Do you like going to the dentist? Well, you’d like it a lot less without the compound developed by Lofgren, Lundqvist and Fischer – three Swedish chemists with an ‘unconventional’ approach to clinical trials. Lars Öhrström looks at lidocaine in this week’s Chemistry in its element podcast.

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Marilyn Monroe’s mystique might have suffered if she’d admitted that 2-methylundecanal was all she wore to bed. Chanel No. 5 has a much classier ring to it. Simon Cotton discusses the chemistry behind an iconic fragrance in this week’s Chemistry in its element podcast.

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Scurvy sea dogs are a lot less scurvy thanks to this week’s compound, and Linus Pauling was convinced it could do much more. Simon Cotton puts the ‘c’ in citrus with vitamin C in this week’s Chemistry in its element podcast.

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I think we’ve all had a bellyful of this week’s compound. In fact, we’d be in trouble if we hadn’t. Brian Clegg digests hydrochloric acid in this week’s Chemistry in its element podcast.

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Chemistry certainly has its share of happy accidents. Perkin tried for quinine but got a dye (and his fortune); while Wilbrand tried for a dye and ended up with high explosive… TNT. Simon Cotton tells the story in this week’s Chemistry in its element podcast.

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This week’s Chemistry in its element podcast comes straight from the heart to take your breath away. Brian Clegg takes us through the chemistry of haemoglobin – the compound that puts the red in blood red.

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This week’s Chemistry in its element podcast has a sting in its tail. In fact, to be precise, it’s all about the sting in the tail. Duncan McMillan tells the story of formic acid – the original chemical weapon that’s as versatile as the insects that use it.

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The sleepy secret secreted by the opium poppy has brought pain relief to millions. But just as it’s helped to save lives, it’s also responsible for taking them. Simon Cotton tells the tale of the addictive analgesic, morphine, in this week’s Chemistry in its element podcast.


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In this week’s Chemistry in its element podcast, Duncan McMillan breathes life into carbon monoxide: a silent killer whose calling card is the ironically healthy hue of its victims. But, as Duncan explains, these days canary-based CO detectors are a thing of the past and we’re even learning that CO can be helpful to us, as well as harmful.

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What is it that makes a man a man? Well, chemically, it’s testosterone isn’t it? But this compound doesn’t just separate the men from the boys – it’s helped unscrupulous athletes of both sexes stand out from the field too. Simon Cotton tells a steroid’s story in this week’s Chemistry in its element podcast.


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