Medical Chemistry & Drugs
Elements in the Human Body
Find out what elements are in the human body and what these elements do.
Drug Photo Gallery
See the molecular structures of common drugs, including drugs of abuse. Photos of the drugs themselves are also included.
Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics
Some of the ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products are chemicals that may be hazardous to your health. Take a look at some of the ingredients to watch for and the health concerns raised by these chemicals.
What Does a Meth Lab Smell Like?
No one wants to live next door to a meth lab, but would you be able to recognize one in your neighborhood? One way you might suspect illegal drugs are being made is by their smell.
Would You Drink Hand Sanitizer?
Drinking hand sanitizer is in vogue with the underage drinking crowd because the product is an inexpensive, readily available form of alcohol. Would you drink hand sanitizer? If you do, what steps do you take to protect yourself from accidental poisoning?
There are some household chemicals you just shouldn't mix and numerous ways to accidentally poison yourself. Do you have an accidental poisoning story to share? Have you ever mixed chemicals with a disastrous result? Be sure to offer any advice that would help prevent others from repeating your mistake.See submissions
Amino Acid Structures
These are the structures for the twenty natural amino acids, plus the general structure for an amino acid.
Learn what anabolic steroids are, how they can enhance athletic performance, and what risks are associated with using performance enhancing drugs.
Applying to Medical School - What to Do if You're Rejected
Most applicants to medical school don't get accepted! Make plans for this possibility. Here is advice on what to do if your application is rejected, with concrete steps to improve your application for the next year.
BHA and BHT
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are added to many foods to prevent fat spoilage. This article describes what BHA and BHT are, what they do, and how they do it. There is a fairly lengthy list of references because there is controversy over the health effects of BHA, BHT, and other additives.
Learn about the chemical and biological properties of caffeine, the methylxanthine stimulant found in coffee and other foods.
Biochemistry of Lycopene
Lycopene is the red pigment in tomatoes and several fruits. Find out more about how this antioxidant protects against cancer and heart disease.
Can You Use Laundry Detergent in the Dishwasher?
Yes, you could put laundry detergent in your dishwasher. Should you? Probably not. Here's why.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide detectors and carbon monoxide alarms protect you from toxic carbon monoxide gas. Learn how carbon monoxide detectors and alarms work.
Carbon Dioxide Poisoning
You are exposed to carbon dioxide every day, so you may be concerned about carbon dioxide poisoning. Here's the truth about carbon dioxide poisoning.
Chemicals for Hangovers
A hangover is Nature's way of reminding you that alcohol is not good for your body. Having said that, there are some substances that will reduce the damage or lessen the discomfort.
Common Household Chemicals - Dangerous Mixtures
Labs have lists of chemicals that don't go together, but it isn't as easy to avoid dangerous mixtures with home chemicals because they aren't pure substances. Here's some help. Be safe and don't mix these common household chemicals.
Crystal Meth Facts
Learn what crystal meth is, why people take crystal meth, how it's made, and what risks are associated with using methamphetamine.
Learn about the insect repellent called DEET. See its chemical structure, find out how it works, get information about the risks of using DEET, and find out how to reduce your need for bug spray.
Drinking Too Much Water - Video
Can you drink too much water? This video examines whether or not it's possible to drink too much water and the consequences of excessive water consumption.
Drugs from Plants
This is a table listing many of the pharmaceuticals that are derived from plants, including the names of the drugs, their actions, plant sources, and the common names of the plants.
Eating Apple Seeds, Peach Seeds or Cherry Pits
Eating apple seeds, peach seeds or cherry pits is controversial. Some people believe the seeds and pits are toxic because they contain a cyanide-producing chemical, while other people believe the seeds are therapeutic. Have you eaten apple seeds or cherry pits? Did you experience any effect from eating the seeds? Share your experience.
How Do Sunless Tanning Products Work?
This article discusses bronzers, self-tanning lotions and sprays, tanning accelerators, and pills. Learn how these products work and find out why tans fade.
How to Remove Fluoride Video
See how to remove fluoride from drinking water. This video also explains which methods will not remove fluoride from water and lists common sources of fluoride.
How Do Smoke Detectors Work?
Find out how ionization and photoelectric smoke detectors work. Then determine which type is better for your needs. Links are supplied to give you more information about fire safety, tips for installing a smoke detector, and answers to common smoke detector questions.
How To Remove Fluoride from Drinking Water
This is a list of methods that can be used to remove fluoride from drinking water. There's also a list of methods that do not remove fluoride and suggestions for ways to minimize fluoride exposure. References for the fluoridation controversy are included.
How Do Disposable Diapers Work? Why Do They Leak?
