From medicine to nanotechnology: How gold quietly shapes our world

The periodic table of chemical elements turns 150 this year. The anniversary is a chance to shine a light on particular elements – some of which seem ubiquitous but which ordinary people beyond the world of chemistry probably ...

Transparent wood can store and release heat

Wood may seem more at home in log cabins than modern architecture, but a specially treated type of timber could be tomorrow's trendy building material. Today, scientists report a new kind of transparent wood that not only ...

Nanomaterials give plants 'super' abilities

Science-fiction writers have long envisioned human¬-machine hybrids that wield extraordinary powers. However, "super plants" with integrated nanomaterials may be much closer to reality than cyborgs. Today, scientists report ...

Making lead pipes safe

Lead leaching from pipes into the water supply is a serious public health concern. And if water sources or treatment regimens are changed, the new chemistry can cause water distribution systems that were previously safe to ...

Doing more with less in the study of plant chemical defense

Plants can't run away to avoid being eaten, so instead they employ a variety of chemical defenses to keep herbivores at bay. Understanding plant chemical defenses is critical for keeping crops healthy, and for answering a ...

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