Curiosity rover to test for traces of life. The chemical causes the evidence to burn away during the tests.


What's the difference between Rye and Bourbon? Is it the grains? (Rye vs corn). According to chemist Thomas Collins at the University of California at Davis the answer is no.  The answer is in the wood of the barrels used to age the whiskey. Go here:
 http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/09/09/220655227/rye-bother-an-inside-the-barrel-look-at-american-whiskeys
To complicate matters further Rye and Bourbons made at the same distillery had flavor profiles which resemble each other more than to other Ryes and Bourbons.

Cilantro, a favorite ingredient in spicy cuisine, may also be an inexpensive new way of purifying drinking water, according to research done by undergraduate students at Ivy Tech Community College.

Douglas Schauer, Ph.D., reporting on the work at the American Chemical Society meeting, said that cilantro, also known as coriander and Thai parsley, shows promise as a "biosorbent" for removing lead and other potentially toxic heavy metals from contaminated water.