clarepitt asked:
For a chemistry homework, i have to make a poster on a chemical and (because i want to do nutrition when i'm older) i'd like to do a food based one-got any good ones which are interesting & i can write lots about?? :)

Where to start? There are plenty of interesting compounds in food out there :)

Just pulling examples on previous graphics on the site, there’s:

You could also look at miraculin, the compound found in miracle berries that acts on your tastebuds to make sour foods such as lemons taste sweet. 

This Week in Chemistry: a compound found in broccoli that could help those with autism, feeding fungi on cheerios to produce useful metabolites, and more. Links to studies (as well other notable news this week) here:

(Posted an older TWIChem accidentally initially - this one’s now got the correct graphic!)

Following on from the previous graphic looking at glowsticks, today’s takes a look at luminol, and how it can be used to detect blood (and, er, horseradish):

en-duran-ce asked:
I was unfamiliar with the terms used to define lethality; specifically milligram-minutes per cubic meter. I know terms such as LD50 and ED50, but are there other prominent metrics when discussing pharmacology/toxicity?

The median lethal dose (LD50) is probably the most commonly quoted in general discussions of toxicity - the LCt50 figure is a little more unusual, but is often used for toxic gases, as it allows varying exposure times to be compared (to an extent). 

There’s also the LC50, which is the median lethal concentration (without the exposure time factored in, so more an ‘all at once’ affair as with the median lethal dose). 

Another couple of figures which can sometimes be quoted are LOAEL and NOAEL. These stand for ‘Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level’ and ‘No Observed Adverse Effect Level’ respectively. These are pretty much exactly what they sound like - measures of the lowest dose at which adverse effects are seen, and the dose at which no adverse effects are seen. What’s counted as an adverse effect will have been previously quantified by those attempting to determine these levels.

Today is ‘Ether Day’ - 168 years ago today, the first public demonstration of the use of diethyl ether as an anaesthetic was given.

This doubles as a teaser post for an upcoming graphic on anaesthetics!

Today’s post looks at what makes glow sticks glow, and at some of the compounds behind their different colours.

As always, more info and a larger image viewable on the site, as well as a print-friendly version of the image:

This Week in Chemistry: the Nobel prize in chemistry was awarded for work that allows optical microscopes to view individual molecules, whilst elsewhere researchers wrote gold characters inside cells, and developed a cancer drug delivery system based on molecules found in green tea. More information here:

Some awesome news for the weekend - the Compound Interest book is already available to pre-order on Amazon! Hopefully I’ll be able to share some previews as the release date approaches. Until then, here’s the Amazon link:

Sorry that posts here have been a bit sparse over the past week - I’ve been moving flats, so free time has been a little hard to come by! Normal service will be resumed tomorrow, however :)

A look at the darker side of chemistry today, with an overview of some of the chemicals used as nerve agents in chemical warfare - including sarin, used in Syria last year.

More detail and a larger, more readable image here:

This Week in Chemistry: cyanide clouds, molecular microphones and more! Links to further articles on these stories (and studies) available here: