Using genetics to personalise prescriptions

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We’ve known for a long time that different people respond to certain drugs to very different extents, but now cheap DNA testing could make these disparities a thing of the past, as Ian Le Guillou reports

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The bioorthogonal revolution

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A set of reactions operating silently inside live cells or whole animals are lighting up chemical biology and inspiring new medicines, James Mitchell Crow finds

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The human health observatory in our sewers

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From tracking disease outbreaks to monitoring drug use, there’s a lot to be learned from the things we flush down the toilet, Katrina Krämer finds

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Methane – the other greenhouse gas

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Bárbara Pinho looks at the problem of methane emissions and how scientists are trying to prevent them

Ship breakers

The toxic tide of ship breaking

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Kit Chapman explores the chemical cost of the most dangerous industry in the world

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Better skiing through chemistry

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While elite sports have been improved by materials science, for disabled athletes the developments can be life-changing. Aisha Al-Janabi reports

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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

2021-10-15T09:29:00+01:00By

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?

2021-09-28T08:30:00+01:00By

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

2021-08-31T09:25:00+01:00By

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

An illustration showing a blackboard with aromatic compounds written on it

The search for the grand unification of aromaticity

2021-07-26T08:50:00+01:00By

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

2021-06-14T10:19:00+01:00By

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

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Computer-guided retrosynthesis

2021-05-24T10:08:00+01:00By

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

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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An image showing botanical illustrations of wheat, pea, clover and leek

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

An illustration showing a sundial with the gnomon pointing at a recycling symbol

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