An image showing the concept of repurposing scientific theories

Borrowing scientific theories


Can re-purposed science help us understand more than the physical world? Rachel Brazil talks to the scientists trying to play swap

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Separating turmeric fact from fiction


Thousands of papers have been published on curcumin’s healing potential, but its usefulness is not yet proven, finds Andy Extance

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A battery technology worth its salt


With lithium-containing batteries facing constraints on many of the metals they contain, Nina Notman looks at whether its group 1 neighbour sodium can supply the answer

An illustration of the concept of single atom catalysis

Single-atom catalysis


Single atom and hierarchical nanopore catalysts are reducing the need for precious metals, and could clean up the energy and chemical industries, finds Andy Extance

The lithium pioneers


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

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  • A persistent perfluorinated problem

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

  • Primo Levi and the other periodic table

  • Victor Ninov and the element that never was

  • Accessible science education

  • Superhydrophobic materials from nature

An image showing plasterer laying concrete cement with trowel

Concrete’s carbon problem


The world’s most common building material has a huge carbon footprint. Angeli Mehta talks to the scientists trying to reduce it

An advert-style images showing an illustration of a dubious looking doctor next to the following text: Welcome to Dr Dubious's Stem Cell Clinic

Stem cell hype


Many clinics around the world offer unproven treatments, while genuine therapies are slowly making their way through trials. Anthony King reports