2507, 2017
  • 07-25 – Rosalind Franklin's Birthday 2018

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

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.


1007, 2017
  • The Chemistry of Lavender & How it Repels Moths

Why Can Lavender Be Used to Repel Moths? – The Chemistry of Lavender

July 10th, 2017|

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Hanging in the wardrobes of our flat, alongside our clothes, are a couple of small bags of dried lavender. Like many others, we keep them there to ward off clothes moths, but while offhandedly discussing this a couple of weeks ago I realised that I had absolutely no idea if there was scientific evidence to back up this repellent effect. So, I did what any good scientist would, and started a quest to find out whether lavender’s anti-moth powers were the real deal, or as scientifically holey as the moth-eaten clothes it claims to ward against!


1303, 2017
  • C&EN Daffodils

The Chemistry of Daffodils – in C&EN

March 13th, 2017|

Click to view full graphic on C&EN site

In the Northern Hemisphere spring is beginning to emerge from winter, heralded by the blooming of bright yellow daffodils. This graphic featured in C&EN a few years back and looks at some interesting chemical facets of this seasonal flower: what causes its smell, its colour, and a surprising link to Alzheimer’s treatments. View the full graphic on the C&EN site.


1402, 2017
  • The Chemistry of Roses

Valentine’s Day Special: The Chemistry of Roses

February 14th, 2017|

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Roses are the flower most closely associated with Valentine’s Day – and we’ve got chemistry to thank for both their colour and aroma! In this post we take a closer look at the chemical compounds involved.


1601, 2017
  • C&EN Evergreen Trees Preview

How Do Evergreen Trees Stay Green? – In C&EN

January 16th, 2017|

Click to view full graphic on the C&EN site

While some trees drop their leaves in autumn, others stay green all year round. How do they accomplish this, and what’s the benefit? This graphic takes a look at some of the chemical tricks these trees utilise. Click here to view the full graphic on the C&EN site.


1201, 2017
  • The Chemistry of Bodily Fluid Colours

The Chemistry of the Colours of Bodily Fluids

January 12th, 2017|

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A particular bodily fluid featured in the political news earlier this week, which got me thinking about the chemical causes behind the colours of the waste products we expel from our bodies. What makes urine golden, faeces brown, and bile green? The answers to all of these questions have a common chemical link.