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Halloween Chemistry

The Chemistry of Mummification

Mummies are, perhaps, the easiest go-to costume for Halloween: grab some bandages, drape yourself in them, and job done. However, there’s a little more behind the traditional embalming process used in Ancient Egypt, as well as a surprising amount of chemistry. Here we take a look at the chemicals used in the process, and how […]

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C&EN Food Chemistry Halloween Chemistry

The Chemistry of Pumpkins – in C&EN

With a week to go until Halloween, it’s time to get carving pumpkins! Before you do, check out this graphic on the chemistry of pumpkins I made for C&EN last year (you can view the full graphic on their site here). Stay tuned for more Halloween-related chemistry over the coming week!

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Halloween Chemistry

Halloween Special: The Chemistry of Blood

Fake blood is an essential accessory if you’re going for a gory halloween look with your costume this year. There’s a lot of chemistry in the substance it sets out to mimic; we can explain the colour, smell, and different types of blood with the aid of chemistry (and some biology thrown in for good […]

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Aroma Chemistry Biochemistry

The Chemistry of the Odour of Decomposition

Continuing this week’s Halloween theme, today we’re looking at death – more specifically, the chemical agents behind the smell of it. Decomposition is an incredibly complicated process, but we do know a little about the chemical culprits behind some of the terrible smells as the body breaks down – so, what compounds are the must-haves […]

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Biochemistry Colourful Chemistry

The Chemistry of The Colours of Blood

Halloween’s almost here, which, for a large number of costumes, will require a liberal dousing of fake blood to complete the look. You probably already have a pretty good idea of the reasons behind the red colouration of human blood that fake blood mimics. However, red is not the only blood colour available – it also […]