Life features

  • Wine sample preparation for testing

    A taste of wine chemistry

    27 November 2018

    Nina Notman talks to the wine detectives uncovering the flavour molecules in our favourite tipples

  • Half-cooked turkey

    The marvellous Maillard reaction

    19 November 2018

    Andy Extance looks at the culinary reaction cascade that goes beyond Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner and has worrying links to health

  • An illustration depicting evolution in the laboratory

    How chemical evolution took the 2018 chemistry Nobel prize

    12 October 2018

    Emma Stoye has the full story of how Frances Arnold, George Smith and Greg Winter put evolution to work in the lab

  • Nuclear medicine hero

    The nuclear option

    24 September 2018

    Using radioisotopes to image inside patients’ bodies – nuclear medicine – is under threat from ageing reactors. James Mitchell Crow discovers the new science trying to fix the problem

  • amino acids soup

    Why are there 20 amino acids?

    17 September 2018

    Rachel Brazil tries to untangle the alphabet soup of life

  • Close-up of the nanospray apparatus used in electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (ESI-MS)

    Medical mass spec

    10 September 2018

    Mass spectrometry can be used for more than just small molecules, meaning it is a vital tool in drug discovery and hospitals, as Clare Sansom discovers

  • Illustration depicting the quest to cure HIV

    The quest to cure HIV

    21 August 2018

    Although HIV–Aids can now be managed quite well with antiretroviral drugs, there is still no cure. Anthony King talks to the scientists trying to find one

  • Illustration of plants bearing tablets and drug capsules as flowers

    From folklore to pharmacy

    13 August 2018

    Although many drugs have in the past come from plants, Hayley Bennett discovers that it’s hard work getting them approved today

  • Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC - close-up of 'Equal justice under law'

    Forensics in crisis

    15 June 2018

    High-profile cases of scientific misconduct at forensics labs are upending the legal system and casting doubt on the wider field, Rebecca Trager finds

  • Synapse Chemistry - Synapse illustration

    The chemistry of synapses

    8 June 2018

    Scientists are decoding the brain’s exquisite molecular machinery – but there is still a long way to go, finds Andy Extance