Articles by Klaus Roth published in ChemistryViews

Focus: Prussian Blue: Discovery and Betrayal

Author: Klaus Roth

03 May2022 — Around 1700, Berlin was a colorful center of innovation – a scene that led to the discovery of the century: Prussian blue

Focus: Emil Fischer’s Unsolved Case: Cleared Up after 120 Years

Author: Klaus Roth

01 March 2022 — We go back to 1896 and look over Emil Fischer’s shoulder as he determines the melting point of his capricious hydrazone

 

Focus: Deciphering the Genetic Code: The Most Beautiful False Theory in Biochemistry

Author: Klaus Roth

03 August 2021 — Countless scientists contributed to its clarification with brilliance, ingenuity, intuition, and luck

 

Focus: Cheryl Dembe: A Woman Who Didn’t Give Up

Author: Klaus RothORCID iD (Images: C. Dembe, University of Chicago)

06 April 2021 — An inspirational example of not letting obstacles discourage you, but using them as stepping stones instead

 

Focus: Sir Hans Adolf Krebs (1900 – 1981)

Author: Klaus Roth

03 November 2020 — Discoverer of the citric acid and urea cycles forced to leave Nazi Germany in 1933

 

Focus: The Smell of Asparagus Urine

Author: Sabine Streller, Klaus Roth

03 March 2020 — What substances cause the characteristic smell of asparagus pee?

 

Focus: Chemistry with Spit and Polish

Author: Klaus Roth

07 January 2020 — For generations, conservators have been cleaning the surfaces of artworks with their saliva

 

Focus: Sir Henry’s Secret Pot of Gold

Author: Klaus Roth

19 June 2019 — A true fairy tale for entrepreneurs—with a rocky start

 

Focus: Pyrethrum: History of a Bio-Insecticide

Author: Klaus Roth, Elisabeth Vaupel

02 October 2018 — Chrysanthemum flowers as an insecticide

 

Focus: New Kids on the Table: Is Element 118 a Noble Gas?

Author: Klaus Roth

03 April 2018 — The synthesis of heavy elements

 

Focus: Is Vanilla-Flavored Pudding a Mutagen?

Author: Klaus Roth

05 September 2017 — A peculiar story about dealing with sources

 

Focus: Can Too Much Water Be Toxic? – Part 2

Author: Klaus Roth

01 August 2017 — How can water cross cell membranes? Fascinating chemistry that affects each one of us

 

Focus: Can Too Much Water Be Toxic? – Part 1

Author: Klaus Roth

04 July 2017 — Is such a thing as “water poisoning” possible?

 

Focus: To Tattoo or Not to Tattoo? – Part 4

Author: Klaus Roth

04 April 2017 — Tattoo removal, permanent make-up, and henna

 

Focus: To Tattoo or Not to Tattoo? – Part 3

Author: Klaus Roth

07 February 2017 — The process of tattooing

 

Focus: To Tattoo or Not to Tattoo? – Part 2

Author: Klaus Roth

03 January 2017 — Coloring materials employed in tattooing

 

Focus: To Tattoo or Not to Tattoo? – Part 1

Author: Klaus Roth

06 December 2016 — Tattooing from a chemical point of view

 

Focus: The Saccharin Saga – Part 4

Author: Klaus Roth and Erich Lück

05 January 2016 — A glance back to ancient Rome, and the most hair-raising of all sweeteners

 

Focus: The Saccharin Saga – Part 3

Author: Klaus Roth and Erich Lück

01 December 2015 — The health concerns associated with artificial sweeteners

 

Focus: The Saccharin Saga – Part 2

Author: Klaus Roth and Erich Lück

06 October 2015 — The early industrial production and organized smuggling of saccharin

 

thumbnail image: What the Public Thinks About ChemistsMagazine: What the Public Thinks About Chemists

18 September 2015

Author: ChemistryViews.org

Klaus Roth writes why we should take pride in our chemistry and infect others with our enthusiasm

Focus: The Saccharin Saga – Part 1

Author: Klaus Roth and Erich Lück

01 September 2015 — The invention of the first artificial sweetener and a lifetime battle for credit

Interview: Strychnine: From Isolation to Total Synthesis – Interview

 

Author: Klaus Roth

04 August 2015 — Christine Beemelmanns and Hans-Ulrich Reissig explain why the synthesis of strychnine is challenging till today

