Chemistry in its Element

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

    Propranolol hydrochloride

    14 May 2017

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

  • Trees in autumn
    Podcast

    Anthocyanins

    7 May 2017

    The pigments responsible for the rich colours of autumn leaves

  • Example of MOF-5
    Podcast

    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
    Podcast

    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
    Podcast

    Phosphine

    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
    Podcast

    Urushiol

    5 April 2017

    The compounds that link poison ivy with beautiful lacquerwork

  • Packet of mercurous chloride tablets, Kassel, Germany, 1914-1917
    Podcast

    Mercuric chloride

    29 March 2017

    From an early ointment for spots to a medicine for syphilitic Victorians

  • A cat, playing on a purpose built cat tower
    Podcast

    Nepetalactone

    22 March 2017

    The catnip compound that felines go crazy for could have exciting uses for humans, too, as Kat Arney finds out

  • Illustration of human sperm
    Podcast

    Spermine and spermidine

    15 March 2017

    Kiki Sanford explores how polyamines found in semen could be related to a long and healthy life

  • Bandaged British World War 1 soldiers in a battlefield trench, 1915-1918.
    Podcast

    Mustine

    8 March 2017

    How chemical weapons inspired the birth of cancer chemotherapy