Plastic for Dinner

Just say “no” to plastic straws. Think of the turtles! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science Plastic is everywhere – in packaging, fast-food containers … dirt?! Yes, dirt! Farmers sometimes mix plastic chips with mulch to improve plant growth. But the plastic stays in our

Tasty Invention

Keep your hands out of your food! Unless they’re. . . robot hands? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Taste is the sensation triggered by our taste buds when they recognize flavor molecules. Chocolate – yum! Kale – not so much. But what if science

Stimulating Scents

Gee, your hair smells terrific! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. When we smell, odor molecules dock into special proteins that alert our brain. Mmmm…bacon! Biologists call these proteins olfactory receptors, or O-Rs, and they do more than just smell! All kinds of cells use

Suspenseful Gases

This just in—science meets Smell-o-vision! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science saying: Humans expel all types of gases. Many are classified as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These gases are expelled by breathing, or even through your skin. But can the VOCs you emit, speak

NUT-ricious Chocolate

Healthy milk chocolate. Sound nuts? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Unlike its more sophisticated cousin dark chocolate, milk chocolate isn’t known for its health benefits. But what if we could change that? Scientists at the USDA and North Carolina State University may have found

Motorized Meds

Medications, start your engines! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. In the last few years, scientists have developed biological micromotors for delivering drugs. They’re supposed to work like propellers, steering those healing medicinal molecules more quickly into your bloodstream. But there’s a problem. These motors

Stronger than Silk

Eat pencil lead, silkworms! Literally! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Silks are used in many things, from bedding to bike tires to kimonos. How could we make these better? Stronger fibers! But how can you get a silkworm to spin extra strong fibers? Yingying

Egg Unboiled

Can you UN-BOIL an egg? And why would you want to? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying: Biochemists at the University of California, Irvine, can. As to why—? One word: Proteins. Nowadays, proteins made in labs are used for everything from making cheese to

Chilly Tomatoes

No one wants rotten tomatoes. But do you want cold ones? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Sure, tomatoes stay fresh longer in the fridge. But as frustrated chefs and picky eaters know, they also lose their flavor! Why? Harry Klee from the Plant Innovation

Super Spinach

Spinach! Excellent source of vitamins, minerals — bomb detection? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, and with the latest twist on your favorite superfood. Plants are constantly taking in information from their surroundings. Their roots act like telephone wires that communicate and receive signals from