Discovery of Phosphorus

German alchemist Hennig Brand discovered phosphorous in 1669 when he strongly heated the residue left by the evaporation of urine. He observed the striking blue-green light that is emitted by phosphorus vapour when it comes in contact with air. The urine residue contained organic compounds and phosphate. When it was heated, the organic compounds were…

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The Power of Perfume

Well guys, perfume may not be a bad choice for a Valentine’s gift.  Several scientific studies have indicated that women have a better sense of smell than men.  Findings also indicate that women consider smell the single most important variable in mate choice. Certainly odour is a key factor when it comes to romance in…

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How Has Space Research Helped Me?

Every time the budget for a shuttle mission is mentioned, somebody fumes about the need to solve problems here on Earth. We frequently overlook the down-to-earth fringe benefits of space research. Direct benefits include satellites for weather forecasting, and global communication via phone and television. There are numerous valuable spin-offs. The satellite programmes for atmospheric…

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Acid Stomach

One of the wonders of our digestive system is the way our stomach wall resists chemical attack. The stomach can dissolve beef and gristle that is far tougher than the stomach wall itself. The average adult stomach holds about three litres of gastric fluid, which comes from glands in the lining of the stomach. Gastric…

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