 

Focus: Strychnine: From Isolation to Total Synthesis – Part 3

Author: Klaus Roth

07 July 2015 — What can we learn from the total synthesis of strychnine?

 

Focus: Strychnine: From Isolation to Total Synthesis – Part 2

Author: Klaus Roth

02 June 2015 — Why did it take 130 years to determine the structure of strychnine?

 

Focus: Strychnine: From Isolation to Total Synthesis – Part 1

Author: Klaus Roth

05 May 2015 — Just how toxic is strychnine, and why?

 

Focus: Agatha Christie: The Chemistry of a (Nearly) Perfect Murder

Author: Klaus Roth

07 April 2015 — A devilish plan – thwarted by general chemistry knowledge

 

Focus: The Chemistry of Tobacco – Part 5

Author: Sabine Streller and Klaus Roth

03 March 2015 — What happens when a smoker tries to quit?

 

Magazine: 70th Birthday: Klaus Roth

30 January 2015

Author: ChemViews

Author and Professor Klaus Roth, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, celebrates his 70th birthday

 

Focus: The Chemistry of Tobacco – Part 4

Author: Sabine Streller and Klaus Roth

06 January 2015 — What does cigarette smoke contain and what does nicotine do to the smoker?

 

Focus: The Chemistry of Tobacco – Part 3

Author: Sabine Streller and Klaus Roth

02 December 2014 — How Does a Tobacco Plant Synthesize Nicotine?

 

Focus: The Chemistry of Tobacco – Part 2

Author: Sabine Streller and Klaus Roth

04 November 2014 — What does tobacco contain and which chemical changes happen between the harvest and a finished cigarette?

 

Focus: The Chemistry of Tobacco – Part 1

Author: Sabine Streller and Klaus Roth

07 October 2014 — Looking at the history of tobacco consumption – from chewing and snuffing to smoking

 

Focus: The Biochemistry of Peppers – Part 2

Author: Klaus Roth

03 June 2014 — We are only able to taste sweet, bitter, sour, salty, and umami – how do we taste hotness?

 

Focus: The Biochemistry of Peppers

Author: Klaus Roth

06 May 2014 — How is it that only plants from the genus Capsicum are able to synthesize compounds that sting one’s tongue so intensely?

 

Focus: Investigators in the Fight Against Scurvy

Author: Klaus Roth and Sabine Streller

04 May 2014 — Achievements from the first attempts to cure vitamin C deficiency to the isolation, structure determination and synthesis of vitamin C

 

Focus: Vitamin C Deficiency – Part 4

Author: Klaus Roth and Sabine Streller

01 April 2014 — How much vitamin C do we need in our modern food?

 

Focus: Vitamin C Deficiency – Part 3

Author: Klaus Roth and Sabine Streller

04 March 2014 — Looking at the chemical and physiological properties of vitamin C and at how it intervenes in many biochemical processes

 

Focus: Vitamin C Deficiency – Part 2

Author: Klaus Roth and Sabine Streller

04 February 2014 — When scurvy was identified as a form of malnutrition, an exciting race for the isolation, structure determination, and synthesis of vitamin C started

 

Focus: Vitamin C Deficiency

Author: Klaus Roth and Sabine Streller

07 January 2014 — It took hundred of years and a long sequence of small advantages and missed opportunities to discover the importance of vitamin C

 

Focus: The Oktoberfest Rearrangement: Part 3

Author: Klaus Roth

10 October 2013 — The chemistry involved in the production of beer foam or “head” is explained and a short history of the highights of the Oktoberfest

 

Focus: The Oktoberfest Rearrangement: Part 2

Author: Klaus Roth

01 October 2013 — As hops themselves actually are not bitter, and the wort tastes quite sweet, where does beer get its bitter taste from?

