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  • An image showing the book covers of the books discussed in the podcast
    Podcast

    Book club – Three books on pandemics

    2020-07-08T08:30:00Z

    We’re tackling the coronavirus information overload by discussing and comparing three books that offer different views on pandemics past and present

  • A binturong looking at the camera
    Podcast

    2AP (2-acetyl-1-pyrroline)

    2020-07-03T08:30:00Z

    Frances Addison on the aromatic compound found in both buttered popcorn and the bearcat’s scent glands, and responsible for the distinctive smell of both

  • Dexamethasone tablets
    Podcast

    Dexamethasone

    2020-06-26T19:02:00Z

    News that this cheap, ubiquitous steroid drug may reduce deaths in Covid-19 cases has been greeted with cautious optimism

  • A bone china tea set painted with blue flowers
    Podcast

    Porcelain

    2020-06-19T14:00:00Z

    Mike Freemantle on the art, history and science of this delicate, translucent ceramic material

  • Labradorite, a type of feldspar
    Podcast

    Feldspar

    2020-06-12T13:45:00Z

    Brian Clegg introduces the humble mineral that delights both astronomers and archaeologists

  • An artistic representation of a stomach ulcer
    Podcast

    Cimetidine

    2020-06-05T13:00:00Z

    Mike Freemantle introduces the peptic ulcer treatment cimetidine, which – as Tagamet – became the first blockbuster drug

  • An image showing the book cover of The alchemy of us
    Podcast

    Book club – The Alchemy of Us by Ainissa Ramirez

    2020-06-04T08:30:00Z

    Materials scientist Ainissa Ramirez’s new book uncovers the human side of world-changing inventions

  • Tsetse fly
    Podcast

    Fexinidazole

    2020-05-29T15:22:00Z

     The World Health Organisation hope to eradicate sleeping sickness within our lifetimes. Jamie Durrani looks at a drug that may make it possible.

  • Brewing ayahuasca
    Podcast

    DMT – Dimethyltryptamine

    2020-05-22T08:30:00Z

    Georgia Mills investigates the psychoactive found in ayahuasca that may mirror near-death experiences

  • Pool cleaning equipment on the side of a pool
    Podcast

    Chlorine dioxide

    2020-05-15T17:00:00Z

    Katrina Krämer investigates how industrial-strength bleach became promoted as ‘miracle mineral supplement’ – a supposed ‘cure’ for autism, cancer and even Covid-19.

  • Olives and olive oil
    Podcast

    Oleic acid

    2020-05-08T08:35:00Z

    Brian Clegg discovers the link between olive oil, dandruff and stained glass windows.

  • An image showing the book cover of Smoke & Mirrors
    Podcast

    Book Club – Smoke & Mirrors by Gemma Milne

    2020-05-06T08:30:00Z

    Science journalist Gemma Milne’s first book promises to be a guide on how to recognise hype and how to cut through it

  • Doctors examining a CT scan
    Podcast

    Interferon beta

    2020-05-01T15:44:00Z

    An immune-modulating compound used to reduce the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and now showing potential against coronaviruses

  • Ritonavir tablet packaging
    Podcast

    Ritonavir

    2020-04-24T15:26:00Z

    The unexplained appearance and dramatic spread of a new form of HIV drug ritonavir hurt patients and cost its makers almost $250 million.

  • An image showing coronavirus particles
    Podcast

    Lopinavir

    2020-04-17T12:34:00Z

    How a drug that prevents HIV from donning its protective ‘coat’ now makes up one arm of the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 trial

  • Remdesivir
    Podcast

    Remdesivir

    2020-04-03T14:30:00Z

    Will new clinical trials for Covid-19 give remdesivir a second chance? Ben Valsler introduces the broad-spectrum antiviral that didn’t quite make it as the Ebola drug it was originally planned to be

  • An image showing the book cover of Ingredients
    Podcast

    Book Club – Ingredients by George Zaidan

    2020-04-01T09:30:00Z

    We discuss George Zaidan’s Ingredients, a book that promises to make chemistry more fun than Hogwarts

  • 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