• 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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  • 17-07-30 This Week in Chemistry

This Week in Chemistry – A slug slime-inspired adhesive, and the world’s worst conductor

By |July 30th, 2017|

Here’s the weekly summary of both new chemistry research and studies that have been in the news. This week features research on a slug slime-inspired surgical adhesive, siloxane wires which set a record for the worst electrical conductivity, and more. As always links to further articles and original research papers are provided below.

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  • 07-25 – Rosalind Franklin's Birthday

Today in Chemistry History – Rosalind Franklin and the structure of DNA

By |July 25th, 2017|

Rosalind Franklin was born on this day in 1920. Her contributions to the discovery of the structure of DNA were key; she took photos of DNA’s structure using X-ray crystallography, and it was these photos which informed the work of Watson and Crick’s model of DNA’s structure. Sadly her contributions were not fully recognised until after her death, and she did not share in the award of the Nobel Prize for the discovery of DNA’s structure as the prize is not awarded posthumously.

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  • 17-07-23 This Week in Chemistry

This Week in Chemistry – Polymer pulleys boost Li-ion batteries, and blooming 3D printed flowers

By |July 23rd, 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 a polymer pulley system could make silicon anodes in lithium batteries workable, a 3D printed flower that uses the shape memory of a polyurethane polymer to bloom when exposed to light, and more. As always links to further articles and original research papers are provided below.

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  • 17-07-16 This Week in Chemistry

This Week in Chemistry – Tomato chemicals and caterpillar cannibalism, and a Big Bang BaZnGa compound

By |July 16th, 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 tomato plant chemicals can drive caterpillars to cannibalism, a chemical compound inspired by Big Bang Theory, and more. As always links to further articles and original research papers are provided below.

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