rotating aspirin molecule Molecule of the Month Home Page

Welcome to the Molecule of the Month page!

This is one of the longest running chemistry webpages on the internet (started in January 1996). Each month since then a new molecule has been added to the list on this page. The links will take you to a page at one of the Web sites at a University Chemistry Department or commercial site in the UK, the US, or anywhere in the world, where useful (and hopefully entertaining!), information can be found about a particularly interesting molecule.

If you wish to contribute a Molecule of the Month page, just email me the URL and I'll add you to the list at the next opportunity. (There's generally a 2-3 month waiting list, so this gives you plenty of time to write and polish your page).

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See here for all the details of software and helper files you require...

See here for a list of the awards and citations received by this page, and a disclaimer.

Here is an alphabetical list of all the molecules, or you can use the chronological table below:

Molecules that amaze us

Buy a book containing many of these molecules!

Paul May and Simon Cotton have compiled a set of some of the most important and interesting molecules from this website, as well as lots that have never been published before, and published them as a book that you can buy from the Taylor and Francis website at 20% discount until the end of December 2014. Click this link and insert this code MOLECULE230 when you get to the ordering page.


HTML only (H), Chime (C),
VRML (V) or Java (J, JM) versions
November 2014 Triclosan (H,JM)
The antibacterial molecule found in soaps, detergents, toys and surgical cleaning treatments that maybe becoming an enviromental problem
Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
October 2014 Aconitine (H,JM)
A poisoner’s potion of choice.
Paul MayBristol University
September 2014 Tramadol (H,JM)
The painkiller used by racing cyclists to give them an edge
Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
August 2014 Myristicin (H,JM)
The psychoactive molecule in nutmegs, and the story of the nut that changed the world.
Paul MayBristol University
July 2014 Salvinorin A (H,JM)
The psychoactive drug that's the key ingredient in Mexican Magic Mint
Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
June 2014 Chloroauric acid (H)
What you get when you dissolve gold in acid.
Quazi Hasibul Hasan, Niloy Kumar Das Shahjalal Science & Technology University, Bangladesh
May 2014 Sucrose (H,JM)
Table sugar
Paul MayBristol University
April 2014 Streptomycin (H,JM)
One of the main drugs to treat Tuberculosis.
Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
March 2014 Cholesterol (H)
Bile, membranes, hormones, vitamins and untimely death (and more)
Ben Benjamin Torbay Hospital, Devon, UK
February 2014 Fluorine (H,JM)
The most reactive non-metal
Mike Thompson and Hugh Campbell Rugby School, UK
January 2014 Hydrazine (H,JM)
Rocket fuel, spandex suits, power stations and car air-bags!
Paul MayBristol University
Dec 2013 Dimethyldisulfide (H,JM)
A molecule with a-rum smell...
Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
November 2013 Silica (H)
The macromolecule that makes up sand, glass and quartz, and which is a major component of rocks and mountains.
Guillermo Godino Sedano King´s College, Madrid, Spain
Oct 2013 Linalool (H,JM)
The main component of lavender oil, which is also found in lots of other places.
Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
Sept 2013 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluroethane (H,JM)
The refrigerant gas that replaced CFCs
Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
August 2013 Bisphenol A (H)
The controversial plastic additive
Mia Monte School of Ramiro de Maeztu, Madrid, Spain
July 2013 Wilkinson's catalyst (H,JM)
The famous inorganic catalyst
Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
June 2013 Ammonia (H)
A very important molecule for biological organisms to make proteins or nucleic acids
Quazi Hasibul Hasan and Niloy Kumar Das Shahjalal Science & Technology University, Bangladesh
May 2013 Artemisinin (H, JM)
The new antimalarial drug from China
Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
April 2013 Phenylbutazone (H,JM)
The controversial horse painkiller
Paul MayBristol University
March 2013 Lithium Aluminium Hydride (H)
The versatile reducing agent
