Biochemistry C&EN

Liquid assets: How mucus, tears and saliva protect us from infection – in C&EN

Snot, tears, and spit might sound unpleasant, but all three are an important part of our immune systems. In the latest edition of Periodic Graphics in Chemical and Engineering News, we compare them and look at their components’ role in protecting us from infections. View the full graphic on the C&EN site.

Chemistry History

Today in Chemistry History: Ahmed Zewail and femtochemistry

On this day (26 February) in 1946, Egyptian-American chemist Ahmed Zewail was born. Zewail pioneered femtochemistry, the use of laser pulses to see the movement of individual atoms during chemical reactions. This graphic gives an overview of the ultrafast laser spectroscopy that makes this possible.

Food Chemistry

The sour science of vinegar varieties

The first vinegars were accidents of oxidation, wine left out too long which turned sour. The word vinegar even derives from the Latin for ‘sour wine’. Today, varieties of vinegar range from balsamic to rice vinegar, produced on a commercial basis. This graphic takes a look at some of the chemical quirks of the different […]

Chemistry History Physical Chemistry

Today in Chemistry History: Svante Arrhenius and the Arrhenius equation

Svante Arrhenius was born on this day (19 February) in 1859. He’s famous for his eponymous equation and for suggesting in 1896 that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere might affect the Earth’s climate. He also clarified our understanding of solution chemistry and acids and bases.


Valentine’s Day: The chemistry of love

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a brief look at some of the many chemicals involved in the feeling of love. For more on neurotransmitters in general, there’s also this post. Download link for this graphic below, along with links to some extra reading on the topic! Note: This is an updated version of a graphic originally published […]

C&EN Nuclear Power

The science of fusion reactors – in C&EN

2022 was a significant year for nuclear fusion, touted as a future solution to our energy problems. First came the announcement, in February, that a record for power generation that has stood for 24 years had been surpassed. Then, in December, for the first time ever, more energy was output from a fusion reaction than […]