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EXPLORATIONS OF EVERYDAY CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS

The Chemistry of Mulled Wine

12/16/2014
Chemistry of Mulled Wine

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There are few things more warming than a mug of mulled wine in the depths of December. Exact recipes may vary, but they all include a common core of ingredients, each of which contributes something to the final flavour. This graphic examines some of the key chemicals that each ingredient adds into the mix, with more detail on each provided below.

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This Week in Chemistry: Controlling Weight Gain, & Smartphone Gas Detectors

12/14/2014

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Here’s the weekly summary of chemistry research and news, this week featuring stories on the development of a compound which could help prevent weight gain in overweight adults, and confirmation of a new form of ice. As always, links to further articles and original research papers are provided below, as well as links to further stories that didn’t quite make the cut.

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The Shapes of Snowflakes

12/10/2014
The Shapes of Snowflakes

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In the Northern Hemisphere at least, the idealised vision of Christmas involves snow. Whilst no one snowflake is exactly the same as another, at least on a molecular level, scientists have none-the-less devised a system of classification for the many types of crystals that snow can form. This graphic shows the shapes and names of some of the groups of this classification.

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The Chemistry of Brussels Sprouts: Bitterness & Genetics

12/04/2014

Chemistry of Brussels Sprouts

There’s one vegetable at the Christmas dinner table that’s always bound to elicit strong and contrary opinions: brussels sprouts. Much like marmite, they seem to conjure up a ‘love it or hate it’ sentiment; however, if you fall into the latter camp, there may actually be a chemical and genetic reason why you can’t stand the taste. Sulforaphane is the featured molecule today in the Chemistry Advent Calendar, but here we take a closer look at the some of the other chemicals found in brussels sprouts.

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The Chemistry of Poinsettia Plants

12/02/2014

The Chemistry of Poinsettia Plants

Following on from the start of the Chemistry Advent Calendar yesterday, here’s another festive post, this time looking at the chemistry of the poinsettia plant. The red leaves of the poinsettia plant can be used to make a pH indicator, due to their chemical composition; this is actually something of an upgrade on one of the oldest posts on the site, now complete with a explanatory graphic!

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This Week in Chemistry: Bulletproof Graphene, & Blu-Ray Solar Panels

11/30/2014

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Here’s this week’s round up of new chemistry research and chemistry stories making the news, including potential new applications for graphene, a new class of anti-malarial compounds, and a conductive clay that could have future applications in batteries. As always, links to both further articles and the original research papers are provided below.

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The Chemistry of Ginger – Flavour, Pungency & Medicinal Potential

11/27/2014

Chemistry of Ginger

Ginger is a spice that can be commonly found in supermarkets and in the kitchen, either as the fresh root, or in dried, powdered form. It adds a strong, pungent flavour to dishes as a consequence of a number of chemical compounds it contains; additionally, these compounds are altered when the ginger is cooked or dried, producing alterations to its flavour. Some of these compounds have also been investigated for potential health benefits, including potential anti-tumour activity.

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The Chemistry of Asthma Inhalers

11/25/2014

The Chemistry of Asthma Inhalers

If you’re an asthma sufferer, you likely need at least one inhaler to keep your symptoms in check – or maybe even two different types. Commonly, those afflicted with asthma will have both a blue and a brown inhaler. Whilst the colours can vary, the purpose of the chemical compounds contained therein differ dependent on the particular inhaler.

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This Week in Chemistry – Plastic-Eating Worms, & Inhibiting a Cancer Enzyme

11/23/2014

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Here’s this week’s summary of the research making the news in chemistry, including worms that could break down polyethene, a new method for synthesising natural chemicals, and a new silicon allotrope that could help produce more efficient solar cells. As always, links to more detailed articles, and the relevant research papers, are provided below.

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