Mike Thompson and Jess Abel Rugby School, UK
February 2013 Vaska's Compound (H, JM)
An inorganic molecule that reversibly binds oxygen
Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
January 2013 Fluoroform (H, V, JM)
It's not the same as chloroform!
Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
December 2012 Nitrogen Dioxide (H, V, JM)
One of the gases in smog
Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
November 2012Galanthamine (H,V,JM)
The anti-Alzheimers' drug derived from snowdrops
Simon Cotton University of Birmingham
October 2012Medroxyprogesterone acetate (H,V,JM)
The drug used for chemical castration
Paul MayBristol University
September 2012Filbertone (H,V,JM)
The smell of hazelnuts.
Simon CottonUniversity of Birmingham
August 2012Captopril (H,V,JM)
The treatment for high blood pressure derived from snake venom
Paul MayBristol University
July 2012Raspberry Ketone (or Rheosmin or Frambinone) (H,V,JM)
The smell of raspberries.
Simon CottonUniversity of Birmingham
June 2012Tropane (pdf)
The bicyclic amine that is the precursor to $4 billion pharmaceutical industries
Quazi Hasibul HasanShahjalal University of Science & Technology, Bangladesh
May 2012 Carbon Dioxide (H,V,JM)
The gas we exhale that's both a Greenhouse gas and a fire extinguisher
Mike Thompson and Jess Abel Rugby School, UK
April 2012Lauric Acid (H,V,JM)
The main constituent of coconut oil
Paul MayBristol University
March 2012Phenylethylamine (H,V,JM)
and the amine responsible for the 'Cheese effect'
Simon CottonUniversity of Birmingham
February 2012Botulinum Toxin (H,V,JM,)
The anti-wrinkle treatment that's the most powerful neurotoxin known.
Guillermo Godino SedanoKing´s College, Madrid, Spain
January 2012DMSO (Dimethyl sulfoxide) (H,V,JM,)
The smelly solvent that may have a variety of medical uses
Paul MayBristol University
December 20112,4,6-Tribromophenol (H,V,JM)
The test for phenol
Simon CottonUniversity of Birmingham
November 2011Hydrogen Cyanide (H)
From Prussian Blue to Schrödinger's Cat
Alberto Morón HernándezKing's College, Madrid, Spain
October 2011Sodium Hypochlorite (H)
The chemical name for household bleach
Paul MayBristol University
September 2011Doxycycline (H,V,JM)
The antibiotic that's an alternative to penicillin
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
August 2011Benzene (H,V,JM)
The first aromatic compound
Mike Thompson and Charlie StyleRugby School, UK
July 2011Sulfanilamide (H,V,JM)
The antibiotic drug that saved the life of Winston Churchill
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
June 2011Endosulfan (H,C,V,JM)
The controversial insecticide
Paul MayBristol University
May 2011Octanal (H,C,V,JM)
The smell of oranges that birds use as 'perfume'
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
April 2011Eribulin (Halaven) (H,C,V,JM)
The anti-cancer drug made from a sea-sponge
Paul MayBristol University
March 2011Muscone (H,C,V,JM)
The deer musk used in perfumes
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
February 2011Warfarin (JM)
The blood anti-coagulant used as a rat poison
John MaherBristol University
January 2011DEET (H,C,V,JM)
The spray-on insect repellant
Paul MayBristol University
December 2010Eucalyptol (1,8-Cineole) (H,C,V,JM)
A koala's favourite food
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
November 2010Kevlar (H,C,V,JM)
The super-tough fibre used to make bullet-proof vests
Paul MayBristol University
October 2010Heptan-2-one (H,C,V,JM)
The stilton cheese molecule
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
September 2010Kispeptin (H,C,V,JM)
The molecule of puberty and sexual fertility
Paul MayBristol University
August 2010THG (tetrahydrogestrinone) (H,C,V,JM)
The illegal performance-enhancing drug used by some athletes and sportspeople
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
July 2010Insulin (H)
The hormone that converts sugar in the blood into a source of energy
for our body's metabolic processes
Maria KyriakouBristol University
June 2010Nylon (H,C,V,JM)
The wonder material that made stockings, parachutes and toothbrushes
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
May 2010Diacetyl (H)
The buttery flavour of popcorn, butterscotch, and margarine.
Trevor GatesWestern Oregon University, USA
April 2010Glycine (H,C,V,JM)
The amino-acid that may have kick-started life on Earth
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
March 2010Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (H,C,V,JM)
