Microbes’ role in a wine’s ‘terroir’

New Zealand and British scientists say they have discovered the first direct evidence of a fungus that helps provide wine with a distinctive bouquet and flavour linked to a certain district, a concept known to wine lovers by the French word “terroir”. Debate has ranged over whether winemaking is an art or a science and just … Continue reading Microbes’ role in a wine’s ‘terroir’

Hopes of cheaper hydrogen

Stanford scientists may have solved a major problem with the development of hydrogen fuels cells – the difficulty in sourcing the gas. Bang! Science reports that the researchers have built a low-cost water splitting machine using a catalyst to produce oxygen and hydrogen gases cleanly and reliably. This technology is of huge interest because hydrogen is an … Continue reading Hopes of cheaper hydrogen

How to produce gold without using cyanide

Australian researchers have found a way to produce gold without using cyanide for the first time. The country’s government-backed research organisation, the CSIRO, reports that the new process uses a chemical called thioshulphate, which greatly reduced the environmental risks and costs associated with gold production. It has been working with US gold miner Barrick to … Continue reading How to produce gold without using cyanide

Why dogs stink when they’re wet

An entertaining video from the everyday chemistry YouTube channel Reactions on smells and your dog – both going and coming. It looks at how the dog’s remarkable sense of smell works – even to sniff out cancer – and the chemistry of where that wet dog smell comes from.

170-year-old Champagne from shipwreck

Scientists have analysed samples of 170-year-old Champagne which was recovered from a shipwreck on the bottom of the Baltic Sea. The wine was produced by the French Champagne houses Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Heidsieck, which still produce the wine today, and the defunct producer Juglar. The research gives new insights into winemaking in the mid-19th century. … Continue reading 170-year-old Champagne from shipwreck

Grapefruit compound huge commercial future

Scientists have recreated the flavour and scent of a grapefruit in the lab, using an orange. But the work was far from frivolous. Oxford University science students’ magazine Bang! Science has the details. Nootkatone is the molecule which gives this distinctive aroma, and is used worldwide in foods, drinks, and bathroom products. However, it takes … Continue reading Grapefruit compound huge commercial future

Potion knocks out super-resistant microbes

A 1,000-year-old formula for a potion from the world’s first known medical textbook has shown remarkable results in killing Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), according to Australian Popular Science. The British researchers who tested the potion will present their findings this week at an annual microbiology conference in the UK. The recipe for the potion comes from Bald’s Leechbook, … Continue reading Potion knocks out super-resistant microbes

Chemists discover how to unboil an egg

Chemists working in California and South Australia have worked out how to unboil egg whites, a process they say could transform how proteins are produced in medical labs and in food production. The scientists employ a vortex fluid device, a machine designed at Professor Colin Raston’s chemistry lab at Flinders University in South Australia. The results have … Continue reading Chemists discover how to unboil an egg