In my ChemWeb column, The Alchemist, this week:
Van Gogh was two-timing his canvas, the Alchemist learns this week, thanks to novel X-ray studies of a seemingly innocuous piece called Patch of Grass, which hides a woman’s face beneath its green and peasant landscape.
Professional wine tasters and vintners with a penchant for pepping up their plonk should have something new to worry about thanks to the development of an electronic tongue for detecting adulterated wines and those labeled with the wrong vintage.
In biochemistry, sex and sleep turn out to be inextricably entangled, at least in the world of the lab technician’s favorite nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is heavily marketed despite a lack of clinical evidence of efficacy of many of the remedies. However, The Alchemist hears of a traditional remedy for allergy that, toxic components removed, could work to prevent life-threatening peanut allergy.
The world of red hot chili peppers wouldn’t be so hot if it were not for nibbling insects and a fungus that infects the chilis.
Finally, a million-dollar grant to get the blood pumping will for the next five years fund research into how the brain controls blood pressure and could eventually lead to new treatments for hypertension and cut deaths from cardiovascular disease.