PTC taste test strips have been used in biology genetics labs for years to demonstrate inheritance patterns. Their use has become popularized as a way to find “supertasters”; people with a heightened sense of taste. The Let’s Talk Science Outreach people at the University of British Columbia have kindly shared some of their experiences with us. Continue reading →
PTC Taste Test Strips: Let’s Talk Science Outreach was last modified: January 31st, 2019 by Stephan Logan
A litmus test originally meant a simple method to determine whether something was acidic or basic. It then morphed into an expression meaning a test that gives a simple yes or no answer. It turns out that a real litmus test isn’t always so “black and white”.
Water hardness is simply a measure of dissolved minerals in your water. The most common are calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and magnesium carbonate (MgCO3). Rainwater is inherently soft but if it encounters limestone or chalk as it seeps into the ground, it can dissolve some of the rock which is made up of those minerals. The rate of dissolution is even greater if the pH of the rainwater is high (acid rain dissolves limestone even more). Continue reading →
What is Water Hardness? Hard Water Problems Clogging Pipes, Ruining Coffee? was last modified: January 10th, 2019 by Stephan Logan
As we have seen in the news lately, norovirus can be a wicked thing. During the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, almost 200 attendees were diagnosed with norovirus. Highly contagious, it spreads easily and can hit you hard with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; it can take down the healthiest of us. There is no specific cure, but keeping hydrated is the most important factor in your recovery.
The fact that you can get if from infected people, contaminated surfaces or food and water, makes it tough to stop. Norovirus is the leading cause of illness and outbreaks from packaged food in North America. Most outbreaks occur in the food services industry, and is spread by touching the food, surfaces or each other while infected.
The health inspector is coming to check your safe food handling practices. Don’t panic! All you need to clean safely is a 3 compartment sink, soap, hot water, sanitizer and our test strips. Watch the video below and you should pass with flying colors.
Ammonia is a simple inorganic molecule with the formula NH3. It has many important industrial and agricultural uses. Ammonia’s low molecular weight (17.031 vs water 18.01528) makes it useful a detection tool but safe handling is required since it can be toxic. Two simple and inexpensive ammonia leak detection methods are discussed.