The UNESCO has declared 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry (IYC 2011). On this occasion, the editors of ‘Forschung aktuell’ on the German radio station Deutschlandfunk present a weekly review of significant, unusual, or current developments in chemistry called “Molecule of the Week”.
In the radio show, which started February 2nd and is available on the internet and as an app, the author Volker Mrasek reports on molecules with an interesting history, a Nobel Prize-past, or something else exciting.
Volker Mrasek studied biology and is working as a journalist for radio, print and online media since 1984.
Among his selection of molecules are:
- thujon – the alleged villain in the beverage Absinth
- dimethylsulfide – which gives truffles their distinctive odor
- natriumthiopental – an alleged truth serum
- draculin – a protein in the saliva of the vampire bat, which prevents the blood of the victim from clotting during sucking
Image: Graphen under a scannling tunnle microscope. (©: RWTH Aachen/ II. Physikalisches Institut B)