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Science Hack & Bites

Science plays an important role in our everyday lives, find out how you can make life easier with our fun hacks. Plus, read the latest science news and facts in our latest bites!

Science Hack: Keep your bananas fresh!

Banana hack

Wrap your bananas in cling film to keep them fresh – it helps to contain the ethylene gas that is naturally produced and causes them to ripen.

Science Hack: Prevent your spuds from sprouting

Spud hack

Place an apple in with your potatoes – the ethylene gas it produces will prevent your spuds from sprouting!

Science Hack: Keep lettuce fresh for longer

Lettuce hack

Cover your salad  bowl with cling film and pierce a hole in the centre. Place moistened kitchen roll over the hole and cover again with cling film. The greens produce condensation when chilled in the fridge, this excess moisture will be absorbed by the kitchen roll and will help stop the greens from wilting.

Science Hack: Rejuvenate wood

Wood hack

Not only are walnuts a brilliant source of omega-3 and other essential vitamins, but this magical little nut can rejuvenate wood too! Just rub the fleshy part of the nut over scratches and scrapes, as the nut oil penetrates the wood, scratches should simply fade. Before starting, do a little test in an area that can’t been seen; also check the wood’s grain and finish as this hack won’t work on all surfaces.

Science Hack: Easy way to clean your silver

To a cup of hot water, add a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda and a ball of scrunched up aluminium foil. Drop in the tarnished silver and leave for a few minutes, then rinse. Now for the science bit... the black tarnish that forms on silver is silver sulphide, the aluminium foil reacts with this to create aluminium sulphide, turning the tarnish back to silver. The foil is coated with a layer of aluminium hydroxide which the bicarbonate of soda helps to remove too!

Science Hack: Stop crying over your onions

Onion hack

When you slice an onion, a chemical reaction occurs between enzymes and chemicals to form a gas. This is what produces the potent smell of an onion, and is also to blame for the tears and the stinging sensation in your eyes. However, onions that are chilled for 30 minutes before chopping give off less of this eye-irritating gas that makes you tear-up because the lower temperature inhibits the chemical reaction!

Science Hack: How to identfy a bad egg!

Egg hack

Fill a jar with water, if the egg sinks and lies on its side, on a point or at an angle it’s fresh. The older the egg the more vertical it is, if it floats to the top, it may be a bad egg! It may not be rotten but it won’t be fresh. Why is this?

When laid, eggs have an air sack that increases in size at is gets older. Eggshells are porous, as they age the sack cell fills with more air increasing its buoyancy. Hence, the older the egg, the more air it contains enabling it to float in the water.

Science Bite: Can bacteria help breakdown plastic?

Plastic bite

A team of researchers in Japan have discovered a new species of bacteria with the ability to break down polyethylene terephthalate (or PET) the plastic commonly used in packaging. These bacteria, named Ideonella sakaiensis, use two enzymes to degrade PET into a substance the bacteria can then use as energy to grow. Although this is an exciting new discovery which may lead to new ways of breaking down plastic, for now we should continue putting our plastic bottles in a recycling bin.

Science Bite: Did you know scientists are putting bacteria into fashion?

With advances in microbiology, scientists are utilizing the beneficial functions of certain microbes to develop textiles and fashion. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have designed 'living clothes' made from bacteria called Bacillus substillis natto. These bacteria react with the body’s heat and sweat causing ventilation zones to open and close as the body temperature rises and falls allowing sweat to evaporate during exercise.

Science Bite: How do cold temperatures affect our gut bacteria?

Cold bite

According to a study, exposure to cold temperatures alters the composition of the bacteria in the gut improving glucose metabolism and the reduction of body weight. So, make the most of outdoor activities in winter time!

Science Bite: Your belly’s fingerprint!

Fingerprint bite

Did you know, no two people have the same mix of gut bacteria! Your gut microbiota is just like a unique fingerprint.

Science Bite: Do you really need your pinky?

Pinky bite

Did you know? 50% of the power in your hand comes from your little finger!

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