The main cleaning agent in soap and detergent.
Zara Kauffer and Paul MayBristol University
February 2010Heavy Water (H,C,V,JM)
It's water - just heavier!
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
January 2010Green Fluorescent Protein (H,C,V,JM)
A molecular tag that can be inserted into genes to make animals and plants glow green.
Timothy King and Paul MayBristol University
December 20091-Octen-3-ol (H,C,V,JM)
The smell of mushrooms.
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
Novemer 2009Citalopram (H,C,V,JM)
A new treatment for depression
Benjamin Rawe and Paul MayBristol University
October 2009Strychnine (H,C,V,JM)
The performance enhancing deadly poison
Paul M. BurnhamGreenhead College,, Huddersfield, UK
September 2009Anandamide (H,C,V,JM)
The molecule of extreme pleasure.
Sujit Kumar KarS.K. Foundation,
Orissa, India
August 2009Geosmin (H,C,V,JM)
The smell of the countryside.
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
July 2009Cyanoacrylate (H,C,V,JM)
Sarwat BaigUniversity of Bristol
June 2009Teflon (PTFE) (H,C,V,JM)
The non-stick coating on frying pans.
Layth HendowHull Collegiate School,
Yorkshire, UK
May 2009Bombykol (H,C,V,JM)
The sex pheromone of the silk moth.
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
April 2009Retinal (H,C,V,JM)
The molecule of vision
Joshua Howgego and Paul MayUniversity of Bristol
March 2009Hydrogen Sulphide (H,C,V,JM)
The smell of rotten eggs.
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
February 2009Indigotin (H,C,V,JM)
The dye used to colour blue jeans
Richard Marsh and Paul MayUniversity of Bristol
January 2009Oxytocin (H,C,V,JM)
The molecule involved in pregnancy, breastfeeding and sexual fidelity!
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
December 2008Taurine (H,C,V,JM)
The stimulant in the 'energy drink' Red Bull - but does it give you wings?
Richard Marsh and Paul MayUniversity of Bristol
November 20082-Methylundecanal (H,C,V,JM)
The smell of Chanel No.5 perfume.
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
Oct 2008Dopamine (H,C,V,JM)
The neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of pleasure and well-being
Sian Gregory and Paul M. BurnhamHillsborough College, Sheffield, UK
Sept 2008Uric acid (H,C,V,JM)
The molecule that causes gout and kidney stones, and is found in bird droppings
Mike ThompsonWinchester College, UK
August 2008Folic Acid (H,C,V,JM)
A necessary ingredient for building DNA, cells and babies.
Dominic Taylor and Paul MayUniversity of Bristol
July 2008Isoprene (H,C,V,JM)
The building block for terpenes and rubber, and the molecule that makes the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, blue.
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
June 2008Histamine (H,C,V,JM)
The molecule associated with immune response, allergies and hayfever.
Michael Charles Hatch and Paul MayUniversity of Bristol
May 2008Sulfuric acid (H,C,V,JM)
The acid that's the 'King of Chemicals'
Mike ThompsonWinchester College, UK
April 2008Sulphur Hexafluoride(H,C,V,JM)
The unreactive gas that's found in electrical insulation, trainers and double-glazing.
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
March 2008Limonene(H,C,V,JM)
The industrial degreasing agent found in orange peel.
Paul M. BurnhamHillsborough College,
Sheffield, UK
February 2008Vanillin(H,C,V,JM)
The flavour of vanilla icecream.
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
January 2008Herceptin (H)
The controversial drug used to treat breast cancer.
Amy DykeUniversity of Bristol
December 2007Methane(H,C,V,JM)
The greenhouse gas that cooks our food.
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
November 2007Nitric Acid (H,C,V,JM)
The starting point for explosives and fertilisers.
Paul MayUniversity of Bristol
October 2007Nitroglycerine(H,C,V,JM)
The explosive component in dynamite.
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
September 2007Propanethial S-oxide(H,C,V,JM)
The molecule that makes you cry when peeling onions.
Paul M. BurnhamHillsborough College,
Sheffield, UK
August 2007Menthol(H,C,V,JM)
The cooling smell of mint.
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
July 2007Monosodium Glutamate (H,C,JM,V)
The molecule that enhances taste in food.
Pio MontiKings College School, Madrid, Spain
June 2007Lutein and Zeaxanthin (H,C,JM)
The chemistry and biology of the colourful carotenoids we eat as food, or which make the pigments in songbirds' feathers