Learn about the polymer in disposable diapers, sodium polyacrylate. Find out how the polymer absorbs water and why diapers leak.
Incompatible Chemical Mixtures
Here's a list of chemicals that you don't want to accidentally mix, together with brief statements about the expected reactions. Use this information to avoid accidents and ensure safe storage and handling of potentially dangerous substances, both at work and at home.
How Do Safety Matches Work?
Learn about how safety matches work and why they are considered 'safe'.
Is It Safe to Use Kitchen Glassware for Chemistry?
Is it safe to use your kitchen glassware and utensils for chemistry experiments? Here's a look at some of the risks involved in using your dishes for chemistry.
Why Does Hydrogen Peroxide Bubble on a Wound?
Have you ever wondered why hydrogen peroxide bubbles on a cut or wound, yet doesn't bubble on unbroken skin? Here's a look at the chemistry behind why hydrogen peroxide bubbles and what it means when it doesn't bubble.
Jellyfish Sting Experience
Have you been stung by a jellyfish or Portuguese man of war? How did you treat the sting? Did the treatment work? Here's your chance to share your experience with other people and to get ideas for treatment options in case you ever get stung. See submissions
How to Make Aspirin - Acetylsalicylic Acid
Learn how to synthesize aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid, from salicyclic acid. Get information about the history of aspirin, the effects of salicylates, and see the structures of the reactants.
How Sunscreen Works
Find out how sunscreen works, what an SPF rating means, the difference between sunscreen and sunblock, and how to protect yourself from both UV-A and UV-B radiation.
Luminol Chemiluminescence Test for Blood
You can use the luminol chemiluminescence reaction as a quick and easy forensic test for blood. Here's a look at what you need to perform the test, how to do it, and an explanation of how the luminol test works.
Medical School Interviews
From your About Guide. Knowing what to expect in a medical school interview is a key to success. This article focuses on dressing for success and provides valuable tips for after the interview. Links to interview databases and common interview questions/answers are included.
Mad Cow Disease - What You Need to Know
When it comes to Mad Cow Disease, it's difficult to separate fact from fiction and hard data from supposition. Part of the problem is political and economical, but a lot of it is based in biochemistry. Here's a summary of what you need to know.
Jacobson's Organ and the Sixth Sense
In many animals Jacobson's organ is responsible for sensitive chemical detection and pheromone communication between members of the same species. Is Jacobson's organ responsible for the sixth sense in humans?
Is There Really a Chemistry of Love?
Sweaty palms and a pounding heart don't just happen! It takes complex biochemistry to give you the symptoms of being in love. And lust. And security. Chemistry may even play a role in falling out-of-love. Get some of the details here, with links for further study.
Osmotic Pressure and Red Blood Cells
See the effect of hypertonic, isotonic and hypotonic osmotic pressure on red blood cells.
Natural Mosquito Repellents
Looking for a natural alternative to synthetic chemical mosquito repellents? Find out which natural substances repel mosquitoes, how to avoid attracting them, and how to maximize the effectiveness of your repellent.
Science Laboratory Safety Signs
This is a collection of safety signs and symbols commonly seen in a science laboratory, particularly a chemistry lab.
Learn about nepetalactone, the cycloalkane that is the chemical in catnip that has an effect on cats, people and other animals.
Steroid Molecular Structures
See the molecular structures of steroids.
Poisonous Holiday Plants
Some popular holiday plants can be poisonous or toxic, especially to children and pets. Here's a look at some of the most common poisonous holiday plants and also reassurance about plants many people think are poisonous that really aren't that dangerous.
Tattoo Ink Chemistry
Tattoo inks aren't regulated by the US FDA, so what you don't know can hurt you. This 3-part article examines the pigments, carriers, and other chemistry-related issues concerning tattoo inks and their toxicity. Instructions for making your own tattoo ink are provided.
Sodium Versus Salt
Salt and sodium content are related, but are not the same. Learn about the difference between salt and the sodium in sodium chloride and how to calculate sodium levels in salt.
Mixing Bleach and Vinegar
Mixing bleach and vinegar is a bad idea. Toxic chlorine gas is released, which essentially serves as a way to wage chemical warfare on yourself. Many people mix bleach and vinegar, knowing it's dangerous, but either underestimating the risk or else hoping for increased cleaning power. Here's what you should know about mixing bleach and vinegar,...
Tattoos are meant to be permanent, so they aren't easy to remove, but there are multiple methods that are used when a person wishes to have a tattoo removed.
The primary methylxanthine in chocolate is theobromine, a molecule similar to caffeine. See the structure of theobromine and read about its chemistry, effects on people and animals, and uses. There are links to chocolate history and chemical research, veterinary advice for theobromine poisoning, and related resources.
