Public Release:  Valentine's Day tales of romance and chemistry

American Chemical Society

With Valentine's Day tomorrow, the popular Newscripts page in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) cast its net for tales of chemistry and romance and hauled in a catch that includes fake Viagra and the love life of that totally unlovable pest -- the bedbug. C&EN is the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Newscripts focuses first on a study that checked the authenticity of Viagra sold online. Fully 17 of the 22 samples that researchers purchased contained only 30-50 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredient, the stuff that makes Viagra work. The study's understated conclusion: "Caution is warranted when purchasing Viagra via the Internet."

It then turns to another study that set out to determine which of the creepy crawlies' activities resulted in the production of their characteristic fusty stink. It turned out that bedbugs produce most of that unsavory odor during attempts at mating. But hold on a moment. The odor is not an alluring perfume. Rather, females (and sometimes males) spray the substance to deter unwanted advances. Also, check the link below for Newscripts' next lovelorn tale, "Chemist dumped by girl, builds real laser-firing Iron Man gadget."

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