STEM

Science & Technology

Zinc: the galvanizing chameleon

Jules Raulin, a student of Louis Pasteur, made a seminal discovery on zinc’s essential role in a microorganism’s growth. 150 years later, growing questions about this integral and essential element revolve around its purpose for our everyday lives.

Science & Technology

Fluorine: The most reactive and indispensable element in our daily lives

Fluorine (atomic symbol: F) is the 13th most common element in the earth crust and the lightest member of the […]

Science & Technology

Chromium: Are we red-green blind regarding its biological chemistry?

The legendary traffic lights in Berlin, the “Ampelmännchen”, symbolise the opposite biological functions of chromium compounds in two major oxidation states: one for health and the other for disease. In other words, green stands for “go and safe”, red stands for “stop and danger”.

Science & Technology

The Periodic Table and the Actinides

Most people know that uranium is radioactive, but few would think of taking a Geiger Counter with them when antique-hunting. A hundred years ago, uranium oxide was widely used in making decorative glass objects. Their characteristic greenish-yellow colour gave them the name of ‘Vaseline glass’, though their radioactivity means that uranium is not used in glass-making these days. Uranium is also used in making the shells fired by Army tanks, as it is extremely dense and also tends to ignite on impact.

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