This category contains 4 posts

Veggie, Vegan, or Green?

This blog is inspired by an article in the May 2014 National Geographic titled “The New Food Revolution”.  It’s about how we might hope to feed the 2 billion additional souls we expect the planet to support by 2050.  I’ll give you the raw scores first, then the commentary. In the USA we eat about 18% … Continue reading

Are toxic brominated flame retardants present in European food contact materials?

This is the title of an article on SpecialChem’s website.  The answer is — sometimes. The scientist in me wants to point out that many brominated flame retardants are NOT toxic, and nobody should be using the ones that are (mainly “decabrome”), any more. What is happening is that old electronics parts are getting into … Continue reading

Patenting Medications

In the bad old days, inventions sometimes died with their inventors, since innovation was a closely guarded secret.  The US government recognized that to grow stronger industry, this loss had to be stopped.  They hit on the idea of a quid-pro-quo — inventors who disclosed and taught their inventions to the world would get a … Continue reading

Mutagenic Chemicals: The Ames Test

Dr. Ames invented a test to determine how mutagenic any given chemical was.  He introduced it to a bacteria culture and looked for upsets.  This is almost the same as looking for carcinogens, except that our metabolism changes one chemical into one or more others, and the bacteria don’t mimic this.  But it is a … Continue reading