1610, 2018
  • C&EN – Carnivorous plant chemistry preview

The chemistry of Venus flytraps – in C&EN

October 16th, 2018|

Click to view full graphic on the C&EN site

Most plants get nutrients from the soil. But Venus flytraps prey on insects to get what they need. This month’s edition of Periodic Graphics in Chemical & Engineering News looks at how these carnivorous plants molecularly lure and trap their prey. View the full graphic on the C&EN site.


1707, 2018
  • The chemistry of spinach

The chemistry of spinach: the iron myth and ‘spinach teeth’

July 17th, 2018|

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“Spinach is a good source of iron” – a myth, but a surprisingly persistent one. The story behind the myth and the chemistry that debunks it are fascinating. Here we look at both, as well as the chemical explanation behind the ‘spinach teeth’ phenomenon.


706, 2018
  • Peonies and peonin

Peonin and the colour of peonies

June 7th, 2018|

Peonies bloom fleetingly at the end of spring and start of summer, usually only lasting around 10 days. Inspired by this tweet from Dr Jess Wade, here’s a quick look at the molecule which gives them their colour. There’s more on the pH dependence of anthocyanin colour here.


2504, 2018
  • Chemistry of tulips and tulip fingers

The chemistry of tulips and tulip fingers

April 25th, 2018|

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‘Tulip fingers’ might sound like a bizarre floral-themed version of Edward Scissorhands, but it’s actually a condition that can be caused by skin contact with tulip bulbs. It’s common amongst workers in the tulip industry, whose jobs involve sorting and packaging of tulip bulbs. This graphic takes a look at the compounds behind the condition.


2803, 2018
  • The Chemistry of Egg Fluorescence

What makes eggs glow under UV light?

March 28th, 2018|

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Here’s something to try over the Easter weekend: take a UV light and shine it on some eggs. You’ll be rewarded with a red glow from their shells. What causes this red glow? That’s what this graphic looks at!


2303, 2018
  • Daffodils – do they kill other flowers?

Do daffodils kill other flowers in vases?

March 23rd, 2018|

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Spring is here, and daffodils are blooming. You might have some in your garden, or you might pick some up at a florist to put in a vase at home. If you do, it’s a good idea to place them in a vase on their own – there are chemical reasons why daffodils and other flowers don’t mix!