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Prehistoric bling? Aesthetics crucial factor in development of earliest copper alloys

Research into ancient gold metallurgy has been supported by various studies, however, colour properties of prehistoric copper alloys such as arsenical copper and tin have remained largely understood.

Poisonings went hand in hand with the drinking water in Pompeii

The ancient Romans were famous for their advanced water supply. But the drinking water in the pipelines was probably poisoned on a scale that may have led to daily problems with vomiting, diarrhoea, and liver and kidney damage. This is the finding of analyses of water pipe from Pompeii.

Venetian physician had a key role in shaping early modern chemistry

Newly discovered notes show for the first time the Venetian doctor who invented the thermometer and helped lay the foundations for modern medical treatment also played a key role in shaping our understanding of chemistry.

Nanotechnology enables new insights into chemical reactions

Eighty percent of all products of the chemical industry are manufactured with catalytic processes. Catalysis is also indispensable in energy conversion and treatment of exhaust gases.

Scientists use mass spectrometry to ‘look inside’ an ancient Greek amphora

Russian scientists have identified the components of the oldest bitumen sample to be found in an ancient vase and made an accurate estimate of its age.

The art — and science — behind treasured Japanese porcelain

Porcelain connoisseurs have prized the traditional Japanese-style ceramics called akae, typically known for Kakiemon-style ware, for centuries.

Missing links brewed in primordial puddles?

The crucibles that bore out early building blocks of life may have been, in many cases, modest puddles.

Unexpected discovery leads to a better battery

An unexpected discovery has led to a rechargeable battery that's as inexpensive as conventional car batteries, but has a much higher energy density. The new battery could become a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative for storing renewable energy and supporting the power grid.

Metallic ink revealed in Herculaneum papyri

An international team of scientists has discovered the presence of metal in the ink of two Herculaneum papyrus fragments proving that metals were used in ink several centuries earlier than previously believed.

Recreating alchemical recipes shows the genius of ancient scientists

From dragon's blood to slippery elm root, coded and obscure ingredients of ancient recipes are getting a second look today not by Harry Potter fans, but by historians who want to experience science as it was practiced centuries ago.

Chemical analysis reveals first cheese making in Northern Europe in the 6th millennium BC

The first unequivocal evidence that humans in prehistoric Northern Europe made cheese more than 7,000 years ago is described in research by an international team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, UK, published today in Nature.