Topic: chemistry

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Science Middle School

A New Rechargeable Battery

Technology Engineering Energy chemistry

People rely on batteries to power our technology: laptops and phones run on rechargeable batteries. These can leak and are full of chemicals. But over time, these batteries stop re-charging, forcing us to purchase a new battery. But what if our batteries never died? A new battery was recently created that can last over 100 times longer than typical batteries. Listen to this story to figure out how one scientist has engineered a new battery.

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Science Middle School

Low

Caffeine: Helpful or Harmful?

biology chemistry

For such a small molecule, caffeine has long been a controversial substance. Throughout the day, the human body produces a molecule called adenosine that can induce feelings of fatigue. Caffeine is a molecule that reverses the effects of adenosine. This results in feelings of alertness. But the impacts of caffeine can be dangerous. Listen to hear what determines whether caffeine is beneficial or harmful, and how to prevent caffeine-related deaths.

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Current Event October 26, 2016

How Sugar Changes the Brain

Life Science chemistry

Eating a lot of sugar may change the brain and affect how many calories a person eats. There are many researchers trying to understand what controls our eating and one researcher is looking for a link between exposure to a diet high in sugar and obesity. There may be a way to control eating by using biochemistry, which will change the view that controlling eating is just a matter of willpower. Listen to hear more about research into the effect of sugar on the brain.

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Current Event August 16, 2015

Military Rations in School Lunches

Civics/Government World War II Nutrition chemistry

The search for food that is low cost, tasty and slow-to-spoil has been an ongoing goal of the military, especially during World War II. That’s why military science has influenced the food in school lunches, as well as other convenient foods such as granola bars and juice boxes. Military research and ingredients are found in many foods, including the McDonald’s McRib Sandwich. A new book encourages people to think more about where convenient, non-perishable food comes from and whether this food science should be used so commonly outside the military.

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The science of calories

Science Middle School

Calculating Calories in Food

Life Science Health Nutrition chemistry

Food gives our body the energy needed to function and thrive. But what is energy? Where can you find it and how can you calculate it? This public radio story explores the energy in a cheese curl by burning it. Listen to learn about a great lab that allows you to calculate the energy in food.

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Ocean acidification

Science Middle School

Shellfish on your Dinner Plate Threatened by Ocean Acidification

Environment Ecosystems Oceans chemistry

The increasing acidity of the oceans could eventually affect your dinner plate. This public radio story begins in a factory where workers are shucking shellfish. It looks at a shellfish producer and how the company has had a hard time producing juvenile oysters or “seed” because of the increase of CO2 in the ocean. The story examines the impact of ocean acidification on the seafood we eat.

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Design inspiration from nature

Science Middle School

Low

Design Inspiration from Nature Makes Oyster Glue

Life Science Arts Oceans chemistry

What can nature teach us? A lot. Biomimicry is the design and production of materials based on nature. In this public radio story you learn about how shellfish can stick so stubbornly to rocks underwater. You also hear from a scientist who has devoted his life to trying to figure out the secret of why oyster glue is so strong.

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A delicious solution to our energy problem

Science Middle School

A Delicious Solution to Our Energy Problems

Earth and Space Science Environment Energy Electricity chemistry

A new source of energy is being developed by using Michigan's industrial food waste. Using existing technology for converting manure into electricity, these anaerobic digesters are doing their work on pudding packs and canned peaches, among other delicacies. Listen to learn how they are turning waste into electricity.

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