Carmen Drahl

Carmen Drahl is a freelance science writer based in Washington, D.C.

All Stories by Carmen Drahl

  1. tobacco hawkmoth drinking from a plant
    Environment

    This moth may outsmart smog by learning to like pollution-altered aromas

    In the lab, scientists taught tobacco hawkmoths that a scent changed by ozone is from a favorite flower.

  2. robotic beetle on a leaf
    Tech

    Methanol fuel gives this tiny beetle bot the freedom to roam

    A new robot insect uses energy-dense methanol as fuel, not batteries. It could be a blueprint for future search-and-rescue bots with long run times.

  3. beets and blue dye made from beets
    Chemistry

    Beets bleed red but a chemistry tweak can create a blue hue

    A new blue dye derived from beet juice might prove an alternative to synthetic blue dyes in foods, cosmetics or fabrics.

  4. microdroplets
    Chemistry

    Droplets of these simple molecules may have helped kick-start life on Earth

    Simple molecules called alpha hydroxy acids form cell-sized structures in conditions mimicking early Earth chemistry.

  5. Langoustine claws
    Chemistry

    How seafood shells could help solve the plastic waste problem

    Chitin and chitosan from crustacean shells could put a dent in the world’s plastic waste problem.

  6. uranium on the periodic table
    Chemistry

    Here’s how long the periodic table’s unstable elements last

    Most elements on the periodic table have at least one stable form. But some don’t. Here’s how long those unstable members endure.

  7. chemical structure of thiostrepton
    Chemistry

    Zapping substances with electrons can quickly map chemical structures

    Speedy molecular identification originally developed for proteins might benefit crime lab researchers and drugmakers.