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  • An image showing the book cover of United we are unstoppable
    Podcast

    Book club – United We Are Unstoppable

    2020-09-08T13:30:00Z

    60 young climate activitsts from 41 countries tell their stories of fighting for a sustainable future

  • An image showing the book cover of half lives
    Podcast

    Book club – Half Lives by Lucy Jane Santos

    2020-08-11T07:30:00Z

    From radioactive spa treatments to liquid sunshine, this book traces a forgotten part of chemistry history

  • Gypsum crystals of the Naica cave
    Podcast

    Gypsum

    2020-08-07T14:33:00Z

    From Lavoisier’s experiments with plaster of paris to the the ‘Sistine Chapel of crystals’ in Mexico, Mike Freemantle explores the history of gypsum 

  • A crowd of people walking in night shopping street at Dotonbori, Osaka, Japan
    Podcast

    Favipiravir

    2020-07-31T22:10:00Z

    Originally developed to treat flu and marketed in Japan as Avigan, promising Covid-19 trial results have seen countries stockpiling this medication by the millions

  • Pannage pigs in the New Forest
    Podcast

    Tannic acid

    2020-07-24T19:55:00Z

    Tannic acid in green acorns can kill wild animals and livestock, but you can prevent poisoning with pannage pigs

  • A piglet beside a feeding trough
    Podcast

    Ractopamine

    2020-07-17T19:26:00Z

    Common in the US but banned in the EU, this animal feed additive makes for muscular pigs and beefy international trade disputes.  

  • Hexasilabenzene chemical structure over an alien landscape
    Podcast

    Hexasilabenzene

    2020-07-10T17:10:00Z

    Brian Clegg discovers what a six-membered silicon ring can tell us about alien life

  • An image showing the book covers of the books discussed in the podcast
    Podcast

    Book club – Three books on pandemics

    2020-07-08T08:30:00Z

    We’re tackling the coronavirus information overload by discussing and comparing three books that offer different views on pandemics past and present

  • A binturong looking at the camera
    Podcast

    2AP (2-acetyl-1-pyrroline)

    2020-07-03T08:30:00Z

    Frances Addison on the aromatic compound found in both buttered popcorn and the bearcat’s scent glands, and responsible for the distinctive smell of both

  • Dexamethasone tablets
    Podcast

    Dexamethasone

    2020-06-26T19:02:00Z

    News that this cheap, ubiquitous steroid drug may reduce deaths in Covid-19 cases has been greeted with cautious optimism

  • A bone china tea set painted with blue flowers
    Podcast

    Porcelain

    2020-06-19T14:00:00Z

    Mike Freemantle on the art, history and science of this delicate, translucent ceramic material

  • Labradorite, a type of feldspar
    Podcast

    Feldspar

    2020-06-12T13:45:00Z

    Brian Clegg introduces the humble mineral that delights both astronomers and archaeologists

  • An artistic representation of a stomach ulcer
    Podcast

    Cimetidine

    2020-06-05T13:00:00Z

    Mike Freemantle introduces the peptic ulcer treatment cimetidine, which – as Tagamet – became the first blockbuster drug

  • An image showing the book cover of The alchemy of us
    Podcast

    Book club – The Alchemy of Us by Ainissa Ramirez

    2020-06-04T08:30:00Z

    Materials scientist Ainissa Ramirez’s new book uncovers the human side of world-changing inventions

  • Tsetse fly
    Podcast

    Fexinidazole

    2020-05-29T15:22:00Z

     The World Health Organisation hope to eradicate sleeping sickness within our lifetimes. Jamie Durrani looks at a drug that may make it possible.

  • Brewing ayahuasca
    Podcast

    DMT – Dimethyltryptamine

    2020-05-22T08:30:00Z

    Georgia Mills investigates the psychoactive found in ayahuasca that may mirror near-death experiences

  • Pool cleaning equipment on the side of a pool
    Podcast

    Chlorine dioxide

    2020-05-15T17:00:00Z

    Katrina Krämer investigates how industrial-strength bleach became promoted as ‘miracle mineral supplement’ – a supposed ‘cure’ for autism, cancer and even Covid-19.

  • Olives and olive oil
    Podcast

    Oleic acid

    2020-05-08T08:35:00Z

    Brian Clegg discovers the link between olive oil, dandruff and stained glass windows.

  • An image showing the book cover of Smoke & Mirrors
    Podcast

    Book Club – Smoke & Mirrors by Gemma Milne

    2020-05-06T08:30:00Z

    Science journalist Gemma Milne’s first book promises to be a guide on how to recognise hype and how to cut through it

  • Doctors examining a CT scan
    Podcast

    Interferon beta

    2020-05-01T15:44:00Z

    An immune-modulating compound used to reduce the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and now showing potential against coronaviruses