As I said before, this short film is (I hope) fun, engaging, and informative. I hope lots of people take the time to watch it at least a couple of times. A basic scientific knowledge of the world is for everyone. Science is part of our culture and should be more widely circulated. Films such as this is one of the ways the National Science Foundation, who provided the support to make it, is helping to bring science to everyone. For this (and the other ones in the series) to be a success, your help is needed. It needs to be seen. Tell your family and friends, colleagues and students, local teachers, etc., about it. Forward it on to people you know. Blog it, tweet it, facebook share it, etc. Crucially, remember that it is designed to be not just for people who already know they have an interest in science, but others too, so make no assumptions about who might like it… just please send it. Thanks.
So with that introduction, let’s take a look…
I’ve been reading a good deal about the effects of cocaine on the human body as I enter the homestretch of composing my next book, which also involves the stimulation of similar pleasure centers of the brain. That said, you can imagine my interest in the topic of Yuegang Zuo’s talk at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society: His research estimates that 90 percent of U.S. bills carry traces of cocaine.
Now don’t be alarmed. Cocaine binds to the green dye in money and a good deal of cross-contamination happens when bills get whisked through ATM machines. So we’re talking about very small trace amounts–not enough to put your health at risk. Still, the findings of this study out of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth cast an intriguing light on how easily we come into contact with drugs, germs, and more as we course about our daily lives.
Percentages of contaminated bills vary by location and Zuo plans investigate whether his data can illustrate cocaine use regionally. Read more at CNN…