Glowing LEDs spell out QLU with a thermometer indicating it is minus 24 degrees celcius

Zinc–air batteries created from paper industry waste

Lignin- and cellulose-based zinc-air batteries overcome longstanding electrocatalyst performance and electrolyte stability challenges

Clothes recycling

Glycolysis method breaks down mixed textiles for recycling

A new strategy chemically recycles the most common fibres found in fashion waste, including polyester, cotton and nylon

Library of polymers

Plastic recycling studies need reliable polymer data. This database is ready to inform them

Database set to support recycling research by detailing the chemical composition and physical properties of 59 polymers from common commercial vendors

A large suburb of a city in a desert

Impossible aerogel that reflects more visible light than it receives prompts scepticism

Material made from salmon sperm and gelatin touted as greener way to cool buildings


Whisky barrels

The wonder of whisky

Kit Chapman takes a closer look at the chemistry of the water of life, from the slow reactions of its ageing to testing for fakes

Woman smelling a flower and remembering her young self having built a crown out of the same type of flower

Brain chemistry basics

Andy Extance looks into the latest in Alzheimer’s disease, pain and memory

Pile of cocaine, DNA and the shape of a brain cast by the lighting of the image

The proteins that drive drug addiction

Jamie Durrani speaks to researchers exploring how epigenetic changes in the brain affect drug-seeking behaviours

Scientists peeking behind the blood brain barrier

Bypassing the blood–brain barrier

Researchers are on a quest to outsmart and overcome the sophisticated security system of the brain. Julia Robinson reports on some of the approaches being studied

Synapse drawing

Why don’t we know how antidepressants work yet?

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are at the centre of a collision between social and biochemical outlooks on depression, finds Andy Extance


Kerynia Liberty Ship

Pioneering preservative removal from ancient Greek ship allows accurate dating


Extraction of polyethylene glycol from ship’s wood enables radiocarbon recalibration

Chemistry tools reveal surprise lead layer under a Rembrandt masterpiece

X-ray imaging uncovers a surprising lead substance beneath The Night Watch, likely used to safeguard the famous painting from moisture

Playing her part in building South Africa’s scientific reputation

Meet Pinkie Ntola, an early-career Black researcher who is passionate about being a credible scientist, an inspiring teacher and a supportive mentor

Chemists discover new lead(II) oxide pigments in the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper

Findings provide new insight into paints used by Leonardo da Vinci

Used compact fluorescent light bulbs

Redox reactions ‘mine’ old fluorescent light bulbs for europium

In just three simple steps rare earth element can be recovered, avoiding ‘ecologically devastating’ mining

Biomass, plastic waste and carbon dioxide feedstocks key to cutting chemical industry’s emissions

Royal Society report warns that without intervention defossilisation of the chemicals sector will take many decades

Chemists funded to cut the environmental footprint of their labs

The Royal Society of Chemistry to support 33 projects in 11 countries aiming to make chemistry research greener

There’s a world of chemistry in water

Managing our most precious resource

Riding the microwave: three chemists share their stories

Disagreements surrounding non-thermal effects didn’t stop microwave reactors becoming a standard part of laboratory life

Lasers and lithium team up for ammonia production at ambient conditions

A pioneering method uses lasers and lithium salts to fix nitrogen with record-breaking yields

US and China flags

US–China tensions appear to be damaging countries’ science, analysis finds

Ethnically Chinese students pursuing PhDs in the US dropped along with productivity of ethnically Chinese scientists

Hand stealing classified info

Leaked exams lead to cancellations that leave Indian students and researchers frustrated

Over a million students and early-career researchers hit by latest cash for exam questions scandal

Springer Nature staff squeezed by cost of living crisis go on strike over pay

Over 200 editors, journalists and production staff are taking industrial action over the next six weeks

Modi’s return as India’s leader has scientists worried about persistent problems

Nation’s science dogged by low investment, bureaucracy and political interference

Nineteen journals shut down by Wiley following delisting and paper mill problems

Issues with manufactured manuscripts are a problem the whole publishing industry faces