Episode 151: Tears

Dry your eyes: Distillations has returned with the final episode of the three-part series Blood, Sweat, and Tears. These vital fluids are more than just bodily emissions—they can also be considered the purest expressions of our humanity, at least metaphorically speaking. But of course, our focus is science, so for our third installment we parse the chemistry of tears. First reporter Douglas Smith talks to a friend who lost the ability to make tears. She can't cry even when her body clearly desires that catharsis. Then executive producer Jennifer Dionisio gets to the bottom of those pesky onion tears—including how one scientist is trying to bioengineer a no-cry version. Finally, check out the newest episode of "A Distillations Explainer," where producer Josh Kurz (via Elizabeth Bennet) demonstrates the three types of human tears.

Show Clock

00:00 Opening Credits
00:42 Introduction
01:33 Emotional Tears
09:35 Onion Tears
13:24 Closing Credits


Special thanks to Jennifer Dionisio for researching this show.

Music from the Free Music Archive includes "Le Songe d'Hacolhii," by Sunhiilow, "The Soul Leaves The Body In Eternal Glory," by Jozef van Wissem, "Woody Allen," by Evgeny Grinko, and "Bridging and Mending," by Jared C. Balogh. This episode also features "First Appearance By Angel," from the production of Misterman, "This Is Our Science," by Astronautalis, "More And More," by Blood, Sweat & Tears, and "Tears on My Pillow," by Little Anthony.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Arturo J. Paniagua.

Posted In: History | Medicine | Society | Technology

comments powered by Disqus

By posting your comment, you agree to abide by CHF’s Comment Policies.

The Museum at CHF

The Museum at CHF

Explore the fascinating history of chemistry and the role science plays in the modern world at our museum in Philadelphia.


Distillations Magazine
Support CHF and receive our award-winning quarterly magazine.

Join the Conversation

Distillations Blog logo
Our blog brings the stories of science and culture directly to you.