An image showing an array of syringes

Adjuvants: vaccines’ hidden helpers


Anthony King examines a crucial part of vaccines that can significantly boost their performance, but which often go unrecognised

An image showing he Elephants Foot of the Chernobyl disaster

Chernobyl’s intensely radioactive ‘elephant’s foot’ lava recreated in the lab


Mimic of the lava produced by a reactor meltdown is far safer to work with 

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Theodora Greene’s protecting groups


Katrina Krämer uncovers the woman behind the book on every organic chemist’s shelf

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Number of industrial chemicals being produced globally grossly underestimated


Analysis of national chemical inventories finds three times as many chemicals registered for production as previously thought

The White House, Washington DC

Trump proposes slashing basic and applied research by 9.1% in budget


White House requests big cuts to US science agencies but Congress is unlikely to back them

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Financial woes have India’s scientists worried despite budget funding pledges


Fears voiced that the promised investment in research will not materialise once more

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Old mattresses and a little chemistry help Syrian refugees grow food in the desert


University of Sheffield scientists provide the spark to get displaced victims of Syria’s civil war growing their own

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The race to fight coronavirus


While genome sequences enable testing and vaccine efforts, companies are donating existing antiviral drugs to explore repurposing

An image showing the crystallisation of sodium chloride

Really random numbers created from crystals


Robot that monitors crystallization could lead to new ways to study stochastic processes in chemistry

An image showing an isolated effluent taken from the Athabasca oil sands

Engineered yeast can remove heavy metals from wastewater


Easy storage and rapid growth could see yeast compete with bacterial and chemical remediation

An image showing the structure of Zn(NTf2)2

New class of recyclable permanently porous liquid doesn’t need a solvent


Coordination cages that are liquids at room temperature may find uses in catalysis, sensing or chemical separations

A TEM  image of fresh NiMoCat

Durable catalyst could enable large scale conversion of carbon dioxide to syngas


Nanocatalysts on crystalline supports show remarkable stability producing hydrogen and carbon monoxide

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Stretchy ionic polymers pave the way for ion-based tech


Elastomers deliver ionic analogues of diodes, transistors and transducers without using a liquid electrolyte

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Catching the polluters


Measurement techniques can pinpoint emitters like unroadworthy trucks and broken gas pipes, finds Andy Extance, but are not yet widespread

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The search for cancer vaccines


Claire Jarvis looks at ongoing work to prevent the disease – and convince a sceptical community of their seriousness

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Recycling clothing the chemical way


Nina Notman explores how chemistry is poised to close the loop in clothing recycling

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Polly Arnold’s diversity of interests


Kit Chapman asks the champion of actinide chemistry and diversity in science what comes next as she starts her new role at a US national lab

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  • DOZN 2.0 – a quantitative green chemistry evaluator

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  • Fundamentals and applications of photoredox catalysts in organic and macromolecular synthesis

  • Synthia: Retrosynthesis software for research chemists