Did you know that saffron is obtained from a type of crocus? This is a fact that had somehow escaped me, and which I only discovered when wondering why saffron contains a compound called ‘crocin’. Turns out that, yes, there is a connection!
Stimulants produced by plants are among the most widely used drugs in the world. In the latest edition of Periodic Graphics in Chemical & Engineering News, we look at why plants make these compounds and the ways in which the molecules produce stimulant effects. View the full graphic on the C&EN site.
On this day a year ago, the Alpha variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was designated a variant of concern. The final graphic in the #ChemVsCOVID series with the Royal Society of Chemistry looks at how variants are tracked and what causes the differences between them.
This week, the UK has confirmed it plans to fortify non-wholemeal flour with folic acid. It’s not the first country to do so: the United States has been fortifying flour with folic acid since 1998. Most countries in South America and a number in Asia also have mandatory fortification programs. This graphic looks at the reasons for fortification with folic acid – and making it also got me wondering why the practice isn’t more widespread in Europe.
Dahlias: the jewels of the late summer garden. Shades of red, yellow, orange, pink, with their petals forming intricate geometric structures. But, like roses and many other flowers, the dahlia spectrum is missing one colour: blue. So why are blue blooms so rare in nature?
Summers are filled with sunny days to enjoy the outdoors, but you need to bring along the proper sun protection to prevent skin damage. The latest edition of Periodic Graphics in Chemical & Engineering News looks at the chemistry the sun triggers in our skin. View the full graphic on the C&EN site.