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Inspired by a mention of arrowroot in Jane Austen's Emma, Mike Freemantle investigates how subtle differences in composition mean starch can be resistant dietary fibre or easily-digested nourishment.
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How an early synthetic dye chemical came to play a role in a mysterious disease outbreak in 1980s Spain
Coating your naked body with powdered magnesium silicate may sound strange, but it's an important part of many bathtime rituals
Mike Freemantle discovers sea buckthorns, also called 'beauty berries' because of their high concentration of tocopherols and tocotrienols, collectively known as vitamin E.
If you've ever been unlucky enough to experience 'corked' wine, then 2,4,6-trichloroanisole, or TCA was likely the chemical culprit
Kat Arney unearths the story of a truly international effort to develop new drugs for cancer, and the female researcher whose key role went overlooked
Kit Chapman on the simple polymer that preserves and protects ancient artifacts, and saved a historical Swedish shipwreck from complete collapse
Mike Freemantle on the iron compound that has been turning oak gall extract into indelible ink for centuries, but is now eating though our ancient manuscripts and musical scores
The mysterious enzyme that can beat the world’s biggest chemical process when it comes to breaking the dinitrogen triple bond
A brilliant rich blue rock, prized in antiquity as a gemstone and a prominent pigment, lazurite is the basis of lapis lazuli, the original ultramarine paint and – as Brian Clegg finds – it even adorns Tutankhamun's death mask.