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Chemistry For Your Life

A podcast that helps you understand the fascinating chemistry hidden in your everyday life.Have you ever wondered why onions make you cry? Or how soap gets your hands clean? What really is margarine, or why do trees change colors in the fall? Melissa is a chemist, and to answer these questions she started a podcast, called Chemistry for your life!In each episode Melissa explains the chemistry behind one of life’s mysteries to Jam, who is definitely not a chemist, but she explains it in a way that is easy to understand, and totally fascinating.If you’re someone who loves learning new things, or who wonders about the way the world works, then give us a listen.

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Why is the sky blue?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *#034This week, Melissa and Jam explore the oldest question in the book. But we're not going to answer it. Just kidding. Why the HECK is the sky blue? And also why are there times that it isn't? Sunrise? Sunset? Nightime? Sky, what are your mysteries? Tell us your secrets. Hide not your face from me.References from this episode Why is the sky blue? - NASA Space Place Why is the sky blue? - Philip Gibbs, University of California Riverside General Chemistry, Edition 2 - Flowers, Theopold, Langley, Robinson Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

37mins

12 Mar 2020

Rank #1

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How can sunlight turn into electricity?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *#021This week, Melissa and Jam explore the chemistry of solar energy. How do we capture energy from the sun and turn it into electricity? Is it as super insanely cool as it seems? Are we living in the future already?References from this episode Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming - Paul Hawken Melissa's Prior Knowledge and Thesis Beyond the Messy Truth- Van Jones  Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

31mins

12 Dec 2019

Rank #2

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How do hand warmers get hot?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *#032This week, Melissa and Jam investigate reusable hand warmers. How do they get hot? Where does the heat even come from? How do reusable ones even work? Is it real? How can heat just come out of nowhere like that?References from this episode Chemistry, Edition 2 - Flowers, Theopold, Langley, Robinson Chemistry, Edition 1 - Julia Burdge Heat Up to Some Cool Reactions - American Chemical Society Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

35mins

27 Feb 2020

Rank #3

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What makes artificial sweeteners artificial?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *This week Melissa and Jam explore the chemistry of artificial/alternative sweeteners. What are artificial sweeteners? How can something be sweet but not packed with calories? Are we cheating? Did we hack nature when we made them? Is nature going to get back at us some day? Are we doomed? References from this episode Organic Chemistry Textbook, Edition 11 - T.W. Graham Solomons Melissa's prior knowledge 🤔 Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

28mins

24 Oct 2019

Rank #4

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What happens to water in space (and other questions)?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *Question and Response #03This week Melissa and Jam do the last Question and Response episode. We'll continue to do Questions and Responses every month, but after asking listeners for their preference, Q&Rs will now air as bonuses, rather than in place of a standard episode. Tune in this week as we tackle some fun questions about water in space, boiling water in a microwave, sugar on freezing roads (instead of salt), and using stainless steel to curb the smell of garlic.ReferencesSugar On Roads ArticleFind us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

21mins

28 Nov 2019

Rank #5

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You got questions?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *Question and Response #01Melissa and Jam take listener questions regarding the topics from episodes 1 and 2, Soap and Specific Heat, attempting to clarify some things and dive a little bit deeper. They also answer some general questions about how the podcast is made and why Jam goes by Jam.Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

26mins

22 Aug 2019

Rank #6

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How do geckos stick to walls?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *This week Melissa and Jam continue in the category of "sticky" things by exploring how geckos stick to walls. How do they do it? Is it magic? Is it like spider-man? Is it intermolecular forces?References from this episode Organic Chemistry Textbook, Edition 11 - T.W. Graham Solomons Chemistry, Edition 2 - Paul Flowers, Clause Theopold, Richard Langley, and William R. Robinson Ologies Podcast - Episode 99 Saurology with Earyn McGee - Alie Ward Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

31mins

10 Oct 2019

Rank #7

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How does soap kill COVID-19?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *#036Ok so we've known for awhile how soap works in a general use sense, like how it cleans dishes (see episode 1). But these weird times call for a deeper look at soap. How can it kill a virus? Or more importantly, how can it kill a little, wretched, mischievous virus like COVID-19? Like really, how? How is it that we can use soap to both get spaghetti sauce off a plate, and kill a dangerous virus? We're always told to wash our hands well, and that it's important, but if you think about it for a second, it's crazy that we put something on our hands, and rub them together under water, and then we're good to go. Right? Let's get into it.References from this episode Viral Infections and Global Change - Sunit Kumar Singh Inactivation of Human and Avian Influenza Viruses by Potassium Oleate of Natural Soap Component Through Exothermic Interaction - Kawahara et al Effectiveness of Liquid Soap and Hand Sanitizer against Norwalk Virus on Contaminated Hands -  Liu, Yuen, Hsiao, Jaykus, and Moe Show Me the Science: Why Wash Your Hands? - United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Clean & Disinfect - United State Centers for Disease Control and Prevention When and How to Wash Your Hands - United States Centers For Disease Control and Prevention Show Me the Science: How to Wash Your Hands - United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

