The Who, What, When, Where and Why of Chemistry
Chemistry is not a world unto itself. It is woven firmly into the fabric of the rest of the world, and various fields, from literature to archeology, thread their way through the chemist's text.
At a party Saturday night someone mentioned a rumor about extracting illegal drugs from dandelions. This was news to me, I hadn't thought that dandelions had all that much to offer pharmacologically. Google didn't produce any hits, nor did my students know anything (though they did tell me that on MythBusters they'd made nitrous oxide from ingredients you could obtain at home). There is some evidence from rat models that dandelion extracts can interfere with antibiotic absorption (particulary those in the same class as ciprofloxacin), and it has potential for control of blood sugar, but I can't find anything in PubMed more interesting than that.