A neutron walks into a restaurant and orders a seven-course dinner. When she's finished eating, she asks the waiter how much she owes.

The waiter replies, "For you, No Charge!"


Biting one's own tail: the history of benzene

Benzene is one of chemistry's great stars. It has numerous applications, and is the basis for manufacturing many more useful compounds. But did you know its structure was a subject of a lot of controversy in the 19th century?

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Salvarsan & Prontosil: The beginning of modern medicine

Just a hundred years ago, drugs were expensive and had to be obtained from exotic tropical trees. This changed with the discovery of an artificial compound called Salvarsan. It cured the dreaded disease syphilis and laid the foundation of modern medicine.

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Quinine - a miracle against malaria

Quinine has been used as a cure for malaria since the 17th century. It was only later in the 1940s that other drugs replaced it. Discover how the medicinal properties of this wonder drug were discovered.

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Biomimetics - materials for the future

Over millions of years, plants and animals have evolved materials with amazing properties - the sticky feet of geckos, spiders' silk, self-cleaning lotus leaves. Scientists are now learning to make products in the lab that imitate their properties; these are called biomimetics.

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The magic of morphine

Morphine is a drug that is used as an anaesthetic. It is derived from opium and it affects the central nervous system relieving pain.

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Looking back at the thermometer

Every once in a while we fall sick. Our parents use a thermometer to check how sick we are or if we are pretending so that we don't need to go to school. This little instrument is very reliable in telling how warm we really are.

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What happens when things get cold?

Heat and cold are two important factors that are critical for most chemical reactions. In science, the absolute zero temperature of a substance varies from the zero degree that you see on your thermometer.

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The history of pitchblende

Pitchblende, also known as Uraninite, is a uranium rich mineral. This mineral forms one of the primary ores of uranium, containing almost 50 to 80 percent of it.

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Photosynthesis-the future of biofuels?

We have heard that photosynthesis is the process by which a plant converts solar energy to chemical energy by using chlorophyll. What you might not know is that scientists in France have discovered a way to use the same photosynthesis into electrical energy.

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The chemistry of chalk

We spend a lot of the time in the class room watching teachers write on the blackboard with chalk. But when was the first time that we started to use this little white stick?

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