Onions Make Us Cry Nina and the Neurons


Onions Make Us Cry

Scientist Nina and her young experimenters discover how substances change and react. Nina looks at an onion under her microscope to find out why it makes her cry.


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# If you've got a question and you don't know where to go

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# Ask Nina for some help Cos she's got a science show

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# She makes sense of her senses While helping all her fans

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# By doing her experiments with potions and with bangs

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-# Touch your tongue

-Tongue!

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-# Fingers

-Fingers!

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-# Eyes.

-Eyes!

-Ears.

-Ears!

-Nose.

-Nose!

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# Nina and the Neurons find out what you need to know

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# Nina and the Neurons find out what you need to know

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# Luke, he helps us with our eyes and Felix with our touch

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# Ollie sniffs out smells And Belle, she hears so much

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# Bud is Ollie's brother He helps us with our taste

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# They're Nina's little Neurons And they're coming to your place!

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-# Touch your tongue

-Tongue!

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-# Fingers

-Fingers!

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-# Eyes.

-Eyes!

-Ears.

-Ears!

-Nose.

-Nose!

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# Nina and the Neurons find out what you need to know

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# Nina and the Neurons find out what you need to know

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# Oh yeah! #

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Ooh...

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Oh, hello!

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I'm seeing how big my eyes look through a magnifying glass.

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What do you think? Pretty EYE-mazing!

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Woooo...

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BLEEPING

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I hear a beep, I see a flash, I wonder what they're going to ask.

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BOTH: Hi, Nina!

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Hi, guys.

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We've got a question for you. Why do onions sometimes make us cry?

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That's a great question. Why do onions sometimes make us cry?

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So why don't you come down to the lab

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and we'll do some experiments to investigate?

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-See you soon, Nina. Bye!

-Bye!

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I'm going to need some help to answer this one

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and I know just who to ask.

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OK, Neurons. Time to get to work.

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-ALL:

-Neurons at the ready, Nina!

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OK, today's question is, "Why do onions sometimes make us cry?"

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Now, which neuron do you think would be most useful in helping us find the answer?

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-Me!

-Me!

-Me!

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Will it be fabulous Felix?

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I can help so very much, if you need the sense of touch.

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Will it be beautiful Belle?

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I send messages to brain from ear.

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If there's a sound, I'll help you hear.

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Will it be lovely Luke?

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For looking and seeing, day or night,

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I'll help you with your sense of sight.

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Will it be...awesome Ollie?

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If it's pongy or whiffy but you can't tell,

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my messages help your sense of smell.

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Or will it be baby Bud?

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Sour, salty, bitter or sweet,

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I'm your taste buddy whenever you eat.

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It's Luke!

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Go, Luke! Go, Luke! Go, Luke!

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Cool, Nina.

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I'll be looking out to help you.

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Today's question is, "Why do onions sometimes make us cry?"

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Because we cry with our eyes, Luke, our sight neuron, will help us.

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Right, I need to get the lab ready before the experimenters arrive.

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Matthew likes gardening. His friend, Tia, loves horses.

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But they both want to find out more about nippy onions.

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So today, for one day only, Matthew and Tia become...

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the experimenters!

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-Hi, guys.

-Hi, Nina.

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Welcome to my lab.

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Your question is, "Why do onions sometimes make us cry?"

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-Which is a really good question.

-SHE CRIES

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why do you want to know?

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Because sometimes, when my mum chops the onions, it makes me cry.

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Yes, sometimes when I'm chopping onions,

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it makes my eyes feel a bit nippy too.

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So I think we need to investigate to find out more.

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And for our first experiment, we're going to use our senses!

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Woo-woo! A senses experiment!

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We're ready, Nina.

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So here we have some onions.

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So let's have a feel of an onion and see if it makes us cry.

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OK, have a good feel.

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-Any tears yet?

-No.

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No. Maybe we should sniff the onion,

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because onions sometimes smell quite strong. OK? Here we go.

