Chemistry in its Element: Compounds

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  • Funeral mask of the Pharoah Tutankhamun
    Podcast

    Lazurite

    15 February 2019

    A brilliant rich blue rock, prized in antiquity as a gemstone and a prominent pigment, lazurite is the basis of lapis lazuli, the original ultramarine paint and – as Brian Clegg finds – it even adorns Tutankhamun's death mask

  • Tsetse Fly
    Podcast

    Melarsoprol

    7 February 2019

    Cases of sleeping sickness – human African trypanosomiasis – are in decline, dropping 86% in Africa between 2000 and 2014. Gege Li explores the role that this toxic, arsenic-based medication has to play.

  • Pile of capsules Omega 3 on white background
    Podcast

    Omega-3 fatty acids

    1 February 2019

    Many consume cod liver oil due to 'a vague sense we should be taking them for something' – but what to the omega-3 fatty acids actually do?

  • A UH- 1D helicopter from the 336th Aviation Company sprays a agent orange on a dense jungle area in the Mekong delta - Illustration
    Podcast

    Cacodyl

    25 January 2019

    It made Robert Bunsen seriously ill, Michael Faraday thought it 'barbaric' to use in battle and even Fritz Haber – the 'father of chemical warfare' – abandoned it after a fatal accident in his lab. This week, Mike Freemantle tells the story of tetramethyldiarsine, otherwise known as cacodyl.

  • Russian gymnast David Delyavskiy's bronze medal from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Podcast

    Bronze

    18 January 2019

    Kit Chapman takes us back to the 1904 Olympics in St Louis, via the bronze age and ancient Greece

  • Whisky tasting glasses
    Podcast

    Ellagic acid

    11 January 2019

    Louise Crane introduces the antioxidant that led to exaggerated claims that 'whisky helps fight cancer'

  • Nutmeg fruit and seeds
    Podcast

    Myristicin

    17 December 2018

    The spice that gives your Christmas eggnog its distinctive taste and aroma is also a toxic narcotic that played an important role in international history

  • Hot molten steel in a foundry
    Podcast

    Low-background steel

    7 December 2018

    Post-nuclear steel is a little bit radioactive, so for some specialist jobs we need to find a source of steel from before the bomb

  • Tin cans
    Podcast

    Tin chlorides

    29 November 2018

    The compounds that put the 'tin' in tin cans and help you to reflect on your appearance

  • Chopping onions on a wooden board with a ceramic knife
    Podcast

    Propanethial-S-oxide: how chopping onions makes you cry

    23 November 2018

    Kat Arney’s investigation of the pungent chemical in onions is enough to bring tears to your eyes