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Biochemistry Chemistry in the News

The chemistry of Giant Hogweed and how it causes skin burns

Brushing past a plant in the undergrowth whilst out walking might sound fairly innocuous. In the case of Giant Hogweed, however, it’s anything but. This plant’s sap can cause burns and blistering after contact, and there’ve been an increasing number of articles warning of the danger it poses over the past few months. Here, we […]

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Biochemistry Chemistry History

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

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 […]

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Aroma Chemistry Biochemistry

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

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 […]

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Biochemistry C&EN

The Chemistry of Daffodils – in C&EN

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 […]

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Aroma Chemistry Biochemistry

Valentine’s Day Special: The Chemistry of Roses

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.

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Biochemistry C&EN

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

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.