34mins

26 Mar 2020

Rank #8

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How does bleach remove color?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *#031How does bleach bleach stuff? Oh and also, what even is color? This week Melissa and Jam investigate these questions. What's the molecular makeup of color and then how does bleach alter that? How does bleach have enough power to ruin that hoodie you just bought? How could you have been foolish enough to handle bleach while wearing your new hoodie?References from this episode The Chemical Origins of Color - Mary Virginia Orna Chemistry, Color, and Art - Mary Virginia Orna The chemistry of Bleaching and Oxidizing Agents - Gustaf Holst Conjugation And Color (+ How Bleach Works) - James Ashenhurst How does bleach whiten clothes and why does it ruin clothes if too much is applied? - UCSB Scienceline Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

35mins

20 Feb 2020

Rank #9

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Baking soda and baking powder: what’s the difference?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *Baking powder? Baking soda? I mean they're both white powders with the word "baking" in it. How different could they be? Well, one can cause miniature kitchen volcanos and the other does what? Listen this week as Melissa and Jam talk about acids, bases, baking soda, baking powder, and how they can make all the difference in your busy life as a single parent of three.Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

37mins

19 Sep 2019

Rank #10

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What are antioxidants and are they even good for you?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *#022This week, Melissa and Jam explore the chemistry of antioxidants. What are they? Is it just magical stuff they put in sport drinks and workout supplements? Can you find it in snake oil? References from this episode Stacy Lowery Bretz, PhD Organic Chemistry Textbook, Edition 11 - T.W. Graham Solomons Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

31mins

19 Dec 2019

Rank #11

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What gives curly hair its curl?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *#027This week, Melissa and Jam dive into the chemistry of something that may not seem like chemistry at first: hair.Curly hair to be specific. What makes hair curl? Also what is hair in the first place? Why can hair be so radically different? Alright curly girls, curly guys, and curly folks, let's find out.References from this episode Biochemistry, Edition 4 - Garret and Grisham The Chemistry of Hair - C. S. Whewell, Ph.D., F.R.I.C., F.T.I. The Science of Curls -  Leidamarie Tirado-Lee Bad Hair Days? Chemistry to the Rescue - Marlene M. Gutierrez Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

29mins

23 Jan 2020

Rank #12

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Why do foods brown when we cook them?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *#017This week Melissa and Jam explore some of the chemistry behind cooking. What happens when you sear a steak? What's going on when you toast toast? Why do so many foods turn golden-brown when cooking? Let's dig in.References from this episode Control of Maillard Reactions in Foods: Strategies and Chemical Mechanisms - Marianne N. Lund, and Colin A. Ray https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2012/10/10/162636059/100-years-ago-maillard-taught-us-why-our-food-tastes-better-cooked https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/maillard-reaction R.V. Hedegaard, L.H. Skibsted, in Handbook of Food Powders, 2013Baking, Ageing, Diabetes: A Short History of the Maillard Reaction, Michael Hellwig and Thomas Henle Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

35mins

14 Nov 2019

Rank #13

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Is it safe to use teflon pans?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *#041Ok! So now that you know how teflon works (see last week's episode if you missed it), now it's time to discuss the equally important question: is it safe to use?? Are there any potential side-effects to using it? Can scratching teflon cause it to have an affect on our food, or even worse, on us? If there are potential dangers to teflon, is there any way to avoid them? Help! This week, Melissa and Jam delve into this topic, and tiptoe through the allegations to give you some things to consider when choosing you next pots and pans. We're proud to partner with MEL Science. Check out their home chemistry experiment sets here: bit.ly/melchemReferences from this episode Organic Chemistry, Edition 11 - Solomon If nothing sticks to Teflon, how does it stick to pans? - Scientific American DuPont Faces Class-Action Lawsuits Over Teflon - Reich, Chemical and Engineering News Perspective on Fluorocarbon Chemistry - David M. Lemal Teflon’s Toxicity Level - Sharon Kelley PTFE-coated non-stick cookware and toxicity concerns: a perspective - Muhammad Sajid & Muhammad Ilyas The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare - The New York Times Magazine, Rich Teflon’s Toxic Legacy - Earth Island Journal, Kelly Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

32mins

30 Apr 2020

Rank #14

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What's the scientific word for sticky?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *In this episode, Melissa and Jam explore the complex, but highly familiar and relatable concept of stickiness. It started as a lighthearted question from the end of "Why didn't Jam's pot ever boil?" and turned into its own episode. How do some things stick together so well? Why do only some substances have that sticky feeling we all know and love? Grab some clorox wipes and jump into this sticky topic. Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

