Aromatherapy – Probably Useless, Perhaps Even Dangerous

Essential oils for aromatherapy are all the rage nowadays; the ‘essence’ of all that good stuff in plants captured and inhaled to treat diseases. However there is little evidence supporting aromatherapy as a form of medication, while the dangers of the concentrated chemicals in essential oils are rarely publicized. Don’t let plants pull their leaves over your eyes.

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Why Are Organic Compounds White?

Someone commented on one of our Instagram posts that the only reason they had studied chemistry was because of the ‘amazing colors’. While this is pretty solid motivation for many of us, an organic chemist might find it harder to relate; most small organic molecules take the form of a white powder or colorless crystals. For a science that is known to be filled with color, we take a look at why some of these compounds refuse to conform.

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News Outlets and Social Media Might Be ‘Stretching’ Scientific Truth

What’s more dangerous than outright pseudoscience? The exaggeration of scientific truth by otherwise reliable sources, probably. Oftentimes, these outlets don’t intend to mislead their followers, but rather are a little bit too excited to share the latest ‘scientific’ news. But hey, you know what they say – something about paving roads with good intentions…

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Cytochrome P450 Enzymes: Meet the (Super)family

Metabolism is described as the series of chemical reactions required to sustain life, and when it comes to drug metabolism no one does it better than the cytochrome P450 family of enzymes. Understanding of key enzymes within this superfamily – such as CYP2D6, CYP2C9 and CYP3A4 – is an important part of drug design. Were you expecting The Incredibles? Sorry, not that super family, but still super nonetheless!

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Superbugs 1 Humankind 0 – Pharma Giants Abandoning Antibiotics R&D

You’re a little under the weather – nothing too serious; your doctor prescribes antibiotics and you should soon be well. But what if your symptoms continue to get worse, and your meds don’t work? This is a scenario that – in the U.S. alone – 2 million people are confronted with every year. The cause? Antibiotic-resistant microorganisms, or ‘superbugs’.

Recent public concern over pharmaceutical companies pulling out of antibiotic R&D is directly attributed to the life-threatening consequences these ‘superbugs’ could have if we run out treatment options. But what exactly are ‘superbugs’?

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