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  • A mosquito, a bottle of hyroxychloroquine tablets and social distancing advice
    Podcast

    Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine

    2020-03-27T16:30:00Z

    The Covid-19 pandemic – and some very high profile backing – has led to malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine hitting the headlines worldwide.

  • Woman taking a pain killer tablet
    Podcast

    Ibuprofen

    2020-03-20T15:15:00Z

    Brian Clegg on the popular over-the-counter painkiller, developed by a high-street pharmacy chain

  • A man checking his hair line
    Podcast

    Minoxidil and Finasteride

    2020-03-13T13:30:00Z

    Catherine Hodges explores the chemical solutions to thinning hair and patchy beards, examining the popularity of minoxidil and the cautionary tale of finasteride

  • An open bee hive
    Podcast

    Fipronil

    2020-03-06T09:46:00Z

    The pesticide that keeps pets free of pests, but may have also been responsible for the devastating collapse of bee colonies

  • An image showing the book cover of Say why to drugs
    Podcast

    Book Club – Say Why to Drugs by Suzi Gage

    2020-03-02T09:30:00Z

    We discuss Suzi Gage’s comprehensive look at the science behind recreational drugs – from caffeine to ketamine

  • An Ob mouse sat beside a normal weight mouse
    Podcast

    Leptin

    2020-02-28T11:10:00Z

    Rotund rodents revolutionised our understanding of the biological role of fat. Now, as Katrina Krämer discovers, the hormones created by fats could redefine obesity

  • An assortment of foods rich in vitamin K
    Podcast

    Vitamin K

    2020-02-21T12:00:00Z

    Ben Valsler on vitamin K – the blood clotting factor that is likely to be the first supplement you ever receive

  • Barley crop
    Podcast

    Amylase

    2020-02-14T09:14:00Z

    Brian Clegg on the enzymes make life a little sweeter by breaking down starch into sugars, helping to make bread and beer

  • A yawning beaver
    Podcast

    Hydroquinone

    2020-02-07T14:10:00Z

    Georgia Mills on a compound that explodes from a beetle’s bum, and has a controversial role in skin depigmentation

  • Fisherman holds up a fish poisoned by cyanide on the Tisza river
    Podcast

    Sodium cyanide

    2020-01-31T10:00:00Z

    This week marks the 20th anniversary of the Baia Mare disaster, when toxic sodium cyanide spilled from a gold processing plant led to ecological damage on a huge scale.

  • An image showing the book cover of You Look Like a Thing and I Love You
    Podcast

    Book Club – You Look Like a Thing and I Love You by Janelle Shane

    2020-01-29T09:30:00Z

    We talk about Janelle Shane’s dive into the depths of AI weirdness

  • Turpentine bottle
    Podcast

    Terephthalic acid

    2020-01-24T15:30:00Z

    Once thought of as an interesting – but useless – turpentine derivative, this oddly-named acid became the precursor to one of the world’s most widely used plastics

  • An assortment of cobalt blue glass bottles
    Podcast

    Cobalt oxide

    2020-01-17T11:42:00Z

    From ancient Egyptian pottery to distinctive blue bottles, cobalt oxide has been providing ‘chemically and artistically perfect’ pigments for centuries

  • Viva la vegan sign outside a restaurant in London
    Podcast

    Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin

    2020-01-10T15:33:00Z

    If you’re trying out a vegan diet, you’re likely to be told to make sure you get enough vitamin B12. But what is B12, where do we get it from, and how can we be sure we’re getting enough?

  • An image showing the book cover of Antimony, Gold and Jupiter's Wolf
    Podcast

    Book Club – Antimony, Gold, and Jupiter’s Wolf by Peter Wothers

    2020-01-08T09:30:00Z

    We talk about chemist Peter Wothers’ first popular science book that uncovers the surprising origins of the elements’ names

  • A composite image of Tom Lehrer, Helen Arney and the Waterbeach Brass band
    Podcast

    The Elements Song

    2019-12-20T09:30:00Z

    To see out the International Year of the Periodic Table in style, we’ve brought Tom Lehrer’s classic periodic table patter up to date

  • An image showing the book cover of Transcendence
    Podcast

    Book Club – Transcendence by Gaia Vince

    2019-12-16T09:30:00Z

    We discuss prize-winning author Gaia Vince’s new book Transcendence, and discover how collaboration made humans Earth’s most successful species

  • An angry black labrador
    Podcast

    Iminosugars

    2019-12-13T15:00:00Z

    After some promising results treating ill pets, some researchers think iminosugars could become treatments for infection and even cancer. Mike Freemantle explores the buzz around iminohoney

  • Oxycodone pill bottles
    Podcast

    Oxycodone and hydrocodone

    2019-12-06T11:45:00Z

    Frances Addison examines how our quest to control and manage pain has led to a modern medical crisis, as opioids oxycodone and hydrocodone are among the most abused prescription medications in the US

  • Thanksgiving dinner spread with a roast turkey
    Podcast

    Tryptophan

    2019-11-29T09:13:00Z

    Ben Valsler tackles ‘zombie facts’ and the tenuous connection between tryptophan in turkey and your post-Thanksgiving dinner doze