Podcasts

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  • Cub scout surrounded by flowers
    Podcast

    Vinblastine and vincristine: Vinca alkaloids

    15 March 2019

    Kat Arney unearths a story of an overlooked female researcher in the search for the origins of cancer drugs found in plants

  • The Vasa, restored and on display at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm
    Podcast

    Polyethylene glycol or PEG

    8 March 2019

    The simple polymer that preserves and protects ancient artifacts, and saved a historical Swedish shipwreck from complete collapse

  • Humble Pi cover wide
    Podcast

    Book Club – Humble Pi: A Comedy of Maths Errors

    4 March 2019

    Matt Parker uses comedy to explore the unique relationship between humans and maths and how numbers are behind errors large and small

  • Feather pen, inkwell and letter
    Podcast

    Ferrous sulfate

    1 March 2019

    The iron compound that has been turning oak gall extract into indelible ink for centuries, but is now eating though our ancient manuscripts and musical scores

  • Development of soybean root
    Podcast

    Nitrogenase

    22 February 2019

    The mysterious enzyme that can beat the world’s biggest chemical process when it comes to breaking the dinitrogen triple bond

  • Funeral mask of the Pharoah Tutankhamun
    Podcast

    Lazurite

    15 February 2019

    A brilliant rich blue rock, prized in antiquity as a gemstone and a prominent pigment, lazurite is the basis of lapis lazuli, the original ultramarine paint and – as Brian Clegg finds – it even adorns Tutankhamun's death mask

  • Tsetse Fly
    Podcast

    Melarsoprol

    7 February 2019

    Cases of sleeping sickness – human African trypanosomiasis – are in decline, dropping 86% in Africa between 2000 and 2014. Gege Li explores the role that this toxic, arsenic-based medication has to play.

  • A picture of the book cover of Inventing Ourselves
    Podcast

    Book Club – Inventing Ourselves

    7 February 2019

    Cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore explores the unique period of brain development that occurs during adolescence

  • Pile of capsules Omega 3 on white background
    Podcast

    Omega-3 fatty acids

    1 February 2019

    Many consume cod liver oil due to 'a vague sense we should be taking them for something' – but what to the omega-3 fatty acids actually do?

  • A UH- 1D helicopter from the 336th Aviation Company sprays a agent orange on a dense jungle area in the Mekong delta - Illustration
    Podcast

    Cacodyl

    25 January 2019

    It made Robert Bunsen seriously ill, Michael Faraday thought it 'barbaric' to use in battle and even Fritz Haber – the 'father of chemical warfare' – abandoned it after a fatal accident in his lab. This week, Mike Freemantle tells the story of tetramethyldiarsine, otherwise known as cacodyl.