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What's Really in Your Essential Oils? A Peppermint Essential Oil Case Study

Posted by Sarah Wehri on

Essential oils are practically synonymous with health in American culture.  People say 'essential oil' like they're saying 'broccoli' or 'carrot'...implying both healing properties and an innocuous presence simultaneously. But, have you ever stopped to wonder what is in your essential oils?  The answer might surprise you.  For our case study, we're going to take a look at one of the most popular essential oils: peppermint. First bear with me and check out the chemical details.  These are the active constituents per the current PubChem entry and their IUPAC names:   3,7-dimethyl-1-oxaspiro[3.5]nonane 3,6-dimethyl-4,5,6,7-tetrahydro-1-benzofuran 5-methyl-2-propan-2-ylcyclohexan-1-ol...

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Why you don't need antibacterial soap

Posted by Amalthea Ridge on

The FDA handed out a ruling against consumer antibacterial soap on 09/02/2016, and it is causing waves through households across the USA. You can read the official statement here: FDA ruling.  The rule applies only to consumer soaps, like those you would purchase at the grocery store to use in your bathroom, that contain 19 specific antibacterial compounds. Triclosan in particular has been a concern for some time because of potential health and environmental effects, and will be phased out within one year. One of the main points of the ruling...

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Building with Biology...A Review

Posted by Amalthea Ridge on

Our Building with Biology Event at Great Falls Library was really fun! About 70 students visited to talk about how genetic material works and how synthetic biology can be used to solve problems.  It is always interesting to talk to students of vastly different age groups about the same topic.  Younger kids had fewer data points to draw from, but that didn't stop them from jumping in to solve the problem and coming up with some approaches that had not occurred to me!  NISE did a great job putting together the...

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Autumn means rethinking your skin care routine!

Posted by Amalthea Ridge on

I hate to say it, but summer is almost over. It is time to think about school, warm sweaters and dry skin. Though I can't help you much with the first two, dry skin is something I can definitely help you get ready for, so let's talk about your autumn skin care overhaul. Dry skin is a frequent topic of conversation around here and our goat milk skin care lines are ready to help. For starters, let's reevaluate your cleanser. Summer: dirt, sweat and grime are the order of the day,...

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How to build a scientist

Posted by Sarah Wehri on

On Monday, we had an awesome time meeting kids and their families at the Building with Biology Event we hosted at the Great Falls Library! Thank you NISE for putting together such awesome and well thought out experiment and demo stations. Everything went smoothly, and our appropriately 75 attendees had lots of fun. We hope to host this event at other libraries in the area.  In speaking with many families it became clear to me that, although caregivers want to encourage their children in science, they don't know how because...

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