Categories
Biochemistry

Do daffodils kill other flowers in vases?

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 […]

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Chemistry History

Today in chemistry history: Sir Norman Haworth, vitamin C, and Haworth projections

Today (19th March) marks the birthday of Sir Norman Haworth – who also died on the 19th March. Haworth won a Nobel Prize in 1937 for his work on carbohydrates and vitamin C. He also developed a way of drawing 3D sugar structures, known as Haworth projections.

Categories
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

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.

Categories
Biochemistry Medicinal Chemistry

The Chemistry of Foxgloves – Poison & Medicine

The vibrancy of foxgloves belies their poisonous nature – ingesting even a small amount of the plant can cause unpleasant effects, and in some cases death. However, the same compounds that make it poisonous can also have medicinal uses. This graphic takes a look at them in detail.

Categories
Food Chemistry

The Chemistry of Elderflowers & Elderberries: Aroma, Colour, & Toxicity

In late May and early June, the winding pathways of the English countryside are festooned with the delicate white blooms of the elderflower. As the end of the summer eventually arrives, these blooms will have been transformed, and the bushes will be heaving under the weight of clusters of hundreds of small, purple-black berries. In this post, […]