Watermelons are a popular, refreshing summer fruit. There’s also a lot of intriguing chemistry behind them, from the colour of their flesh and the complexity of their aroma, to the tales of exploding watermelons in China, and even the claims that they can have a viagra-like effect. This post takes a look at each of these and […]
We’re all well versed in the dangers of spending too much time in the sun. A golden tan after a few weeks away in the sun is everyone’s aspiration, but no-one wants to come back from a holiday red as a cooked lobster, hence the need for sunscreen (which we looked at in a previous post). However, […]
The summer holidays are here, which means there’ll soon be crowds flocking to the coast to spend the day at the beach. The supposed benefits of ‘fresh sea air’ are commonly extolled, but its origins might not be what you think: it’s the chemical compounds produced by algae and seaweed that contribute towards its characteristic smell.
With the arrival of summer comes a rather less welcome arrival – that of seasonal allergic rhinitis, more commonly known as hay fever. In the UK, an estimated 10-15% of the population are affected, a figure that is also on the rise. Despite the pollens of trees, grasses and weeds being the origin of hay fever, it’s […]
With summer more or less here (stifle those sniggers, English readers), it seemed as good a time as any to examine the chemicals in sunscreen. It’s a product that many of us may take for granted, but you’ve got chemistry to thank for it preventing your skin turning lobster red in the summer sun. There […]