33mins

3 Oct 2019

Rank #15

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What even is sunscreen and how does it screen the sun?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *This week Melissa and Jam explore the chemistry of not being burned by the big, ominous, flaming ball of radioactive insanity that lights up our skies each day. Did you know that to some people, radiation burns are no big deal? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It's actually a very big deal and the sun is constantly trying to kill us all. Save yourselves. References from this episode Organic Chemistry Textbook, Edition 11 - T.W. Graham Solomons Chemistry, Edition 2, Openstax - Paul Flowers, Klaus Theopold, Richard Langley, and William R. Robinson Wikipedia references for SPF American Academy of Dermatology FAQs Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

30mins

17 Oct 2019

Rank #16

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Why do apples turn brown when you cut them?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *#035Do you like apples? Ever wonder why they turn brown when you cut them? This week, Melissa and Jam explore this very question. What's going on in these apples? Where does the brown come from? Is it a good or bad thing? Does it taste different? Is the brown actually apple tears from the pain of being cut?This episode is sponsored by Catherine Nicole Photography, check out her website!References from this episode Science Experiment: The Brown Apple Project - 4-H Purification and Characterization of Polyphenol Oxidase from Banana (Musa sapientum L.) Pulp - Chang-Peng YangShuji FujitaMD AshrafuzzamanNaoko NakamuraNobuyuki Hayashi Nonbrowning GM apple cleared for market - Emily Waltz, Nature Biotechnology Why Do Avocados Turn Brown? – The Chemistry of Avocados - Compound Chemistry Browning Inhibition in Fresh-cut ‘Fuji’ Apple Slices by Natural Anti-browning Agents Inhibition of Apple-Slice Browning by 4-Hexylresorcinol - Yaguang LuoGustavo and Barbosa-Cánovas Department Of Agriculture Approves First Genetically Modified Apple, Which Resists Turning Brown - Britt E. Erickson, Chemical & Engineering News Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

28mins

19 Mar 2020

Rank #17

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Why does rain smell?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *#029What's that smell? This week, Melissa and Jam explore the chemistry of smell. Now a lot of smell science has to do with our physiology and neurology. We'll talk some about that, but the chemistry has to do with the actual smells in the air. What are they? How do they get into the air? How can we detect them with our noses and brains? Why does rain have a smell, and why does it smell good? Let's find out.References from this episode Aerosol generation by raindrop impact on soil - Young Soo Joung & Cullen R. Buie, Nature Communications 2 Americans Win Nobel for Demystifying Sense of Smell - Lawrence K. Altman, The New York Times The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2004 Press Release - Richard Axel & Linda B. Buck, The Nobel Prize A Novel Multigene Family May Encode Odorant Receptors: A Molecular Basis for Odor Recognition - Buck and Axel Chemists and bad smells (and sulfur): A productive pairing - Ashutosh Jogalekar, Scientific American https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/reactions/videos/2017/the-smell-of-durian-explained.html https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/reactions/videos/2018/whats-that-after-rain-smell-made-of.html Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

36mins

6 Feb 2020

Rank #18

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Why does water form droplets?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *#020This week Melissa and Jam explore the chemistry of water and intermolecular forces. Why does it form into droplets? Why can you fill a glass of water just above the rim and it not spill over? How are some things water proof or water resistant?References from this episode General Chemistry: Principles, Patterns, and Applications - Saylor foundation Chemistry, Edition 2 - Flowers, Theopold, Langley, Robinson Lotus Leaf Inspires Waterproofing Scheme, Scientific American - Laura Wright Melissa's Previous Knowledge Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

34mins

5 Dec 2019

Rank #19

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Why do bad smells smell bad?

Support the show by checking out our very new, super fun Patreon right here -> Chemistry For Your Life Patreon* * *#030Melissa and Jam continue to sniff out the chemistry of smell, focusing this week on bad smells. Why are we so good at smelling bad smells? Why do they haunt us at night? Why are some bad smells so strong and long lasting, while many great smells are subtle and temporary. What’s in a smell? "That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." I think that quote applies here right?References from this episode Aerosol generation by raindrop impact on soil - Young Soo Joung & Cullen R. Buie, Nature Communications 2 Americans Win Nobel for Demystifying Sense of Smell - Lawrence K. Altman, The New York Times The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2004 Press Release - Richard Axel & Linda B. Buck, The Nobel Prize A Novel Multigene Family May Encode Odorant Receptors: A Molecular Basis for Odor Recognition - Buck and Axel Chemists and bad smells (and sulfur): A productive pairing - Ashutosh Jogalekar, Scientific American Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @ChemForYourLife.Email us at chemforyourlife@gmail.comAnd check out our chill, simple little website at https://chemforyourlife.transistor.fm/ ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

33mins

13 Feb 2020

Rank #20