Cleanroom News: Top 5 Articles of 2020

2020 Cleanroom News Top Articles

Happy New Year and here’s to shutting the door firmly on the horror that was 2020. It’s hard to imagine that the terms ‘Best of…’ and ‘2020’ can come together in a sentence, but we’re running with it nonetheless. Every week of this annus horribilis, we have brought you stories that inform, inspire, and uplift, some – we hope – even bringing you a wry smile. Last year, our ‘Best of…’ saw research on India’s lunar lift off, Apple’s super-fast A12 bionic chipset, and the thrifty romance of lab-grown diamonds. This year, the trend is for our primers and 101-style articles, especially those to do with COVID-19 and how to stay safe. Surprise, surprise! But what else have you enjoyed reading? From ‘Fire in the Belly’ to arguably the cutest little coronavirus plant (graphic) ever, let’s take a look at this year’s Top Five.


  1. Toxic Alcohols 101: Ethanol, Methanol, Isopropanol

Methanol-Ethanol-Isopropanol (1)

In a year that saw massive spikes in the sale of adult beverages, we brought you an exposé of ‘everything-you-need-to-know-but-are-afraid-to-ask’ regarding alcohol. But our #1 most popular article was not actually a recipe for 2020’s signature cocktail, the Quarantini, or in fact any other ‘sheltering-in-place tipple.’ Instead it focused on the differences between the delightfully consumable ethanol and the less than delicious isopropanol, in an effort to halt the trend of folks imbibing hand sanitizer. Did you miss this 411? Read it here


  1. Coronavirus and Copper: Can an Ancient Ally Flatten the Curve?


At a time when few of us believed we’d still be fighting COVID-19 almost a year later, our #2 most popular article reviewed a novel way to combat the novel virus. Having noted at the top of the piece how few of us planned to quarantine aboard a private Caribbean yacht, we did have some suggestions for staying safe. One possibility was in leveraging the oligodynamic qualities of copper, the metal so beloved of plumbers everywhere. And if, by now, you’re a little rusty on how this ninja pathogen killer works, eliminating a virus ’right down to the nucleic acids [for] complete annihilation with no chance of mutation or survival,’ feel free to refresh your memory right here


  1. COVID-19, Stress, and the Fall of Zantac

stomach fire. excessive acidity, indigestion, stomach disease, gastric ulcer, severe abdominal pain. 3D Rendering

Our #3 of the Top Five articles of 2020 came to you just a couple of weeks into lockdown when we had already started to notice increasing reports of stress-induced illnesses. With anxiety intensifying, sales of over-the-counter medications like heartburn remedy Zantac were ramping up and so were reports of product recalls. When known carcinogen, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) was detected in the popular medication, it fell not to the FDA but to Emery Pharma – an independent laboratory – to sound the alarm. And that’s when additional contamination was uncovered. Check the facts here


  1. Retrieving Clean Samples from Mars


As we opened the first article of 2020, we had absolutely no idea what the year had in store. ‘Welcome to 2020! A new year and a new decade that’s ripe with possibility and opportunity,’ we exclaimed excitedly. It’s a time to ‘take stock, change life up a little (or a lot), and refocus on priorities,’ we announced, with an optimism that now seems naïve beyond imagining as we close out this tumultuous year. This discussion of the tech involved in bringing back and analyzing samples of the Red Planet found itself in 4th position on the popularity list. So to remind yourself of those halcyon pre-pandemic times when the universe was still open and inviting, click here and blast off to Mars


  1. Could Tobacco Be an Unexpected Ally in Killing COVID-19?


For decades justifiably demonized as a public health danger, tobacco emerged as a potential ally in the fight against coronavirus, as we highlighted in 5th most popular article. Just when we thought that the world could not be more topsy-turvy, the global situation no more bizarre, 2020 continued to flex. And if you think we’re kidding, click here to revisit the story




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