SciShow Talk Show: The Clitoris & Wilbur the Hognose Snake

Join us for the SciShow Talk Show as Lindsey Doe sheds light on the female reproductive anatomy. Then Jessi from Animal Wonders joins the show to show off Wilbur the Western Hognose Snake.

What's the "DO NOT EAT" thing in packaged foods, what's in it and how does it work? Thanks!

It’s silica gel…an artifical form of silicon dioxide (the same stuff that makes up sand) that has tons of tiny pores that have affinities for water. Silica gel can absorb around 40% of its weight in water. It’s manufactured to be entirely dry and then placed in food or other products that manufacturers don’t want to get moist in humid climates (slightly moist chips are what we in the real world call “stale.”) Water would rather be in the silica matrix than the food matrix, so that’s where it goes, keeping the food nice and dry.

And if you’re wondering why you shouldn’t eat it…it’s just because it’s not technically food. It’s not dangerous though…it’s just fancy sand.

-Hank

youve-got-your-love-online:

Hank, you adorable dork <3 :)

youve-got-your-love-online:

Hank, you adorable dork <3 :)

What Causes Morning Sickness?

If you’ve ever been pregnant, or been around a pregnant lady, you know that the agony that is morning sickness — and it’s not just something that happens in the morning! SciShow explains the many theories about what causes it.

Dear sci show why heavy metals (Led, Mercury) are harmful to humans while lighter ones like iron and magnesium are beneficial?

"Heavy metals" is more of a colloquial term than a scientific one. There are lots of very heavy metals that aren’t dangerous at all. We wear gold and silver and platinum in our jewelry. Bismuth is all up in your PeptoBismol and most of the lanthanides and actinides are safe. Also, lots of the lighter metals (particularly sodium and lithium) while being great in certain chemical forms, in their pure forms will kill you extremely quickly (and violently.)

What it comes down to is simply whether the metal interferes with the normal functioning of your body. And we’ve got complicated bodily chemistries so it turns out that there are around a dozen metals that you don’t want to get in your body. At the same time, some of them, like zinc, are helpful it certain chemical configurations. A great example of how it’s not about the metal so much as the chemistry of the body…copper is safe for humans, but is extremely toxic to fish.

-Hank

The First Robot Swarm, and Evolution’s Misfit

Hank shares the nuts-and-bolts of the world’s first robot swarm, and explains what the creepy, cute and extinct animal known as Hallucigenia can teach us about evolution.

Quiz Show with Caitlin Hofmeister

Welcome back to Scishow Quizshow! In this episode Hank Green and Caitlin Hofmeister go head to head to compete for subbable subscribers.

Why does mint feel cold and chiles feel hot?
So, the way we experience…pretty much everything is via proteins and ion channels. Very basically…there are proteins that are designed to sense certain things….the presence of sugar, whether they’ve been struck by light, the concentration of CO2 in the blood. When they sense those things, they open an ion channel changing the electrical charge of the cell, which then get transferred through the nervous system to the brain where that area of the brain is like “Cool…we’ve got sugar…or light…or too much CO2 in the blood.”
Well, sometimes these proteins can be fooled. A chemical will, just by chance (or by natural selection) be able to bind with that protein and cause that whole cascade to occur without the real stimulus. This is what happens with menthol in mint and capsaicin in peppers. Those chemicals bind to the cold / hot receptors respectively, fooling your body into thinking that something cold / hot is happening in your mouth. Pretty cool.
-Hank
Check out this adorably fantastic thankstank art that was sent in by SciShow viewers Tori and Mallory! It features the names of the fishy inhabitants of our office tank, as well as a corndog-lured anglerfish, Mount McDoobly-Doo the rock, and Papa the tree. Thanks, you two!

Check out this adorably fantastic thankstank art that was sent in by SciShow viewers Tori and Mallory! It features the names of the fishy inhabitants of our office tank, as well as a corndog-lured anglerfish, Mount McDoobly-Doo the rock, and Papa the tree. Thanks, you two!

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

Why do dogs eat grass? A look at your pup’s wild relatives may give you a sense of what dogs’ diets are really like.