Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 171 in total

How does Benzoyl Peroxide fight acne?

If you've ever had acne, you've probably tried some creams or washes with "benzoyl peroxide" somewhere on the label. How is it that this specific ingredient is helpful for fighting acne? What is happening at the molecular level when we apply some benzoyl peroxide to our acne? Let's find out!

How do gasses dissolve in liquid? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about fluoride, decaf coffee, dissolving gasses, careers in chemistry, witnessing moments from history, and more!

How is coffee decaffeinated?

Coffee Part 3! So we all know coffee has caffeine in it. But what if you want your coffee... without the caffeine? Is that as impossible as wanting to have your cake and eat it too? Thankfully no, we all know decaffeinated coffee exists. But how in the actual HECK do they get the caffeine out? Well, there's multiple ways and they are all fascinating. Check it out.

How does caffeine make you not sleepy?

Ok so, caffeine. Some of us live on the stuff, and others of us want nothing to do with it. There's a lot of things caffeine can do to our bodies, but of course the number one question, is how does it keep the sleepiness away? Let's get into it. And we may find out a few other things caffeine does along the way.

Why do tires go flat in the winter?

Well you've probably been there. It's the first significantly cold day of the season, and you turn your car on and the tire pressure light comes on. This is an annual problem for many of us, and we probably don't even really think about why it happens. I mean we all know it happens when it's cold, but what's happening at the molecular level to make our tire pressure low when it's cold? Let's find out.

Bonus: Blood in pool water? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about antacids, imposter syndrome, ice expanding, blood in pool water, and more!

Why do we roast coffee?

Coffee Part 2! So before we brew coffee, it gets roasted. What is roasting you might ask? Well it's pretty much the stage where all the magic is happening, everything that turns a little fruit seed into a delicious drink. Grab a cup of coffee, and listen to find out what chemistry processes created it.

Why do leaves change color in the fall?

It's Fall! You know why they call Fall Fall? Well because the leaves fall. But before that, the leaves change color. Why do they do that? How? Is there any sort of function to it? Do the different colors mean anything? Let's dive into this overdue, colorful topic.

How is brewing coffee chemistry?

The long overdue cracking open of the door into the chemistry of coffee! First, the chemistry of what happens when you brew coffee. Check it out!

Fall Mini 07 - Who is and isn't a chemist?

What makes someone a chemist? At what point does someone become one? Is it a defined line or is it a blurry one? Melissa shares some thoughts, as well as the thoughts of two of her chemistry colleagues.

Fall Mini 06 - What is imposter syndrome? (with Vianet Garza)

This week we have a very special guest, Vianet Garza (LPC). She's going to talk us through something that's common in chemistry, science, and likely every other profession under the sun: imposter syndrome.

Fall Mini 05 - Is BPA really that bad for you?

This week we received an interesting email about BPA from listener and retired chemistry teacher Danny. Let's get into it.

Green Fire?!

Rebroadcast: This week Melissa and Jam explore a Halloween-themed topic, perfectly-timed for the fact that our episode air date happened to land on Halloween exactly! Can you change the color of fire using only chemistry, safety, personal protection equipment, and no magic? Listen to find out. And check us out on any of our social media accounts to see the experiment take place!

Fall Mini 04 - Icebreakers

It's time to break some ice.

Fall Mini 03 - How chemistry revolutionized baking (For Melissa)

Are you an avid baker? Melissa's baking discovery may be as revolutionary for you as it was for her.

Fall Mini 02 - The biochemistry of sugar?

Let's hear more about sugar from the perspective of a biochemist!

Fall Mini 01 - Vanilla and beaver butts?

Does vanilla come from beaver butts?

What is vanilla? (and imitation vanilla?)

Well we've all had vanilla. And if you have a tongue then you probably like it. But the question we've all wondered each time we're baking something is probably something like, "what is imitation vanilla?" and "how do they make it?" and "how is it so much cheaper?" and "do you think anyone would notice if I use it instead?" Let's look into it.

How do Tums make us feel better? (And why do they make us burp?)

Tums, alka seltzer, and other antacids: they're simple, they've been around for a long time, but they're a tried and true method for helping our stomachs. But how do they work? What's the chemistry behind these unsung heroes?

Bonus: Does elevation affect airbags? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about breathalyzers, high fructose corn syrup, candles, airbags, and more!

Is there BPA in my receipt? And is that bad?

What if BPA was in something more ordinary and everywhere than a water bottle? Something seemingly innocent and inconspicuous? Like a receipt? Wouldn't that just be a cherry on top of a sad sundae.

What does BPA free really mean?

Every time you buy a plastic water bottle or something, you probably see a sticker that says "BPA free." Pretty good news right? I mean who knows? But what is BPA? And why did we need to get rid of it? And what did we replace it with? And is the problem really solved? Let's just say, don't get too attached to your water bottle.

How do breathalyzers detect alcohol?

How can machines tell how much alcohol is in our blood, simply from checking our breath? Is it magic, or is it chemistry? I think you know the answer to that. But let's get into the details.

What is the ozone layer?

We've all heard about it. And most likely you've heard that it's in danger. But what is the ozone layer in the first place? And once we learn that, how about figuring out why it's in danger? Ok let's do it.

Bonus: How does weed killer not kill grass? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about sugar, high fructose corn syrup, weed killer, water's cleaning ability, tips about college, Jam's name, making money from podcasts, and bucket lists!

How much urine is in an olympic size swimming pool?

Well it's no secret. Some people like to make the relaxing, refreshing environment of a pool into a toilet. It's a problem that's probably existed just as long as pools have. But even before urine enters the picture, modern pools are already chemically complex. So what happens when urine joins the party? Let's find out.

Is high fructose corn syrup bad for you?

It's got high fructose, it's somehow from corn, and it's in syrup form. What's not to like? Well maybe a lot. Or maybe not. Is it worse than sugar? Is it the same? Let's find out!

What is in magic erasers? (and should you clean your teeth with them?)

By now you've already probably experienced the magic of magic erasers. But what IS the magic? How does it erase what other things cannot? And if you don't know what magic erasers are, you'll be impressed.

How do candles burn? (and how do you light them with smoke?)

Candles are simple enough right? Probably nothing crazy going on right? Wrong. Where does all the wax go? And how does the wick just keep on burning so long? Let's find out.

Chemistry at Home: Candle Magic

Here's another bonus episode dedicated to teaching a specific chemistry experiment you can do at home. This month, we see how to light a candle without touching the flame to the wick.

© For Your Life 2022, All rights reserved.