 

Focus: The Oktoberfest Rearrangement

Author: Klaus Roth

03 September 2013 — A closer look at the chemical role hops play in the beer-brewing process shows how beer owes its marvelous flavor to a great deal of chemistry

 

Focus: From Pharmacy to the Pub — A Bark Conquers the World: Part 4

Author: Klaus Roth and Sabine Streller

06 August 2013 — What does quinine do to counteract malaria?

 

Focus: From Pharmacy to the Pub — A Bark Conquers the World: Part 3

Author: Klaus Roth and Sabine Streller

02 July 2013 — The long road from the structure determination to the total synthesis of quinine is an exciting detective story

 

Focus: From Pharmacy to the Pub — A Bark Conquers the World: Part 1

Author: Klaus Roth and Sabine Streller

07 May 2013 — The quinine-containing bark of the Cinchona tree is probably the most valuable drug the Americas gave the world

 

Focus: Our Daily Bread — Part 3

Author: Klaus Roth

02 April 2013 — Exploring the chemical reactions during the baking of the bread and the skills trained and experienced bakers need

 

Focus: Our Daily Bread — Part 2

Author: Klaus Roth

05 March 2013 — Fragrant, aromatic bread, whether its wheat- or rye-based, undergoes a host of chemical reactions during the kneading of the dough

 

Focus: Our Daily Bread — Part 1

Author: Klaus Roth

05 February 2013 — Transformation of ripe ears of grain into a fragrant, aromatic bread borders on the miraculous and behind such a miracle lies chemistry

 

Focus: A Chemical Examination of the Isenheim Altar: Role Played in History by Horned Rye (3)

Author: Klaus Roth and Sabine Streller

08 January 2013 — The isolation and structural determination of the potent ergot alkaloids guarantees we can enjoy our daily bread without harm

 

Focus: A Chemical Examination of the Isenheim Altar: Role Played in History by Horned Rye (2)

Author: Klaus Roth and Sabine Streller

04 December 2012 — What is an ergot-infested grain kernel? Part 2 looks at the life-cycle of the fungus, how it contributed to the Salem witch trials, and a self test

 

Focus: A Chemical Examination of the Isenheim Altar: Role Played in History by Horned Rye (1)

Author: Klaus Roth and Sabine Streller

06 November 2012 — The Isenheim Altar depicts the symptoms and treatment of “St. Anthony’s Fire”, the result of poisoning by ergot alkaloids

 

Focus: Chemical Production in Compliance with Torah and the Koran: Part 2

Author: Klaus Roth

02 October 2012 — We examine the effects of these restrictions on the preparation processes involved in the making of halal and kosher products

 

Focus: Chemical Production in Compliance with Torah and the Koran: Part 1

Author: Klaus Roth

04 September 2012 — Unusual interface between chemistry and religion, drawing upon examples from Islamic and Judaic law

 

Focus: Chemical Secrets of the Violin Virtuosi – Part 3

Author: Klaus Roth

07 August 2012 — In this final part, Klaus Roth asks: Do Stradivarius violins really sound better than all the rest?

 

Focus: Chemical Secrets of the Violin Virtuosi — Part 2

Author: Klaus Roth

03 July 2012 — What made Stradivari’s violins so special? Klaus Roth looks at the important role of chemistry in Stradivari’s workshop and instruments

 

Focus: Chemical Secrets of the Violin Virtuosi — Part 1

Author: Klaus Roth

05 June 2012 — What made Stradivari’s violins so special? Klaus Roth looks at the important role of chemistry in Stradivari’s workshop and instruments

 

Focus: Boiled Eggs: Soft and Hard — Part 4

Author: Klaus Roth

02 May 2012 — Finally, we reach the practical part as we discover the ideal egg, from a culinary perspective

 

Focus: Boiled Eggs: Soft and Hard — Part 3

Author: Klaus Roth

19 April 2012 — We look at the chemical changes that occur when an egg is boiled and discover how to unboil the egg afterwards 

 

Focus: Boiled Eggs: Soft and Hard — Part 2

Author: Klaus Roth

03 April 2012 — We examine an egg on its journey from hen to table, including the first in situ monitoring methods, to ensure the perfect breakfast egg

 

Magazine: The Crisis of the Chemist — Chemists and Their Handicaps

01 April 2012

Author: Klaus Roth/Images © Klaus Roth

Interview with Erwin Reicher, first ever Professor of Applied Popularity Research, University of Kleinzack, on how to make chemistry popular

 

Focus: Boiled Eggs: Soft and Hard — Part 1

Author: Klaus Roth

06 March 2012 — When we rap a knife on the shell of a freshly boiled egg we are seldom aware of what a technical marvel we are dealing with

 

