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

  • An image showing the manipulation of enzymes

    Catalysts with a gentle touch


    Enzymes and metal–organic frameworks share some common features and are being investigated for industrial use. Clare Sansom reports

  • 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.

An image showing disposable bioreactors for perfusion processes

Throw-away culture

17 April 2019

Single-use bioreactors are transforming bio-manufacturing processes

A picture of the justice statue

Why jury verdicts get overruled in US industry cancer trials

11 April 2019

Judges often end up intervening post-trial in complex cases with conflicting scientific evidence

An image showing a chemical plant

Window of opportunity to deal with harmful chemicals closing, UN warns

2 April 2019

Innovative solutions needed as report acknowledges governments and businesses won’t hit 2020 targets

  • Superhydrophobic materials from nature

  • The art of the periodic table

  • Perovskites beyond solar cells

  • Can we live forever?

  • What is an element?

  • A taste of wine chemistry

A conceptual image of biodegradable plastic

Searching for biodegradable polymers

By Aisling Irwin

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

    By Tim Wogan

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