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Will new clinical trials for Covid-19 give remdesivir a second chance? Ben Valsler introduces the broad-spectrum antiviral that didn’t quite make it as the Ebola drug it was originally planned to be
The Covid-19 pandemic – and some very high profile backing – has led to malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine hitting the headlines worldwide.
Brian Clegg on the popular over-the-counter painkiller, developed by a high-street pharmacy chain
Catherine Hodges explores the chemical solutions to thinning hair and patchy beards, examining the popularity of minoxidil and the cautionary tale of finasteride
The pesticide that keeps pets free of pests, but may have also been responsible for the devastating collapse of bee colonies
Rotund rodents revolutionised our understanding of the biological role of fat. Now, as Katrina Krämer discovers, the hormones created by fats could redefine obesity
Ben Valsler on vitamin K – the blood clotting factor that is likely to be the first supplement you ever receive
Brian Clegg on the enzymes make life a little sweeter by breaking down starch into sugars, helping to make bread and beer
Georgia Mills on a compound that explodes from a beetle’s bum, and has a controversial role in skin depigmentation
This week marks the 20th anniversary of the Baia Mare disaster, when toxic sodium cyanide spilled from a gold processing plant led to ecological damage on a huge scale.
Once thought of as an interesting – but useless – turpentine derivative, this oddly-named acid became the precursor to one of the world’s most widely used plastics
From ancient Egyptian pottery to distinctive blue bottles, cobalt oxide has been providing ‘chemically and artistically perfect’ pigments for centuries
If you’re trying out a vegan diet, you’re likely to be told to make sure you get enough vitamin B12. But what is B12, where do we get it from, and how can we be sure we’re getting enough?
To see out the International Year of the Periodic Table in style, we’ve brought Tom Lehrer’s classic periodic table patter up to date
After some promising results treating ill pets, some researchers think iminosugars could become treatments for infection and even cancer. Mike Freemantle explores the buzz around iminohoney
Frances Addison examines how our quest to control and manage pain has led to a modern medical crisis, as opioids oxycodone and hydrocodone are among the most abused prescription medications in the US
Ben Valsler tackles ‘zombie facts’ and the tenuous connection between tryptophan in turkey and your post-Thanksgiving dinner doze
Brian Clegg introduces the class of materials where the holes are more important than the whole – the super-porous zeolites
It helps prevent garlic plants from marauding insects and should have prevented the Hindenburg disaster – Mike Freemantle on allicin and the smell of freshly crushed garlic
Louise Crane explains how a series of happy accidents led to the discovery of this rose-scented compound, found in rose oil, beer, apple pie and Kentucky bourbon.
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