Getting to the root of soil nitrogen

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The farming industry’s reliance on nitrogen compounds is altering the environment, but Ian Le Guillou finds a better understanding of the interplay between plants and microbes could help to reduce the impact

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Sustainable solar power

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Getting energy from the sun isn’t renewable until the panels are recyclable. James Mitchell Crow talks to the scientists making it happen

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Marking the Anthropocene

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The idea that we’re in a human-influenced geological epoch is gaining traction, but how will future geologists measure it? Rachel Brazil finds out

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2020: the year the world changed

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Andy Extance discovers how scientists around the world have responded to the pandemic, working on solutions from drugs and vaccines to hand sanitiser and PPE

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The science of the perfect cake

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Nina Notman opens her lab notebook to find a recipe fit for a queen

Emmanuella Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna

How Crispr went from niche to Nobel

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Katrina Kramer tells the story of how Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna developed the gene editing tool that won them the 2020 Nobel prize in chemistry

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Using ions to connect life to machines

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Ionotronic materials are beginning to show how life’s signals can be aligned with electronics. James Urquhart speaks to the scientists who are exploring the emerging frontier

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Ammonia synthesis goes electric

2020-08-17T09:23:00+01:00By

James Mitchell Crow finds that the outlook for renewables-powered electrochemical ammonia production is beginning to brighten

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The complex chemistry of fire

2020-07-20T08:02:00+01:00By

Despite its ubiquity in human life, chemists have still barely unlocked what’s happening amid the flames. Kit Chapman reports

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Supporting the chemistry community

2020-06-01T07:07:00+01:00By

The Chemists’ Community Fund – formerly the Benevolent Fund – has been helping people for 100 years. Rachel Brazil looks at how it works, now it may be more needed than ever before

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Plastic recycling heading for the mainstream

2020-04-27T07:18:00+01:00By

Nina Notman talks to some of the companies launching chemical recycling technologies for single-use plastics

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The weirdness of water

2020-04-06T08:42:00+01:00By

Can we explain the strange properties of water by thinking of it as two different liquids? Rachel Brazil dives into the ongoing debate

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Sustainable lab buildings

2020-03-09T09:57:00+00:00By

After a decade of grassroots growth, the laboratory sustainability movement is bursting into the mainstream finds James Mitchell Crow

Recycling clothing the chemical way

2020-01-27T09:46:00+00:00By

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

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Polly Arnold’s diversity of interests

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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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The chemistry of a curry

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Can chemistry help Nina Notman make a better curry?

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The lithium pioneers

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Katrina Krämer traces the full story of how lithium-ion batteries won the 2019 Nobel prize

An image showing the letters P, F, A and S, which stand for perfluorinated alkyl substances, sinking into water; a small fish can also be seen

A persistent perfluorinated problem

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PFASs were used in household and industrial products for decades before their harmful health effects and biopersistence came to light. Rebecca Trager investigates a messy situation

An illustrated portrait of June Sutor

The forgotten female crystallographer who discovered C–H⋯O bonds

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Andy Extance tells the overlooked story of crystallographer June Sutor, whose C–H⋯O bonding hypothesis was unjustly suppressed

A photograph of Primo Levi; the tile of the chapters in his book, The Periodic Table, are written around him

Primo Levi and the other periodic table

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Author and chemist Primo Levi was born 100 years ago this July. Philip Ball looks at his chemical and literary legacy – including his books The Periodic Table and If This Is a Man