Categories
Biochemistry Chemistry in the News

How do the tests for coronavirus work?

At the time of writing, there have been almost a quarter of a million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The number of deaths is approaching 10,000. Across the world, countries are scrambling to increase their testing capacity for the virus — how are these tests carried out and how do they work?

Categories
Biochemistry C&EN

The chemistry of ant venom and pheromones – in C&EN

Ant bites and stings can cause intense pain. Here, we highlight some of the chemical components in ant venom that are responsible and zero in on molecular signals the insects use to communicate. View the full graphic on the Chemical & Engineering News site.

Categories
Biochemistry Cosmetic Chemistry

The chemistry of henna

The Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha started on Sunday evening and runs through until Thursday. As part of the celebrations, some create impressively intricate art on their hands using henna. Here we take a look at the molecules in henna that allow it to be used as a dye, and how this process works.

Categories
Biochemistry Medicinal Chemistry

What’s in an epidural? – Medications for labour and birth

As you might have picked up from previous pregnancy-related posts on the site (here and here), my wife and I have been expecting our first child. During labour and birth, terms like ‘epidural’, ‘gas and air’ and ‘induction of labour’ get thrown around, but what specific drugs do these involve? How do they work? What […]

Categories
Biochemistry

Six key pregnancy hormones and their roles

Pregnancy is a rollercoaster of shifting hormone levels which can have numerous effects. This graphic looks at six key hormones during pregnancy, their roles in the development of the baby, and other effects.

Categories
Biochemistry Chemunicate Medicinal Chemistry

From toxin to tonic: improving cone snail toxin stability for medical use

Cone snail toxins can be deadly to humans – but they also have potential uses in anaesthesia and to treat other medical conditions. This latest Chemunicate graphic takes a look at one way scientists are trying to optimise them for this use.