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  • An image of two men clinking whiskey glasses

    Propylene glycol

    24 May 2017

    When a batch of cinnamon whiskey meant for the American market made its way to Europe, it highlighted starkly different regulations controlling how much propylene glycol is allowed in food and drink

  • View from the top of paint, tools and plastic scale model


    17 May 2017

    Butanone or methyl ethyl ketone is better known to many as the polystyrene cement that keeps scale models secure

  • A hand pulls back the curtain to reveal the bright lights of an empty stage

    Propranolol hydrochloride

    14 May 2017

    Stave off stage fright with a simple compound that revolutionised drug development

  • Trees in autumn


    7 May 2017

    The pigments responsible for the rich colours of autumn leaves

  • Example of MOF-5

    MOFs: Metal–organic frameworks

    27 April 2017

    Katrina Krämer examines these extremely versatile materials and speaks to MOF pioneer Omar Yaghi

  • Orange and black striped caterpillars of the Cinnabar Moth, on wild yellow ragwort flowers

    Ragwort alkaloids

    19 April 2017

    Pyrrolizidine alkaloids from Ragworts and other plants are popular with pollinators but a potent poison to livestock, as Mike Freemantle discovers

  • Will o' the wisp over the fens


    12 April 2017

    Will o’ the wisp, ignis fatuus, hitodama or the min-min light, ghostly balls of fire are common in folklore around the world. Kit Chapman explores the compound that may be the chemical cause of these mysterious lights

  • Vintage Japanese black lacquer tea caddy with auspicious gold makie bamboo forest design, used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony


    5 April 2017

    The compounds that link poison ivy with beautiful lacquerwork

  • Surgery

    Pancuronium bromide

    19 January 2017

    Katrina Krämer explores one of the key muscle relaxants used in surgery

  • A cattle skull on bare ground

    TCDD or dioxin

    11 January 2017

    Matt Gunther looks into TCDD, or dioxin, and the tragic Seveso accident