• Ice Cores and Atmospheric History

The science of ice cores: Atmospheric time machines

By |August 15th, 2017|

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We know what global temperatures are like now, from direct measurement around the globe. And we know quite a lot about what temperatures were like over the past few hundred years thanks to written records. But what about further back than that? How do we know what temperatures were like a thousand years ago, or even hundreds of thousands of years ago? There is, of course, no written record that far back in history – but there is a chemical record, hidden in the ice of Antartica and Greenland.

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  • 17-08-13 This Week in Chemistry

This Week in Chemistry – How goldfish can survive months without oxygen, and the longest acene ever made

By |August 13th, 2017|

Here’s the weekly summary of both new chemistry research and studies that have been in the news. This week features research on how goldfish and carp can survive without oxygen for long periods of time, the US overturning a ban on refrigerants than can contribute to climate change, and more. As always links to further articles and original research papers are provided below.

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  • Chemical Concerns – Fipronil and the contaminated egg scandal 11-08

Chemical Concerns – Fipronil and the egg contamination scandal

By |August 9th, 2017|

Over the past few weeks, concern has been growing regarding the contamination of eggs for sale in a number of EU countries with the chemical Fipronil. Currently seven different countries have discovered contaminated eggs, and it has led to large number of eggs being withdrawn from sale. So, what is Fipronil, how has it gotten into eggs, and should consumers be worried?

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  • 17-08-06 This Week in Chemistry

This Week in Chemistry – Fried chicken provides lemon flavour compounds, and tracking lithium ions in batteries

By |August 6th, 2017|

Here’s the weekly summary of both new chemistry research and studies that have been in the news. This week features research on sulfur compounds in fried chicken which could replace a commonly used lemon flavour compound, a DNA-based material that absorbs UV light better the more it’s exposed to it, and more. As always links to further articles and original research papers are provided below.

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  • Giant Hogweed Skin Burns Chemistry

The chemistry of Giant Hogweed and how it causes skin burns

By |August 3rd, 2017|

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Brushing past a plant in the undergrowth whilst out walking might sound fairly innocuous. In the case of Giant Hogweed, however, it’s anything but. This plant’s sap can cause burns and blistering after contact, and there’ve been an increasing number of articles warning of the danger it poses over the past few months. Here, we take a look at the chemical compounds behind the sap’s unpleasant effects. […]

  • 07-31 – Stephanie Kwolek's Birthday

Today in Chemistry History – Stephanie Kwolek and Kevlar

By |July 31st, 2017|

Today marks the date of birth of Stephanie Kwolek, the US chemist who discovered the widely used polymer Kevlar. She also developed the nylon rope trick, in which nylon can be produced in a beaker at room temperature – a demonstration which is still used in classrooms today. In addition to this she is the to date the only woman to have been awarded DuPont’s Lavoisier Medal for outstanding contributions.

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