Q: Why will the successor to the world's cheapest car be called Sodium Nitrite?

A: Because it's NaNo2!


Rachel Fuller Brown

What's common to fungal infections in babies, Dutch Elm disease in trees and mouldy works of art? They can all be cured by a drug called nystatin. And the story of the woman who discovered it - Rachel Fuller Brown - has a lot to learn from.

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Stephanie Kwolek

Last month we saw how a bullet-proof jacket works. Did you wonder how the material that it is made of - Kevlar - was discovered? And by whom? Then let's meet Stephanie Kwolek.

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Ardaseer Cursetjee Wadia

Last week we learned about the Royal Society. Ardaseer Cursetjee Wadia was mentioned in it as the first Indian FRS. Let's get to know him better.

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William Henry Perkin

In an earlier article we discussed dyes. But for a long time, dyes like Royal Purple were extremely expensive. Did you know that dyes became affordable to many because of William Henry Perkin?

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Enrico Fermi

As fossil fuels become rarer, people are searching for alternative sources of energy. One of the most promising, yet controversial, is energy generated from nuclear reactions. Much of our knowledge of these reactions is owed to the Italian scientist Enrico Fermi.

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Jbir ibn Hayyn

In chemistry practicals, you mix chemicals in test tubes, grind them in mortars and boil them in retorts. Did you know that many of these common equipment and procedures were devised more than a thousand years ago by Jbir ibn Hayyn?

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Yves Chauvin

Often our elders tell us to stick to the 'tried and tested'. But the best scientists have been those who refused to follow the familiar. One such is Yves Chauvin, who says you must steer clear of methods perfected over time!

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Pliny the Elder

When you read an encyclopaedia, ever wondered who had the patience to put it all together? One of the world's oldest encyclopaedias was put together by a Roman writer called Gaius Plinius Secundus, or Pliny the Ender.

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Richard Schrock

Richard Royce Schrock won a Nobel Prize for his contribution to metathesis, a chemical process that laid the foundation of green chemistry.

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Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier

Few things are as important as water, which we know is made of oxygen and hydrogen. Did you know that Antoine Lavoisier was the discoverer of both elements?

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