James D. JohnsonAlumnus, Department of Chemistry, Florida State University
May 2007Acetyl Coenzyme-A (H,C,V,JM)
The molecule that makes fats, or burns them
Paul MayUniversity of Bristol
April 2007Glucose (H,C,V,JM)
The sugary source of energy for plants and animals
Mike ThompsonWinchester College, UK
March 2007Methamphetamine(H,C,V,JM)
The pick-me-up also known as 'speed'.
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
February 2007Sodium Thiopental (Sodium Pentothal) (H,C,V,JM)
The 'Truth Serum' used in many spy movies.
Adriano TaylorKing´s College, Madrid, Spain
January 2007Prostanoic Acid and Prostagladins (H,C,V,JM)
Important natural molecules that resemble hormones and have a range of biological effects.
Paul MayUniversity of Bristol
December 2006Ethene(H,C,V,JM)
The anaesthetic gas that's used to make polythene
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
November 2006Pentacene(H)
The p-type organic semiconductor which can be used to make organic electronics.
Fabio PichierriTohoku University,
Sendai, Japan
October 2006Chloroform(H,C,V,JM)
The anaesthetic and solvent
Stephen BeldingUniversity of Oxford
September 2006Hydrogen Peroxide(H,C,V,JM)
Rocket fuel and bleached blondes...
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
August 2006Cinnamaldehyde (H,C,V,JM)
The smell and taste of the spice cinnamon.
Paul M. BurnhamHillsborough College,
Sheffield, UK
July 2006Tamiflu (H,JM)
The anti-flu drug that might protect us froma bird-flu epidemic
Emily CampbellUniversity of Bristol
June 2006The Manganese-calcium oxide cluster of Photosystem II
(The Oxygen Evolving Complex)
The complex that cyanobacteria use to split water, release oxygen, and which helped start life on Earth.
James D. JohnsonFlorida State University, Tallahassee, USA
May 2006Linoleic Acid (H,C,V,JM)
The vegetable oil that's used to make margarine
Paul MayUniversity of Bristol
April 2006Skatole(H,C,V,JM)
The smell of human excrement
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
March 2006Cucurbituril(H,C,V,JM)
A pumpkin-shaped molecule
Fabio PichierriTohoku University,
Sendai, Japan
Feb 2006Hemoglobin (H,C,V,JM)
The oxygen-carrying molecule found in blood
Paul MayUniversity of Bristol
January 2006Batrachotoxin (H,C,V,JM)
The poison found on the skin of Amazonian frogs
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
December 2005Formic Acid (Methanoic Acid)(H,C,V,JM)
The poison from ants and stinging nettles
Mathieu LaffitteFreelance writer, France
November 2005Carbon Monoxide (H,C,V,JM)
The poisonous gas from car exhausts
Mike ThompsonWinchester College, UK
October 2005Dimethylsulphide (H,C,V,JM)
The smell of truffles
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
September 2005Dioxin (H)
The pollutant that caused the Seveso disaster
Fabio PichierriTohoku University,
Sendai, Japan
August 2005Linezolid (H)
A new type of oxazolidinone antibiotic
Rafal KlajnNorthwestern University, USA
July 2005Quinine (H,C,V,JM)
The anti-malarial drug that's found in gin and tonic
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
June 2005Dichlorodifluoromethane (Freon) (H)
Freon gas, the CFC refrigerant that damages the ozone layer.
Aaron VorderstrasseWestern Oregon University
Monmouth, Oregon, USA
May 2005British Anti-Lewisite (H)
The chelating molecule that's used to treat heavy metal poisoning.
Domingo Tabangcura, Jr. and
G. Patrick Daubert, MD
Regional Poison Control Center,
Wayne State University Children?s Hospital of Michigan,
Detroit, USA
April 2005Serotonin (H,C)
A molecule of happiness.
Claire RoslingUniversity of Bristol
March 2005Hexenal(H,C,V,JM)
The key aroma substance emitted when grass is cut.
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
Feb 2005Galactosylceramide (H)
The chemical found in the brain which is a constituent of nerve cells and intestinal membranes - and which may be implicated in promoting diseases such as HIV.
Jacques Fantini, Nicolas Garmy,
Nadira Taieb and Nouara Yahi
Université Paul Cézanne
Marseille, France
Jan 2005Arsine(H,C,V,JM)
The poisonous gas that was an important molecule in the history of forensic science.
Simon CottonUppingham School,
Rutland, UK
Dec 2004Maleimide-Polyethylene Glycol (MPEG4) (H)
Modified human hemoglobin that can be used as a blood substitute.
Nancy Christy, Shane Haggard, Kimberly Lam,
Rachele Melious and Paula Theobald
San Diego Mesa College
San Diego, CA, USA
Nov 2004Morphine (H)
The sedative and painkiller.
