How click conquered chemistry

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Katrina Krämer tells the story of how click and bioorthogonal chemistry came to win the 2022 Nobel prize

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Can we clean Covid from the air around us?

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Nina Notman talks to the experts about what is needed to remove pollutants and even infectious diseases from the air inside our homes, schools and offices

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The plant trade’s scientific secrets

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Growers are using advanced techniques to mass-produce the next trendy houseplant. But Katrina Krämer finds that collectors’ demand for new varieties has also opened the door to deception and fraud

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Thunderstorm

A lightning burst of chemistry

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Trying to understand the chemistry that occurs around immensely powerful but short-lived lightning bolts is a feat in itself. James Mitchell Crow looks for a flash of inspiration

A seamstress fitting a pill-printed dress onto a woman using a DNA tape

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

Bioorthogonal chemistry

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

Testing wastewater

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

2022-03-21T09:54:00+00:00By

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

2022-02-21T10:16:00+00:00By

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

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Better skiing through chemistry

2022-01-31T09:47:00+00:00By

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

An illustrations showing a boat harvesting weeds

The labs pointing to a greener future for Africa

2021-12-06T10:45:00+00:00By 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

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

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An illustration showing a blackboard with aromatic compounds written on it

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

An image showing a ferrofluid

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?

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

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