All Feature articles – Page 5

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  • An image showing the first step on the Moon

    What is the moon made of?


    Mike Sutton looks at what we’ve learned about the moon’s chemistry in the 50 years since Apollo 11

  • An illustrated portrait of June Sutor

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


    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


    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

  • An image showing a blue leaf

    Taking a leaf out of plants’ books


    Learning to mimic natural photosynthesis on an industrial scale might open the door to a fossil fuel-free future. Nina Notman investigates

  • An image showing a scrunched up piece of paper with the details of element 118 - Ninovium - Written down

    Victor Ninov and the element that never was


     20 years on, Kit Chapman investigates how a scientific scandal unfolded

  • A conceptual image showing the disability icon ascending on a slope formed by a graduation hat; the Braille alphabet and the alphabet in sign language can be seen on the background

    Accessible science education


    Nina Notman hears from some of the leading lights in the quest to make chemistry education accessible to all

  • An image showing scientists replacing locks on a membrane

    Changing the locks


    Designer receptors help understand cellular signals and could treat epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, but need new tools, finds Andy Extance

  • An image showing a children crossing sign

    The problem of particulate air pollution


    Small particles in the air can find their way into the brains of growing children, with seriously unpleasant consequences. Anthony King reports

  • An image showing a mosquito biting

    Malaria no more?


    Efforts to cure malaria have been going on for hundreds of years. Clare Sansom looks at some of the latest – and most innovative

  • An image showing droplets on a rose petal; the fine surface structure of one of the droplets can be seen

    Superhydrophobic materials from nature


    Chemists who want to make materials that repel water but do not contain fluorocarbons are taking their inspiration from nature, Rachel Brazil finds

  • An image showing boron and molecular orbital interactions

    There’s something about boron


    Boron’s chemistry is as much defined by what it isn’t – carbon, or a metal – as by what it is. Recent years have started to fix this misconception, as James Mitchell Crow reports

  • An artistic representation of the periodic table based on the shape of a shell

    The art of the periodic table


    The venerable chart of elements has inspired and entertained in its first 150 years. Hayley Bennett looks at some of its weird, wacky – and wise – incarnations

  • A picture of a shirt in a size too small

    The battle to lose weight


    Losing weight – and not putting it back on – is about much more than willpower. Nina Notman reports on the drugs trying to penetrate the complex metabolic web of hunger and satiety. 

  • A conceptual image of biodegradable plastic

    Searching for biodegradable polymers


    Plastics that break down in the environment could be the answer to our pollution worries, Aisling Irwin finds – but only if they are useful in the first place

  • An image showing perovskite crystal structures

    Perovskites beyond solar cells


    From solar cells and LEDs to catalysts and quantum computing, James Mitchell Crow asks if there is anything perovskites can’t do

  • A picture showing mass poisoning instances throughout history

    Pass the antidote


    From paracetamol to pesticides – not to mention nerve agents – there are many toxic compounds that doctors need to be able to counteract. Nina Notman investigates 

  • A picture showing factors that might make a person look younger or older

    Can we live forever?


    We are now living longer than ever before, but not always in perfect health. Anthony King talks to the researchers working to extend our healthspan

  • Plasmonics - Conceptual artwork

    Forcing reactions with plasmons


    Traditional catalysts can lack both efficiency and selectivity. Tim Wogan explains how plasmons offer the potential to do chemistry with a lighter touch

  • A picture of the Renishaw Biological Analyser

    Ready for a Raman shift


    Raman spectroscopy has been seen as a tool for physicists and chemists but Hayley Bennett finds it has the potential to cause a major shift in the way we do medicine

  • Hero illustration showing question marks with different forms of chemical elements as dots

    What is an element?


    Our understanding of what an element is has evolved over the years, but it’s still a tricky concept to nail down. Philip Ball investigates