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Simple chemistry mimics animals' predator spotting method

23 March 2015 Research

Filter paper soaked in chemicals can perform complex edge detection computation

Dial chem for murder

6 March 2015 The Crucible

Poisons may seem to be a murderer’s perfect accomplice, but chemists can always persuade them to betray their secrets, says Philip Ball

Alchemy on the page

5 March 2015 Feature

Books used by alchemists offer insights into the relationship between these early chemists and their texts. Philip Ball investigates

Program ready to weed out tough drug leads

4 March 2015 Research

Model could help drug firms avoid synthetically complex dead ends and speed drug discovery

A brave new word

24 February 2015 The Crucible

Why did scientists endure, while sciencers perished? Philip Ball examines the quirks of science’s lexical legacy

Pattern reactions driven by DNA strands

20 February 2015 Research

Waves of self-catalysing chemical reactions can be controlled using short strands of DNA

The spirit of the matter

27 January 2015 The Crucible

Philip Ball muses on the mercurial nature of chemical history

Flowing rivers of mercury

7 January 2015 Feature

Philip Ball investigates claims that the burial chamber of China’s first emperor contains rivers of shimmering mercury

A complete chemist

11 December 2014 The Crucible

Philip Ball celebrates Paul Schleyer’s contributions to scientific discourse, spanning decades and disciplines

An end to bubble puzzle trouble?

2 December 2014 The Crucible

Has a 20-year-old problem finally been solved, asks Philip Ball

Spheres of influence

30 October 2014 The Crucible

Philip Ball savours the chemistry of avant-garde gastronomy

Harvesting heat

27 October 2014  Premium contentFeature

Philip Ball looks at the materials that harness waste heat and turn it into useful energy

Probing molecules atom by atom

1 October 2014 Research

New NMR technique allows ultra-high-resolution of individual molecules

Appreciating art criticism

11 September 2014 The Crucible

Philip Ball considers Chinese works of art that comment on environmental and chemical issues

Does life play dice?

3 September 2014 The Crucible

Philip Ball wonders whether life evolved to exploit quantum phenomena, or if it’s just in our nature

Faulty enzyme link offers new ways to fight Parkinson’s

5 August 2014 Research

Research links Parkinson’s disease to an enzyme that affects the functioning of mitochondria

The fascinating in the familiar

28 July 2014 The Crucible

A simple droplet shows that there are still plenty of puzzles to ponder in everyday observations, says Philip Ball

Molecular clocks may probe fundamental laws

15 July 2014 Research

Clocks based on the simplest molecule could weigh in on proton's mass

Synthetic aesthetics

27 June 2014 Review

Challenging science fictions

How the Pelican got its hue

26 June 2014 The Crucible

Philip Ball covers the chemical history of Penguin’s inexpensive educational books

The colourful science

19 June 2014 Feature

Philip Ball traces how chemists and artists have been inspiring each other for centuries

Chemistry gets strange at water’s surface

6 June 2014 Research

Theoretical study suggests that ions with the same charge might actually become attracted to each other at an interface

The chemistry of inaction

27 May 2014  Premium contentFeature

Philip Ball delves into the suspended animation of cells

Is junk DNA all garbage?

22 May 2014 The Crucible

A brouhaha in biology shows that uncovering what we don’t know is more important than arguments about what we do, says Philip Ball