The Chemistry of Poison Ivy

This week Reactions is checking out some scratchy science. That’s right–check out the chemistry behind poison ivy and why it makes us itch.

Leaves of three, let them be, right? But what happens when you get covered in poison ivy and can’t stop scratching? Jennifer Novotney, winner of the 2014 Chemistry Champions science communications competition, breaks down what it is about that dreaded vine that makes us so itchy and cooks up a remedy for the poison ivy’s itch using the power of chemistry.

ALSO! The American Chemical Society (ACS) is looking for the next great science communicator. We’re bringing back the Chemistry Champions contest for 2015! If you think you’re the Carl Sagan of chemistry, check out for more details.

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