Monthly Archives: June 2007

Did Strychnine Kill the Dinosaurs?

Strychnine seems to be a commonly searched entry in the ChemSpider database. I am not sure whether that means there are poisoners among the users or whether it is people hoping to find out more about the recent case of …

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Living Chirality

Yet another possible explanation for the bias in life’s handedness – the fact that nature uses mainly only form of the building blocks of proteins – comes from Dutch chemists experimenting with the sublimation of amino acids. Writing in the …

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Extracting the Urine

According to a recent report in Wired, agents at the FBI labs in Quantico, Virginia, have discovered that chilled samples of urine can spontaneously produce the drug GHB (gamma butyrolactone), commonly known “liquid E” and a well-known date-rape drug involved …

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Kitty Crack

Over on the excellent Instructables site, talbotron22 (aka Logan Sandmeyer) has found a way to extract the active ingredient, nepetalactone, from catnip (Nepeta cataria, also known as catmint) and so create a product that is essentially skunk for cats. As …

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Fluorescent Font

Making and writing with “invisible” ink was always a fascinating wet Saturday afternoon for us as kids. It usually involved lemon juice and iron, or was it wax and watercolors? Now, scientists at Xerox have taken invisible ink to the …

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