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Rosemary, the beneficial chemistry of a garden herb

Posted on 3. May, 2017.

Exposure to the aroma of rosemary essential oil can significantly enhance working memory in children.

This is one the findings of a study presented by Dr Mark Moss and Victoria Earle of Northumbria University at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference in Brighton.


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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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Humans and uniqueness

Posted on 24. April, 2015.

A defining force in the shaping of human identity is a person’s need to feel special and different from others. Psychologists term this motivation Need for Uniqueness (NfU). 


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Advances in antihydrogen physics

Posted on 30. March, 2015.

Antimatter has long held a grip on the fascination of both scientists and the general public, though usually for very different reasons. Dirac’s famous 1931 prediction of the existence of both the positron and the antiproton (though he did confess to know nothing of the nature of the proton) holds a special place in physics. 


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