50, 100 and 150 Years Ago; June 2003; Scientific American Magazine; by Staff Editor; 1 Page(s)
TRUTH OR DAZE?-"Two lawyers and two psychiatrists on the Yale University faculty recently issued a joint warning against the use of 'truth serums' in criminal investigations. The psychiatrists cited clinical evidence to show that 'normal' subjects readily hide what they wish to hide when under the influence of one of these drugs (sodium amytal), and that 'neurotic' subjects frequently confess to deeds of which they are innocent. The statements elicited by drugs, they said, are more apt to be symbolically significant than objectively true."
CHEMICAL SCRUBBER-"Chelation is not a brand-new discovery, but there is now rising a flourishing industry which produces made-to-order chelate compounds for many purposes, from softening water to dissolving kidney stones. The various uses of the chelate compounds all depend on one fascinating property: the ability of the crablike claw to seize and sequester atoms of metal. Suppose that our water supply contains dissolved salts of iron. The iron forms a sediment on standing; it discolors bathtubs and linens; it spoils the taste of tea. On the domestic scale it is very difficult to remove. We may, instead, add a chemical called EDTA to the water. Now the iron will leave no stains. The iron is still there, yet it cannot be detected even by sensitive chemical tests. It is tightly imprisoned-'sequestered,' in the poetic language of chelation technology-by EDTA's chelate rings. The softening of water so far has been the largest use of chelation."