The labs pointing to a greener future for Africa

By Munyaradzi Makoni

Tackling climate is not just a job for scientists in more developed countries. Munyaradzi Makoni talks to researchers in Kenya and South Africa to find out more

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How organocatalysis won the Nobel prize

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Jamie Durrani tells the story of how two young upstarts, Ben List and David MacMillan, created a whole new field of catalysis

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What’s wrong with research culture?

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A knotty mess of problems affects people doing academic research in the UK. Rachel Brazil tries to untie the tangle

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Experimenting in a pandemic

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Chemistry teachers have faced extraordinary challenges in preparing and running practicals in the past 18 months. Clare Sansom investigates how they have fared

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The search for the grand unification of aromaticity

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Researchers have been trying to find a full definition of aromaticity for almost two centuries, and yet keep discovering new types

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The rise of ferrofluids

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Magnetic liquids are taking off, Hayley Bennett reports, but not as their inventor once imagined

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Computer-guided retrosynthesis

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Machine learning-based systems hope to outperform expert-guided reaction planning technology, finds Andy Extance

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Why do people believe conspiracy theories?

2021-04-26T09:25:00+01:00By

Rachel Brazil looks into the dangerous world of chemical conspiracy theories and asks the experts what we can do about it

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Getting to the root of soil nitrogen

2021-03-22T10:08:00+00:00By

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

2021-03-01T10:11:00+00:00By

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

2021-01-29T11:10:00+00:00By

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

2020-12-17T09:05:00+00:00By

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

2020-11-23T10:28:00+00:00By

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

How Crispr went from niche to Nobel

2020-10-15T10:23:00+01:00By

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

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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

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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

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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

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

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The weirdness of water

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