Vitamin Chemical Structures
This is a collection of molecular structures of the vitamins.
Water Filters that Remove Fluoride
This is a compilation of online vendors and manufacturers of water filters designed to remove tap water. A variety of filter types and price ranges are covered. Tabletop, undersink, and refrigerator models are all available.
What Causes Rigor Mortis?
Dead bodies are sometimes referred to as 'stiffs' for a reason! Learn what rigor mortis is and find out why it happens.
What You Need to Know about Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. Carbon monoxide detectors are available, but you need to understand how they work and what their limitations are in order to decide whether or not you need a detector and, if you purchase a detector, how to use it to get the best protection.
What Is Activated Charcoal and How Does it Work?
Activated charcoal isn't the same as your average barbeque briquette! It's a special type of carbon. Learn what activated charcoal is and why it is used in filters and medicines.
What Makes Lead Poisonous?
You probably know that lead is toxic, but do you know what makes it poisonous? Here's an explanation of what lead does in your body that makes it such a health hazard.
Why Do Onions Make You Cry?
Find out why you cry when you cut onions and how you can keep it from happening.
You and Your Cat and Mad Cow Disease
Do you think you have a handle on the Mad Cow Disease issue? Here's a detailed guest article, written by microbiologist Eve Riser-Roberts, Ph.D., that may shake things up a bit for you. Although the article is slanted toward dangers in pet food, it contains a lot of controversial information pertaining to human risk and infection.
Tear Gas Exposure
Learn what to expect if you encounter tear gas and take steps to minimize your exposure and speed your recovery.
Health Effects of Copper Jewelry
This article presents information and resources about the impact that wearing copper jewelry can have on health. Both positive and negative effects are discussed, with online references and an annotated list of books, with Amazon links, for further reading.
Health Hazards of Children's Jewelry
Chemical hazards are addressed, as well as choking hazards. References and recommendations for minimizing risk are also included.
Vitamins May Hurt Your Health
Your multivitamin may contain more or less nutrients than you think, plus may include some nasty contaminants.
AntiCancer Agent Mechanism Database
Proper browser plug-ins allow access to three-dimensional viewing. From the National Cancer Institute.
Carcinogenic Potency Database
Chemicals in this database are listed under each organ that has been evaluated as a cancer site by at least one author in an experiment in rats, mice, hamsters, monkeys, dogs, or prosimians. The index is according to target organ.
Chemical Information Page
Extensive databases include general chemicals, drugs, and environmental hazards. Visualization of structures requires Chime plug-in. From Specialized Information Services, US National Library of Medicine.
Ways to Lower Fluoride Exposure
Fluoride isn't only found in toothpaste and water. There are many everyday sources and several steps you can take to lower your exposure.
Index to U.S. EPA Test Methods
An index of all test methods that EPA requires environmental labs to use. Arranged by substance.
What Happens If You Eat Silica Gel Beads?
Silica gel beads are found in those little packets accompanying shoes, clothing and some snacks. The packets contain round or granular bits of silica, which is called a gel but is really a solid. The containers typically carry dire "Do Not Eat" and "Keep Away from Children" warnings. So, what happens if you eat silica?
What Are the Elements in the Human Body?
Do you know the chemical composition of the human body? Here's the list of elements, given in percentage according to weight.
Search for information on traditional and modern herbal preparations and publications relating to their medicinal uses. From the Alternative Medicine Foundation.
Very complete and impressive online text provided by Indiana University School of Medicine.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Includes the ability to search the Federal Register for compounds and techniques.
What Is the Volume & Chemical Composition of Blood?
Do you know how many liters of blood are in your body? How about what's in your blood? Let's learn about the chemistry of human blood.
What Is the World's Most Venomous Insect?
The most venomous insect isn't some rare, exotic rain forest creature. You may have them in your own yard. Can you name guess what it is?
Microscopic views of crystalline drugs (JPEG images).
US FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
The site provides an overview, description of program and special interest areas, information on interacting with the center, and other sources of food information. A searchable database, videos, and language options are also offered.
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a common allergen found in foods. Here's a look at gluten chemistry and the foods most likely to contain gluten.
Why Does the Pool Turn Blonde Hair Green?
Do you think it's the chlorine in the swimming pool that turns blonde hair green? Guess again.
What Are Radiation Pills?
Radiation pills may be given in the event of nuclear accidents, nuclear attacks or in the course of certain radioactive medical treatments. Here's a look at what radiation pills are and what is in them.
What Is the Chemical Composition of Farts?
Have you ever wondered what gases are in farts or flatus and whether they are the same for everyone? Here's the chemical composition of farts.