4 Open for Discussion: Just How Much Salt Do We Need?
By Chris Eboch
How do we determine how much salt we need? By looking at
people’s diets and how their diets affect their health. Sounds easy?
Actually, it’s not.
19 As a Matter of Fact
Reducing Vehicle Emissions with Chemistry
5 Biomimicry: Taking Inspiration from Nature
By Brian Rohrig
By looking at how mussels stick to rocks, how a beetle collects
water in the desert, and how the lotus plant repels water, scientists
have come up with novel products that promise to improve our lives.
8 Stuck on You
By Mary Alexandra Agner
How do mussels stick to rocks? Lucy loves to talk about it.
Not Alex, who has other plans…
11 Shaking Out the Facts about Salt
By Chris Eboch
Most people in the United States consume more salt than they
should. So is it time to cut back on salt? Not necessarily. The recommended guidelines may need to be revised and the amount of salt
that we consume may be just what we need.
14 Kombucha: Something’s Brewing
By Beth Nolte
Kombucha, a fizzy drink made by fermenting tea and sugar, is
becoming more popular. Many people—including the author—
say that kombucha gives them an energy boost and helps their
digestion, even though there is no scientific evidence to support
16 Let’s Talk about E-Cigarettes
By Kristin Harper
The number of teens who are smoking e-cigarettes has tripled
between 2013 and 2014. But how are e-cigarettes affecting their
health, and how do they compare with regular cigarettes?
ChemMatters | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 3
Vol. 34, No. 1 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016
NEW! An electronic subscription to is now offered FREE along with a print
subscription. More information at: www.acs.org/chemmatters or by calling 1-800-333-9511.
On the cover: Mike Ciesielski Photography and Shutterstock
As a Matter of Fact:
More On The Web!
Find your complete
Teacher’s Guide, videos,and
Spanish translations at:
CORRECTION: A small error related to the words “hydrophobic” and “hydrophilic” occurred in the caption for Fig. 3, p. 15 of the December 2015/January 2016 issue of ChemMatters. The correct caption is:
“Figure 3. A cell membrane is made of phospholipid molecules, each consisting of a hydrophilic head and
two hydrophobic tails (shown in more details on the left). These phospholipid molecules form two layers
(top and bottom layers on the right), with the hydrophobic tails from each layer facing each other and the
hydrophilic heads facing the inside and outside of the cell. The phospholipid molecules are formed through
chemical reactions involving fatty acids, which consist of a carboxyl group (–COOH) attached to a long carbon chain. When these chemical reactions are complete, the carboxyl group becomes one of the two –COO
groups seen at the bottom of the hydrophilic head, and the long carbon chain forms a hydrophobic tail.”
Shaking Out the
Facts about Salt
Open for Discussion:
Just How Much
Salt Do We