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EXPLORATIONS OF EVERYDAY CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS

This Week in Chemistry – Graphene Light Bulbs, & Cooked Crustacean Colour Changes

03/29/2015

15-03-29 - This Week in Chemistry

Here’s the weekly summary of both new chemistry research and studies that have been in the news. This week features the discovery of a new form of ice by flattening water between sheets of graphene, an antibacterial plastic made from a protein in egg whites, and more. As always, links to further articles and original research papers are provided below, as well as further studies of interest not included in the graphic.

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The Chemical Structure of DNA

03/24/2015
Chemical structure of DNA

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Today’s post crosses over into the realm of biochemistry, with a look at the chemical structure of DNA, and its role in creating proteins in our cells. Of course, it’s not just in humans that DNA is found – it’s present in the cells of every multicellular life form on Earth. This graphic provides an overview of its common structure across these life forms, and a brief explanation of how it allows proteins to be generated.

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This Week in Chemistry – Pencil Sketch Sensors & Blue Light Induced Erections

03/22/2015

15-03-22 - This Week in Chemistry

Here’s the weekly summary of both new chemistry research and studies that have been in the news. This week features a new compound that’s extremely effective at breaking down nerve agents, a new technique that allows rapid 3D printing, and more. As always, links to further articles and original research papers are provided below, as well as further studies of interest not included in the graphic.

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The Chemistry of Poisons – Thallium, ‘The Poisoner’s Poison’

03/19/2015
Poison Chemistry - Thallium Sulfate

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Having already looked at arsenic and cyanide in the previous instalments in this series, our attention turns to thallium, another famed poison. Thallium perhaps doesn’t share quite the same profile as arsenic and cyanide, but despite this it’s perhaps an even more effective compound in poisonings. This graphic looks at its history and effects.

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This Week in Chemistry: Chameleon Colours, & Urine-Fuelled Radio Signalling

03/15/2015

15-03-15 - This Week in Chemistry

Here’s the weekly summary of both new chemistry research and studies that have been in the news. This week features an explanation for the colour changes of chameleons, a new automated process that allows the synthesis of small organic molecules, and more. As always, links to further articles and original research papers are provided below, as well as further studies of interest not included in the graphic.

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The Chemistry of Slug Pellets

03/12/2015
The Chemistry of Slug Pellets

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Slugs and snails are common garden pests, and gardeners often turn to slug pellets in order to fend them off. What exactly are those blue pellets made of, though, and can they pose a risk to other animals as well as molluscs? This graphic examines the compounds used, and their potential undesired effects, as well as some of the alternatives available.

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The Metal Reactivity Series

03/10/2015
The Reactivity Series of Metals

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The metal reactivity series is a commonly taught concept in chemistry, placing the metals, as its name suggests, in order of reactivity from most reactive to least reactive. It’s also a useful tool in predicting the products of simple displacement reactions involving two different metals, as well as providing an insight into why different metals are extracted from their ores in different manners. This graphic places a selection of common metals into order of reactivity, as well as showing their reactions with air, water and steam.

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This Week in Chemistry: Iron Rain, & Motion-Powered Fabrics

03/08/2015

15-03-08 - This Week in Chemistry

Here’s the weekly summary of both new chemistry research and studies that have been in the news. This week features a new motion-powered fabric that could lead to on-the-go charging of electronics, a superhydrophobic coating that could have applications in producing stain-resistant clothing, and more. As always, links to further articles and original research papers are provided below, as well as further studies of interest not included in the graphic.

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The Chemistry of Coloured Glass

03/03/2015
The Chemistry of Coloured Glass

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Coloured glass is something that’s commonplace in our lives, from the green of wine and beer bottles, to the red, yellow, and green of traffic lights. The origin of these colours is something we don’t give a lot of thought to, but a range of different elements are responsible. This graphic takes a simple look at a few of these, and the colours they impart.

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