Focus: Pesto — Mediterranean Biochemistry Part 2

Author: Klaus Roth

19 January 2012 — In this last part we take a look at the synthesis of the perfect pesto

 

Focus: Pesto — Mediterranean Biochemistry

Author: Klaus Roth

03 January 2012 — Klaus Roth uncovers the nature of this culinary-chemical marvel, and thereby comes to enjoy it all the more

 

Focus: Chemistry of the Christmas Candle — Part 3

Author: Klaus Roth

24 December 2011 — In this last part we consider a candle burning in the absence of gravity

 

Focus: Chemistry of the Christmas Candle — Part 2

Author: Klaus Roth

06 December 2011 — We pursue the fate of a single wax molecule in a burning candle

 

Focus: Chemistry of the Christmas Candle — Part 1

Author: Klaus Roth

02 November 2011 — When we light a candle, the chemistry we are pursuing is not only especially beautiful, but also especially complex

 

Video: Interview with ChemistryViews Author Klaus Roth

02 November 2011

Author: ChemistryViews

Interview with ChemistryViews Author Klaus Roth, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

 

Focus: The Chemist’s Fear of the Fugu — Part 3

Author: Klaus Roth

03 October 2011 — Klaus Roth considers the poison tetrodotoxin from the fugu’s perspective

 

Focus: The Chemist’s Fear of the Fugu — Part 2

Author: Klaus Roth

06 September 2011 — What to do if one’s fugu banquet seems not to sit well?

 

Focus: The Chemist’s Fear of the Fugu

Author: Klaus Roth

01 August 2011 — The chemist’s fear of the fugu or pufferfish extends as far as the distinctive and intriguing poison it carries

 

Focus: Chemistry of a Hangover — Alcohol and its Consequences Part 3

Author: Klaus Roth

06 July 2011 — How can a tiny molecule like ethanol be at the root of so much human misery?

 

Focus: Chemistry of a Hangover — Alcohol and its Consequences Part 2

Author: Klaus Roth

07 June 2011 — How can a tiny molecule like ethanol be at the root of so much human misery? Klaus Roth looks at how ethanol is metabolized

 

Focus: Chemistry of a Hangover — Alcohol and its Consequences

Author: Klaus Roth

03 May 2011 — How can a tiny molecule like ethanol be at the root of so much human misery?

 

Focus: Sparkling Wine, Champagne & Co – Part 3

Author: Klaus Roth

22 December 2010 — The scientific basis for the fascinating bubble dance and how to ensure it lasts as long as possible

 

Focus: Sparkling Wine, Champagne & Co – Part 2

Author: Klaus Roth

17 December 2010 — Opening the bottle and choosing the glass – Who would have guessed that both would give us insights into thermodynamics?

 

Focus: Sparkling Wine, Champagne & Co – Part 1

Author: Klaus Roth

08 December 2010 — Looking a bit deeper into the glass we discover that there is a great deal of chemistry involved … only chemistry can be this tingling

 

Focus: Chocolate – The Noblest Polymorphism III

Author: Klaus Roth

04 October 2010 — Klaus Roth takes the final look at chocolate, health, sex, and drugs as he asks – Chocolate, a healthy food?

 

Focus: Chocolate – The Noblest Polymorphism II

Author: Klaus Roth

13 September 2010 — Cocoa butter can crystallize into six forms, but only one has the noble surface sheen, the crisp hardness, and melts pleasantly in the mouth

 

Focus: Chocolate – The Noblest Polymorphism I

Author: Klaus Roth

29 July 2010 — Chocolate is a cultural asset of mankind. Klaus Roth proves, once again, only chemistry is able to produce such a celestial pleasure

 

Focus: Espresso – A Feast for the Senses

Author: Klaus Roth, translated by E. Russey

01 July 2010 — Klaus Roth concludes his look at espresso with a scrutinizing glance at the foamy, consolidated surface layer, the crema.

 

Focus: Espresso – A Three-Step Preparation

Author: Klaus Roth

13 May 2010 — Klaus Roth proves that no culinary masterpiece can be achieved without a basic knowledge of chemistry.

 

Magazine: Some Like It Hot: The Scale of Wilburn Lincoln Scoville

06 May 2010

Author: K. Roth

Only capsicum can synthesize chemical compounds irritating our tongue to produce a pleasant spicy feeling!