If you took high school chemistry, you probably did a simple experiment in which you dipped pH test paper into beakers bearing various liquids and watched the strip change colors. If it was acidic, the paper turned toward the red end of the color spectrum; if it was basic, it darkened toward the violet end.
If you took more advanced chemistry, you might have learned that bases are substances that can donate electron pairs, and that acids are substances that can accept them. The point is that the two types of chemicals are polar opposites. Until now, according to researchers at the University of California-Riverside, who have successfully made acidic compounds act like bases.