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Photosynthesis, pigment–protein complexes and electronic energy transport: simple models for complicated processes

Posted on 18. December, 2017.

Essentially all the accessible energy for life in the Earth’s biosphere is made available through the process of photosynthesis, the conversion of light energy from the Sun into storable chemical energy for metabolism. The process itself has been the subject of remarkable evolution throughout Earth’s history.


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Dementia as an existential threat: the importance of self-esteem, social connectedness and meaning in life

Posted on 20. January, 2016.

Dementia is an umbrella term for a large number of illnesses, all of which involve neurodegenerative changes in the brain. The most common forms of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, but there are over 100 other, rarer conditions. 


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What do bones tell us? The study of human skeletons from the perspective of forensic anthropology

Posted on 4. January, 2016.

Human remains are present in a number of contexts. Some of these are archaeological burial sites, which can comprise individual or mass graves burials. 


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Muon tomography: looking inside dangerous places

Posted on 19. October, 2015.

Free Current Commentary article in Science Progress by Prof Chris Rhodes


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Special feature on Sir John Cornforth

Posted on 13. October, 2015.

Sir John Cornforth AC CBE FRS was one of the major figures of organic chemistry of the 20th century. His pioneering work on the stereochemistry of enzyme reactions was acknowledged by the award of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1975. He also made significant contributions to the synthesis of sterols, the structure and chemistry of penicillin and the chemistry of oxazoles. 


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Healthy, wealthy and wise: the benefits of chemical research

Posted on 27. August, 2015.

We live in a molecular world, and it is thus to chemists that we turn to solve the problems of life in that world. Chemistry may not enjoy the perceived glamour that fundamental questions in physics such as the origins of the universe, and the structure of the nucleus, seem to attract, nor the immensely expensive pieces of equipment, the giant telescopes or Large Hadron Collider, but chemistry is universal, and of huge importance to humanity. 


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The Diamond Light Source

Posted on 10. June, 2015.

Diamond is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility, and is situated on the Harwell campus in Oxfordshire. The Diamond synchrotron can produce intense beams of light, said to be “10 billion times brighter than the sun”. Here, the term “light” does not only refer to the region of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to humans, since Diamond generates synchrotron light, which is a spectrum of electromagnetic radiation spanning hard X‑rays to microwaves.


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Sustainable nanotechnology - Free Current Commentary

Posted on 18. May, 2015.

The US National Nanotechnology Initiative defines nanotechnology as, “the manipulation of matter with at least one dimension in the range 1–100 nanometres (nm),” where the tendency is for quantum mechanical effects to become increasingly important toward the smaller end of the range.


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Fossil fuel use is limited by climate, if not by resources, and “Peak Soil”.

Posted on 1. May, 2015.

Originally the Earth was barren rock, but was transformed into a vibrant living planet by soil. So where did the soil come from and why is it so important? What is it that gives soil its amazing life-generating force?


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