Well, well, well. Seems like it’s time for our regular news digest. This week we’ll focus on the news from the world of chemistry. We promise there will be no scary formulas. Just interesting findings and discoveries to make your daily routine even more exciting than it already is. If you think that the only exciting thing about chemistry is making a model of volcanic eruption for a chemistry class, you are wrong. It’s fascinating and sometimes even jaw-dropping discoveries help us better understand the world around us. Oh, and if you find some problems with your chemistry homework, use the assistance of our experts. They can find the right information to shed the light on the most puzzling task your chemistry teacher came up with. For now, let’s begin our news’ review.

How to Drink Water and Stay Healthy

Do you know what bisphenol A (BPA) is? It’s a hazardous chemical that can be found in water sources around the world. It is dangerous because can have a negative impact on human’s endocrine system. Not only that, but BPA can bring the unnecessary changes to metabolism, brain development, as well as reproductive system. The problem is that it is almost impossible to avoid this chemical for a human being. One way or another it will get to your organism. It is even in a receipt you get after buying your favorite latte in the morning. Industrial waste streams and landfill runoff are also contaminated by BPA. Is there any way to save ourselves from this chemical? The researchers at Carnegie Mellon University believe they have found the cure. The possible saviors of our healthy existence are called TAML activators. They are just small molecules that copy the oxidizing enzymes. When you add H2O2 to them, TAML activators can break down toxic chemicals in water. The research results show that this combination of hydrogen peroxide and TAML activators can reduce BPA by 99%. But we still recommend you to stay away from those contaminated receipts. Let the barista through them away.

Are You Still Thirsty? Go to the Moon Then

If you thought that the Moon was just a rock orbiting our planet with the only mission of saving us from asteroids, there is new data that can change your mind. We’ll begin this story with water-bearing volcanic glasses brought to Earth by Apollo missions. Until this month, the scientists had doubts about whether it is a lucky coincidence that astronauts managed to land on that part of the Moon that had the signs of water. Maybe the rest of its surface can’t boast of having indigenous water inventory. Two scientists, Ralph Milliken and Shuai Li, decided to analyze the lunar pyroclastic deposits with the help of the Indian Lunar Exploration Mission Chandrayaan-1. They suggest that there is a consistency of water presence indicators on the lunar surface. It means that there is water in the bulk lunar mantle. By 2025, we might need to use this knowledge to save our population.

No Onion No Cry

What can be better than those delicious crispy onion rings? It is difficult to find a recipe that would not have onion as one of the main ingredients. It is useful and tasty. But why do we all have to suffer every time cutting it? Well, for your information, it is all because of the lachrymatory factor (LF). This is what makes you cry like a baby while cooking your favorite pasta. Up until now, scientists did not know the exact process of LF forming process. Marcin Golczak with his team of onion aficionados decided to look closer at lachrymatory factor synthase (LFS) – an enzyme that launches the production of LF in every onion. They studied its crystal structure to develop a precise chemical mechanism to describe the synthesis of LF. With the help of the available information, the group managed to explain the algorithm of this process.

Secrets of Bookbinding Revealed by Fused Imaging

And now some news from the analytical chemistry universe. As you might have heard, the thrifty bookbinders reused the bindings from medieval parchments. It means that a new book had the information from centuries ago. The problem for the modern historians and archeologists was that in case they wanted to decipher the old texts, they could damage the whole book because of the ineffective methods of analysis available. So it was clear to the scientists that there was no way to access that information. But now they finally have an alternative. Marc Walton, senior scientist at the Northwestern University-Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies, and his colleagues were persistent enough to invent a new technology. The technology combines visible hyperspectral imaging and x-ray fluorescence imaging to get the high resolution of texts. The research turned out to be a huge success. The team of researchers managed to see the hidden text of the copy of Greek poet Hesiod’s Works and Days from 1537. It was the sixth-century Roman Law code. How amazing is that now we can do that? Who knows, maybe we will soon find some fascinating facts from the past on one of these bindings. After all, there is still not much we know about the medieval ages.

Stay Tuned

This is it for today. Now you have plenty of facts to share with your peers and teachers. We will try to prepare something even more exciting for the next news digest that comes in a week. Until then, stay curious and share your ideas with others. Only through cooperation do we find the great solutions and solve mind-boggling puzzles.