Chemistry in its Element

  • Woman with acne
    Podcast

    Benzoyl peroxide

    16 November 2016

    The blondest blonde, the whitest smile, the clearest complexion – all from one essential compound

  • Chocolate drops
    Podcast

    Butyric acid

    9 November 2016

    The taste of American chocolate divides continents. Louise Crane reveals the ingredient that explains why

  • Single-strand damage in DNA
    Podcast

    PARP: Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase

    2 November 2016

    Kat Arney explains how a protein that repairs broken DNA holds the key to killing cancer cells – but only if you stop it from doing its job

  • A lab laser with warning label
    Podcast

    Neodymium chloride

    26 October 2016

    From medicine to the military, this compound makes lasers for a range of applications

  • White tablets
    Podcast

    Gabapentin

    19 October 2016

    Louise Crane documents the rise and fall of Gabapentin – from ‘wonder drug’ to illicit substance in just 50 years

  • Plastic bottles made from polyethylene terephthalate
    Podcast

    Polyethylene terephthalate

    12 October 2016

    The story of one of the most ubiquitous artificial compounds

  • BINAP
    Podcast

    BINAP

    6 October 2016

    The ligand that will give you just the hand you need

  • Chemotherapy session
    Podcast

    Fluorouracil

    28 September 2016

    A substitute for one of the bases in DNA that can cause the death of cancer cells

  • Laundry drying on a line, surrounded by bubbles
    Podcast

    Quaternary ammonium salts

    21 September 2016

    Brian Clegg introduces a family of molecules that first gave fluffy softness to freshly washed clothes

  • The mad hatter's tea party
    Podcast

    Ergotamine

    14 September 2016

    Ben Valsler finds out why writing Alice’s adventures in Wonderland was such a headache for Lewis Carroll