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Crude Matter

Crude Matter

Human physiology, weird animal biology, and the interface of science and culture.

The Sciences

Did you know that hard candy is actually a glass?

As Halloween is right around the corner, here's a video from ByteSizeScience on how hard candy is made: things of note:(1) Hard candy is technically a glass made of sugar!(2) There are three stages of sugar boiling, and the maximum temperature that it reaches determines the physical properties of the resulting candy (I think this is primarily a function of how much water is remaining in the sugar mixture).(3) If you watch the video, you'll figure out why hard candy always has a ring around the edge...

October 27, 2011 — Michelle Clement

Good news for people with specific phobias: Cortisol may increase efficacy of exposure therapy.

Originally posted at Field of Science on April 21, 2011, where it was a Research Blogging Editor's Selection. Earlier this week I shared the story of my specific phobia of vomiting, and today I'm going to blog about an article recently published in PNAS (open access!) about the efficacy of cortisol supplementation during exposure therapy for specific phobias...

September 28, 2011 — Michelle Clement
The Sciences

Housekeeping: Growing pains!

Being as how it is a brand new network, #SciAmBlogs is still figuring out its identity and its place in the science blogging community. As such, my blog is also developing, and I am currently trying to figure out what I want from it and what its role is supposed to be.I dearly appreciate the increased readership and the massive amounts of support from Scientific American, but I also appreciate the concerns that my few regular readers have about the commenting situation over here...

August 29, 2011 — Michelle Clement

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