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We are pleased to inform all the COMBLAB project sympathisers, supporters and stakeholders, that COMBLAB project has been nominated to the Eapril Awards 2014. We are really proud and happy with the nomination. More information about EAPRIL 2014 and all the nominated projects and about an upcomming EAPRIL Conference 2014 can be found at EAPRIL Conference website at http://eaprilconference.org/award-nominees/ .

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LOOKING FOR TOXIC METHANOL - Trace the silent killer in alcoholic drinks

In 2012, the Czech Republic was paralyzed by „The methanol affair“. Some manufacturers of alcoholic drinks at black market, to avoid of paying the high consumption tax, added methanol into the alcoholic drinks instead of ethanol due to similarity in taste and smell. By this method, they prepared alcoholic beverages significantly cheaper. Unfortunately, the methanol is highly toxic compound. Their ignorance of chemistry and toxicology knowledge, however, was fatal.

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HOW MUCH DYE IS IN DRINK? - Spectroscopic quantitative analysis

Charles and Michael, they often go to restaurant to have a drink. Once, they had a sweet peppermint liqueur, which has a typical green color. Suddenly, Michel, looking at the liqueur, got angry, saying: “that is terrible, everywhere are substitutes. I bet that this liqueur, this is the same case. Look at the color. It must be something poisonous inside. Surely, there is more dye inside than allowed. And, it is killing us slowly. We should take some legal action against manufacturer of this killing drink, should not we?

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REDOX TITRATION – HOW TO DETERMINE HYDROGEN PEROXIDE CONTENT - Were you cheated by your supplier?

Mr. Black is owner of a small pharmacy shop. He sells a lot of pharmacy products. In his portfolio, there is also a hydrogen peroxide solution sold as a disinfection. Sold solution should be of 3 % w/w. Nevertheless, Mr. Black is not sure, whether his supplier does not cheat and to earn more, he sells him hydrogen peroxide solution with much smaller concentration.

Can you help to Mr. Black and find the concentration of hydrogen peroxide solution from his pharmacy shop? Is the solution sold in his shop OK?

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RED OR WHITE? SWEET OR DRY? - Acidity of Wine

The wine is a product that consists of several components, most of which is water (91 %). Besides water, ethanol (9-14 %), residual sugar, dyes and tannins, there are present also acids. There are more acids, but the most represented is tartaric acid, then malic, citric and lactic acid.  The proportion of the acids’ amount is a reason of characteristic taste and bitterness of each wine. Low content of acid results in insipid taste of wine, so the determination of total acidity is an important controlled item.

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WHAT DYE IS PRESENT IN DRINK? - Spectroscopic analysis

The company producing certain alcoholic beverage is suspect that they use very cheap, but non legal, dye to color their product. Unfortunately, the non-legal dye can cause, in some cases, health problems and allergic reactions. To protect costumer rights, it is necessary to analyze the beverage and identify the used dyes. On the basis of your analysis, the steps to set the right will be applied and the guilty party will be penalized (if the law is broken).

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A MYSTERY OF DISAPPEARED FLOWERS - Where is the hidden treasure?

Boy Scouts David and Grace had an important mission. In March they were tasked with hiding a treasure in a forest for their younger friends. They thought of a trail which started at the clubhouse than went across the town and over a footbridge to the forest. The younger mates were supposed to follow azimuth instructions and descriptions of environment. David and Grace chose a beautiful hiding place for the treasure. They hid it into an old tree stump which was surrounded by ornaments made of flowers in blossom of various colours: white anemone, purple fumewort and yellow lesser celandine.

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HOW DO PLANTS QUENCH THEIR THIRST? - Confused geraniums.

Mrs. Westwood lives in a small, calm village. She has been in retire for two years now thus she has plenty of time for her hobby – gardening. She is very proud especially of her geraniums which are admired by all the inhabitants of the village. Mrs. Westwood has the geraniums on all her window ledges and also hanging on the fence so that everyone walking by can see them.

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HOW DO PLANTS QUENCH THEIR THIRST? - Confused geraniums.

Mrs. Westwood lives in a small, calm village. She has been in retire for two years now thus she has plenty of time for her hobby – gardening. She is very proud especially of her geraniums which are admired by all the inhabitants of the village. Mrs. Westwood has the geraniums on all her window ledges and also hanging on the fence so that everyone walking by can see them.

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LIVING SOIL - Soil breathing.

Home gardening has become popular hobby recently. Those who cannot grow their own vegetables, spices and fruits in a garden, use the option to purchase such crops from small farmers or from so-called organic farms. Growing and selling crops under the name of bio has a lot of rules, one of them is limited artificial fertilization. Mr. Rabbit would like to grow his own vegetables, also, if possible, with a minimum of artificial fertilization. The best is to have land with soil containing many soil organisms. Mr.

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