Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society.

  1. Materials Science

    New black hair dye uses no harsh chemicals

    Scientists have developed a new black-carbon-based hair dye. Instead of using damaging chemicals to dye hair, flexible flakes of carbon coat each strand.

  2. Chemistry

    Hard-to-burn ‘smart’ wallpaper even triggers alarms

    Scientists have made wallpaper that won’t easily burn. And embedded nanowires can be linked to a sensor to sound an alarm when the paper gets too hot.

  3. Materials Science

    Light could make some hospital surfaces deadly to germs

    A new surfacing material can disinfect itself. Room lighting turns on this germ-killing property, which could make the material attractive to hospitals.

  4. Chemistry

    Cool Jobs: Diving for new medicines

    Scientists mix research with underwater adventure as they search the oceans for new chemicals to treat infections, cancer and more.

  5. Tech

    This power source is shockingly eel-like

    The electric eel’s powerful electric charge inspired this new squishy, water-based new approach to generating power.

  6. Brain

    Explainer: What are opioids?

    Opioid drugs can kill pain, but they can also kill people. Here’s how.

  7. Chemistry

    Explainer: What are polymers?

    Polymers, whether natural or artificial, are big molecules made by linking up smaller repeating chemical units. The most common “backbones” for polymers are chains of carbon or silicon, each of which can bond to four other atoms.

  8. Physics

    Explainer: Quantum is the world of the super small

    The word quantum often gets misused. What does it mean? Think small. Really, really small.

  9. Chemistry

    To test pill coatings, try a stomach in a flask

    Which pain reliever should you buy? The tablet, gel tab or compressed caplet? A teen did an experiment to find out.

  10. Chemistry

    BPA-free plastic may host BPA-like chemical, teen finds

    Something has to replace the BPA in ‘BPA-free’ plastics. A teen has been probing what that is.