The science of distilling gin

[:pb] By Nina Notman Do you know your cold compound from your London dry? Nina Notman sorts through the botanicals to find the perfect cocktail We’re in the middle of a gin renaissance. The sales of this juniper-flavoured spirit are rocketing globally. The UK, for example, saw a 12% increase in volumes sold in the […]

American Chemical Society files lawsuit against pirate site

Society complaint alleges copyright infringement and spoofing of its website The American Chemical Society (ACS) has filed a lawsuit against a website that illegally bypasses paywalls to provide free access to millions of academic papers and books. Sci-Hub — founded in September 2011 by former neuroscientist Alexandra Elbakyan — provides illicit free access to 62 […]

First firm evidence for liquid water on Mars

By Katrina Krämer Not quite life on Mars, but there are lakes beneath the red planet’s glaciers Source: © ESA, INAF. Graphic rendering by Davide Coero Borga – Media INAF Artistic impression of the Mars Express spacecraft probing the southern hemisphere of Mars. Aradar cross section of the southern polar layered deposits is shown as […]

150 years of helium

By James Mitchell Crow Humanity took a long time to notice the second most common chemical element in the universe, James Mitchell Crow notes. Today we would struggle to do without it The voyage that French astronomer Pierre Janssen undertook from Europe to the eastern Indian province of Madras during the spring of 1868 was […]


[:pb] The story of Charlotte Figi, Dravet syndrome and the cannabis compound controlling her condition By Ben Valsler Charlotte Figi was just a few months old when she had her first seizure. It was an early symptom of what would eventually be diagnosed as Dravet syndrome or severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy – a rare […]

AI robot tests, predicts and even discovers reactions that are new to chemistry

By James Urquhart Researchers have designed, built and programmed a chemical-handling robot that can screen and predict chemical reactivity using machine learning. Based on the autonomous system’s predictions, the team found four novel reactions, demonstrating its potential to discover reactions quickly. Countless chemical reactions are known and many different pathways can lead to a desired […]

Water splitting demonstrated in microgravity

By Tim Wogan Drop tower experiments show how future oxygen-generating systems could work in space Light-driven water splitting reactions have been carried out in near-zero gravity by researchers investigating potential new ways to generate oxygen and fuel during long-range space missions. Their work suggests that careful catalyst design could offer possible solutions to the problems […]