Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 216 in total

What is gluten?

Gluten. Public enemy number one. If you're gluten intolerant that is. But what is gluten? Why is it in bread? What does it do in bread? Let's find out.

Bonus: Is honey mustard a polymer? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about regulation of scented products, being a parent and getting a PhD, condiments as ...

How can mosquitos smell you? (new research!)

How can mosquitoes sense us? And do they prefer some people over others? This is a question we've pursued across several episodes of the podcast in the past, but now t...

Why do mosquitos bite people?

This week, Melissa and Jam begin a multi-faceted topic: mosquitos. Now of course mosquitos are insects, so studying them would mostly fall into biology. But there's a ...

How do trick candles reignite?

Maybe you've experienced them yourself, maybe you've just heard of them, but trick candles are real, they are chemistry, they are kinda dangerous, and they are mean. L...

Bonus: How did Bella Hadid's spray-on dress work? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about raw garlic burns, Bella Hadid's dress, carbon monoxide poisoning, and more!

Do nasal decongestants even work?

When we are sick and super congested, many of us go to the store to pick up a decongestant. But what if some decongestants DON'T EVEN WORK, like at all? Wouldn't that ...

What even is sunscreen and how does it screen the sun?

This week Melissa and Jam explore the chemistry of not being burned by the big, ominous, flaming ball of radioactive insanity that lights up our skies each day. Did yo...

The most toxic substance to humans? (It’s basically botox)

Today we're talking about the most toxic substance known to humans, and yet it also happens to be a substance that many people willingly inject into their bodies. It's...

Bonus: How is pressure measured? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about pressure, eicosane, clouds, chemistry analogies, coffee, and baking.

What do catalytic converters do?

Cars are complicated, there's lots of parts that do lots of things most of us will probably never understand it all. Well we can at least tackle one of those mysteries...

What's up with alcohol(s)?

So we all know what we think of when we hear the word "alcohol," but what if that's not really the whole picture? There's actually many kinds of alcohol, most of which...

What is gasoline?

For many of us, gasoline is just another everyday thing. It's essential, but we don't give it much thought. But how does it work? What is it made up of? Why are there ...

Bonus: How does gel nail polish dry under UV light? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about tattoos, viscosity, humidity, life updates, and more!

How are tattoos removed?

So a couple weeks ago we talked about how tattoos are permanent. But what if you don't want your tattoo to be permanent any more? You won't get any judgement from us. ...

How do geckos stick to walls?

This week Melissa and Jam continue in the category of "sticky" things by exploring how geckos stick to walls. How do they do it? Is it magic? Is it like spider-man? Is...

Why are tattoos permanent?

Tattoos go back centuries across many cultures, and yet their chemistry is still an absolute mystery to most of us. How do tattoos work? What is the ink made of? How d...

Bonus: How much does a polar bear weigh? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam do something a little different. Because they're needing to record quite a bit ahead of time, this Q&R couldn't be a...

Why does ice float on water?

Ice is water right? It's just that it's solid. So why does it float in liquid water? And also why does water expand when it freezes, when typically things contract whe...

What is sea level rise? (with Dr. Renee Collini)

This week, Melissa, Jam, and very special guest Renee Collini (Melissa's sister and climate scientist) delve into the important topic of sea-level rise. What causes it...

What is the chemistry of volcanoes?

The crazy, insane, scary, fascinating world of volcanoes is fully of chemistry! What is lava/magma? Why do some volcanoes ooze and others erupt? What causes the magma ...

Why are sand and water different temperatures at the beach?

Many of us have been in a situation where we are near a body of water (lake, ocean, pool etc), and you may have noticed that no matter what the temperature is outside,...

What is wind?

Wind is everywhere, we've all experienced it: soft breezes, strong gusts, cold fronts, warm fronts. But what is wind? What starts it? Where does it come from, and wher...

Bonus: Where does sand come from? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about CO2 and mosquitos, sand, light scattering, cooking eggs, and more!

What is lightning?

Lightning is something we're all used to. It's always just been an odd part of life. But think for a second, what even is it? It's just electricity, hanging out in the...

What do rainbows and mirages have in common?

This week, Melissa and Jam explore three very different, but related, light phenomena. We'll discuss situations when light can be bent, slowed down, and even broken. I...

What are clouds? And why do they look white?

Clouds. So fluffy. So wispy. So mysterious. What are they really? Why do they look white? How do they hold so much water for so long? Why do they float?

Bonus: Why is caffeine in shampoo? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about shampoo, microplastics, misunderstood chemicals, sports teams, ADHD medications,...

Why do people hate organic chemistry?

Well guess what, Melissa is a PhD Doctor now! And you know what that means? She gets to tell us more details about the research she did to get her PhD. Listen to hear ...

How can sunlight turn into electricity?

This week, Melissa and Jam explore the chemistry of solar energy. How do we capture energy from the sun and turn it into electricity? Is it as super insanely cool as i...

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