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That's strange. Onions are normally very whiffy,

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but I can't smell much at all.

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Can you smell anything?

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-No.

-No.

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And we're not crying, either.

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I think you need to chop them up, Nina.

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Oh, Matthew - I think you might be onto something there.

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OK, I'll try and chop this one up.

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Now, remember, you should never try this yourself at home.

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Knives can be very sharp.

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Oh, dear.

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I'm definitely starting to cry now.

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Yes, the tears are starting to flow. Ooh.

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Ooh. What about you guys? Do your eyes feel a bit nippy, a bit runny?

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A little bit.

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So, onions only make us cry when we chop them up.

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But you guys are quite far away.

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So how can they still make us cry when they're not even near our eyes?

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I think we need to have a really close look at some onions.

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This is a microscope. It makes small things look much bigger

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and helps us see them better.

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This is what a piece of onion looks like to us normally,

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and this is what it looks like underneath the microscope.

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An onion is made up of lots of tiny pockets of onion juice.

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These pockets are called cells.

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Can you see the cells under the microscope? What do they look like?

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-They look like some wonky sausages.

-Wonky sausages!

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You're right, actually.

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Well, who'd have thought it?

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There's so much more to an onion than meets the eye.

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Imagine this is the onion cell we've been looking at

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under the microscope.

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So let's see what happens if we cut into it.

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I'm going to be using a knife but remember,

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you should never touch sharp knives.

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Safety goggles on! Woo-hoo!

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OK, here we go.

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Three, two, one!

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NINA LAUGHS

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So, when we cut into an onion cell, it breaks open

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and the onion juice inside squirts up into the air.

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When you cut the real one, I didn't see any juice squirt in the air.

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Ooh, that's right, Tia. I wonder why not.

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Oh, I think we need to take a trip to somewhere really warm.

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Oh, goody! I love this bit. I wonder where Nina is taking us?

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Nina said we were going on a trip to somewhere warm.

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Maybe we're taking a little holiday.

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Have you guessed why we're here yet?

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That thing looks like a giant onion!

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It does, a bit, Tia, but it's actually a great big greenhouse

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called a biome, and it's where we're headed to now. Let's go.

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Whoo! I told you it'd be warm, didn't I?

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-Yeah, it's really warm in here.

-Yeah.

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They have to keep this place really warm,

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because all these plants only grow in warm countries.

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Let's explore!

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Wow, it's just like the jungle! Watch out for the lions, Nina!

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I don't think there are any lions in here, Bud.

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Oh, but I can hear something.

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Oh, there's a funny hissing noise.

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I told you! Maybe it's a jungle snake!

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-HISS

-Can you hear that hissing noise?

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-Yes.

-Yes. I think it is coming from that black thing over there.

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I think you're right.

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The hissing noise is coming from that black pole.

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That's called a mister,

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and it does a very important job for the plants all around it.

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As well as heat, these plants need water to live and grow.

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So the mister sprays out lots of tiny drops of water

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into the air around the plants.

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The droplets are so tiny that it's very hard to see them,

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and this is the same with the onion juice.

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It's being sprayed into the air when we chop the onion

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and travels up to our eyes,

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but the droplets of juice are so tiny that we can't even see them.

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But why does onion juice make us cry, Nina?

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Ooh. I think we need to get out of the jungle

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and go back to the lab. It's time for one final experiment. Let's go!

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So, your question was, "Why do onions sometimes make us cry?"

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So far we've found out that an onion is made up

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of lots of tiny pockets, or cells, full of onion juice,

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and when we cut into an onion, these cells break open

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and the onion juice squirts into the air, in very fine droplets

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that are really hard to see.

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But we still don't know why onions make us cry.

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So let's get experimenting!

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OK, guys, we've all got our safety goggles on,

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and this is because we're going to be using onion juice,

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and it's a bit stingy.

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So, in front of you on your clamp stands you have two test tubes.

