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  • An assortment of cobalt blue glass bottles
    Podcast

    Cobalt oxide

    2020-01-17T11:42:00Z

    From ancient Egyptian pottery to distinctive blue bottles, cobalt oxide has been providing ‘chemically and artistically perfect’ pigments for centuries

  • Viva la vegan sign outside a restaurant in London
    Podcast

    Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin

    2020-01-10T15:33:00Z

    If you’re trying out a vegan diet, you’re likely to be told to make sure you get enough vitamin B12. But what is B12, where do we get it from, and how can we be sure we’re getting enough?

  • An image showing the book cover of Antimony, Gold and Jupiter's Wolf
    Podcast

    Book Club – Antimony, Gold, and Jupiter’s Wolf by Peter Wothers

    2020-01-08T09:30:00Z

    We talk about chemist Peter Wothers’ first popular science book that uncovers the surprising origins of the elements’ names

  • A composite image of Tom Lehrer, Helen Arney and the Waterbeach Brass band
    Podcast

    The Elements Song

    2019-12-20T09:30:00Z

    To see out the International Year of the Periodic Table in style, we’ve brought Tom Lehrer’s classic periodic table patter up to date

  • An image showing the book cover of Transcendence
    Podcast

    Book Club – Transcendence by Gaia Vince

    2019-12-16T09:30:00Z

    We discuss prize-winning author Gaia Vince’s new book Transcendence, and discover how collaboration made humans Earth’s most successful species

  • An angry black labrador
    Podcast

    Iminosugars

    2019-12-13T15:00:00Z

    After some promising results treating ill pets, some researchers think iminosugars could become treatments for infection and even cancer. Mike Freemantle explores the buzz around iminohoney

  • Oxycodone pill bottles
    Podcast

    Oxycodone and hydrocodone

    2019-12-06T11:45:00Z

    Frances Addison examines how our quest to control and manage pain has led to a modern medical crisis, as opioids oxycodone and hydrocodone are among the most abused prescription medications in the US

  • Thanksgiving dinner spread with a roast turkey
    Podcast

    Tryptophan

    2019-11-29T09:13:00Z

    Ben Valsler tackles ‘zombie facts’ and the tenuous connection between tryptophan in turkey and your post-Thanksgiving dinner doze

  • Zeolite powder
    Podcast

    Zeolites

    2019-11-22T11:37:00Z

    Brian Clegg introduces the class of materials where the holes are more important than the whole – the super-porous zeolites

  • The Hindenburg airship
    Podcast

    Allicin

    2019-11-15T15:59:00Z

    It helps prevent garlic plants from marauding insects and should have prevented the Hindenburg disaster – Mike Freemantle on allicin and the smell of freshly crushed garlic

  • Language unlimited – book cover
    Podcast

    Book Club – Language Unlimited by David Adger

    2019-11-14T09:28:00Z

    We discuss linguist David Adger’s book that delves into the origins of human language and tries to uncover the hidden structure behind what we say (or sign)

  • Pink damask roses
    Podcast

    Beta-damascenone

    2019-11-08T11:48:00Z

    Louise Crane explains how a series of happy accidents led to the discovery of this rose-scented compound, found in rose oil, beer, apple pie and Kentucky bourbon.

  • Self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover
    Podcast

    Gallium arsenide

    2019-11-01T09:30:00Z

    Brian Clegg introduces gallium arsenide – the supercar of the semiconductor scene

  • Gold and silver bars
    Podcast

    Electrum

    2019-10-25T09:37:00Z

     Georgia Mills introduces the malleable mixture of gold and silver that minted some of the world’s oldest coins

  • How to – absurd scientific advice for common real-world problems – book cover
    Podcast

    Book Club – How to by Randall Munroe

    2019-10-24T09:30:00Z

    We discuss xkcd comic creator Randall Munroe’s new book that deals out absurd – but scientifically accurate – advice for everyday problems

  • A man sits on a Nepalese mountainside with his head in his hands - apparently suffering from altitude sickness
    Podcast

    Hypoxia-inducible factors – HIFs

    2019-10-18T12:14:00Z

    The oxygen sensors that help life react to changing conditions, key to the 2019 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine

  • Colourful fish at a fishmarket
    Podcast

    Ciguatoxin

    2019-10-11T10:57:00Z

    The toxin found in reef fish that leads to food poisoning so bad it can cause life-long symptoms

  • Bothrops jararaca
    Podcast

    Ramipril

    2019-10-04T13:47:00Z

    How a Brazilian scientist’s knowledge of viper venom led to the discovery of a whole class of medication for high blood pressure. With Mike Freemantle

  • Jasmine flowers and oil
    Podcast

    Hedione

    2019-09-27T14:35:00Z

    Louise Crane investigates a jasmine-derived synthetic scent with supposed sex appeal

  • Warning sign for 1080 in bait stations
    Podcast

    Sodium fluoroacetate

    2019-09-20T14:56:00Z

    The controversial killer compound – also known as 1080 – being used to protect New Zealand’s native wildlife