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In one of the test tubes we have onion juice

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and in the other test tube is something else,

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which looks clear, and these beakers contain a special liquid.

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You need to put ten drops of this liquid into each test tube.

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Off you go.

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Lovely.

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Excellent, guys. Now, give them a good stir.

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The onion juice has turned pink!

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The onion juice has turned pink

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because it's what we scientists call an acid.

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Some acids are very strong and would be dangerous to eat

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but some acids are quite weak. Onion juice is a weak acid,

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and so is lemon juice, and vinegar.

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They're safe to eat but they'd be a bit stingy in your eyes.

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-What's happened to the clear liquid?

-It has gone gold.

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That's right - the clear liquids have turned a goldy yellow

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and that tells us that they're not acids.

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Matthew, can you pour your yellow liquid into the pink onion juice?

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You can use the funnel to help you.

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Very good.

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So what's happened?

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It's still pink.

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That right, and that's because you just had water

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and the water hasn't changed the onion juice at all.

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It's still stingy and pink. So it's still an acid.

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Tia, can you now pour your yellow liquid

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into the pink onion juice?

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It's turned yellow!

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It did turn yellow, Luke, and that's because

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the liquid that you added, Tia, had something special in it

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that changed the onion juice and stopped it from being a stingy acid.

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That's why it's not pink any more. This is what happens in our eyes.

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Our tears have something special in them too,

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which stops the onion juice from being stingy.

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Nina And The Neurons!

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Your question was, "Why do onions sometimes make us cry?"

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I think we've answered it.

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We saw that onions are made up of lots of tiny pockets, or cells,

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full of onion juice.

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And when we cut an onion, the cells break

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and the onion juice squirts into the air, even though we can't see it.

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The onion juice is a bit stingy but our clever eyes

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make tears, which stop it from being so stingy and wash the juice away.

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And that's why onions make us cry.

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Here are some tissues to take home with you

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for the next time someone's chopping onions.

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-Thanks, Nina. Bye!

-Bye!

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If you want to know more about the science that's all around us,

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go to the Nina section on the CBeebies website. Have fun!

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-Lab coat on, Nina?

-Lab coat on, Ollie.

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-Safety gloves on, Nina?

-Safety gloves on, Felix.

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-And don't forget your goggles, Nina.

-Goggles are on, Luke.

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I think we're ready!

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-# We do experiments in the lab

-In the lab

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# Shooby-dooby, in the lab

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-# Bubbling experiments in the lab

-In the lab!

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# Go, Nina, in the lab

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# Hissing and popping Steam and smoke

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# We need protection Don't we, folks?

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# We always put our safety first

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# Shooby-dooby-dooby-dooby

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-# We do experiments in the lab

-In the lab!

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# Go, Nina! #

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Ah, it's been such a great day, man.

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Looking at that onion under the microscope was amazing.

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It's been a marvellous day, feeling the onion juice spraying everywhere.

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Oh, I've had a brilliant day.

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Hearing the hiss of the misters, that was ace!

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I've had a fabby day!

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The tears stop the stingy onions!

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Our day has been bursting with sensational experiments.

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I hope you've enjoyed it. See you soon. Bye!

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ALL: Bye!

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Scientist Nina and her young experimenters discover the amazing ways that things can change and react in the everyday world.

Nina investigates why onions sometimes make us cry, with the help of Luke, her sight neuron. Experimenters Matthew and Tia visit Nina in her science lab and use their senses to work out that onions only make us cry when they are cut open. Under Nina's microscope, they see that an onion is made up of lots of tiny cells. Nina explains that these are full of onion juice. She cuts into a model of an onion cell making the juice spray up in the air.

Then they go to visit a tropical greenhouse and see tiny droplets of water being sprayed into the air. These droplets are really hard to see because they are so small and so are the droplets of onion juice that get into our eyes. Back in the lab, the Experimenters find out that onion juice stings our eyes because it is a weak acid. But our clever eyes make tears to stop the juice from being stingy and wash it away.


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