Enrico UvaLaurenHill Academy
Montreal, Canada
Oct 2004Butane (H)
The fuel in portable cookers, and much more...
Feng WangSwinburne University of Technology
Melbourne, Australia
Sept 2004Ubiquitin (H)
A ubiquitous protein
Lukasz and Mariusz JaremkoWroclaw University, Poland
Aug 2004Trimethylamine (H,C,V,JM)
The cause of 'fish breath' in some people.
Simon CottonUppingham School, Rutland, UK
July 2004Atenolol (H)
A beta-blocker drug used for treating high blood pressure and angina.
Ravi BhandariImperial College London
June 2004Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) (H,C,V,JM)
The notorious 'date rape' drug.
Gemma Gaitskell Phillips and Paula FitzgeraldKings College, Madrid, Spain
May 2004Osmium Tetroxide (H,C,V,JM)
The useful chemical reagent that was recently called the "billionaire's chemical weapon"
Mike ThompsonWinchester College, UK
Apr 2004Cantharidin (H,C)
The 'Spanish Fly' aphrodisiac that's also a beetle defense chemical.
Gérard Dupuis & Nicole BerlandLycée Faidherbe, Lille, France.
Mar 2004EDTA(H,C)
A molecule with a 'complex story', that's found in mayonnaise, beans and Big Macs.
Scott A. SinexPrince George's Community College, Largo, MD, USA
Feb 2004Combretastatin A-4 (H,C,V,JM)
A Zulu poison that can be used to treat cancer
Mike ThompsonWinchester College, UK
Jan 2004Rotenone (H,C)
An important piscicide and insecticide
Emma CastriqueBristol University
Dec 2003 Sulphur Dioxide (H,C,V,JM)
A major component of acid rain
Mike Thompson Winchester College, UK
Nov 2003S-Adenosyl Methionine (H)
A biological methylating agent
Rich BlatchlyKeene State College, Keene, New Hampshire, USA
Oct 2003 Dimethyl Mercury (H,C,JM,V)
The toxic compound that caused the Minamata disaster
Simon Cotton Uppingham School, Rutland, UK
Sept 2003Carnitine (H)
An acyl-carrying nursing biomolecule.
Hans R. ScholteErasmus MC-University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Holland
Aug 2003Fluoxetine (Prozac) (C)
The active ingredient behind the World's most widely used antidepressant drug.
Gemma VeitchImperial College London
July 2003Caeruloplasmin (H,C)
An enigmatic copper metalloprotein.
John MaherUniversity of Bristol
June 2003Pnictogen (H)
A group of materials that might be used to convert electricity into heat and vice versa.
David BradleyFreelance Science Writer
May 2003N3 Amide Dyes (H)
A new way to make 'metallo-organic' solar cells
Jean-Jacques LagrefNovartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland.
Apr 2003Ketamine (H,C)
The notorious recreational drug
Tim AldridgeUniversity of Bristol
Mar 2003 Ethyl Acetate (H,C,V,JM)
The source of many natural odours
Simon Cotton Uppingham School, Rutland, UK
Feb 2003Spidroin (H, C)
Spider silk and spider poisons
Vivienne LiBristol University
Jan 2003 Arsenic Pentachloride, AsCl5 (H,C,V,JM)
A molecule with unusual bonding
Simon Cotton Uppingham School, Rutland, UK
Dec 2002 Hemlock (Coniine) (H,C)
The poison that killed Socrates
John HugginsThrybergh Comprehensive School, Rotherham, U.K
Nov 2002 Dettol (H,C,V,JM)
The antiseptic cleaning fluid
Mike Thompson Winchester College, UK
Oct 2002 Epothilone (H)
A new anti-cancer drug
Audrey Barthelemy and Carole Christophe Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, France
Sept 2002 Ibogaine (H,C,V,JM)
The anti-addiction drug
David Bradley Freelance Science Writer
Aug 2002 Uranium Hexafluoride, UF6 (H,C,V,JM)
The source of uranium for nuclear power
Simon Cotton Uppingham School, Rutland, UK
July 2002 Alliin (H,C)
The chemistry of garlic
Eric Coleman University of Bristol
June 2002 Tryptophan (H)
The controversial food supplement
Kimberly Dick and Michel HacheyAdvanced Chemistry Develpment, Toronto, Canada
May 2002 Etorphine (H,C,JM,V)
An elephant tranquiliser
Simon Cotton Uppingham School, Rutland, UK
Apr 2002Beta-Carotene (H,C)
The colour of carrots
Martha Evens University of Bristol
Mar 2002 Mifepristone (RU-486) (H)
The 'morning after' pill
Fyaz M.D. Ismail Dept of Pharmacy and Chemistry,
Liverpool John Moores University
Feb 2002 Atropine (H,C)
The muscle relaxant used in surgery
Sara KennedyArmthorpe School, Doncaster, UK
Jan 2002 Relenza (H)
The anti-flu drug
Nikola Sanderson Imperial College London
Dec 2001 Nitrogen Triiodide (H,C,JM,V)
The well-known explosive crystals
Simon Cotton Uppingham School, Rutland, UK
Nov 2001 Ibuprofen (H,C)
A painkiller
John Bower University of Bristol
Oct 2001 Tetracycline (H,C)
The anti-biotic
Rafal Klajn Institute of Organic Chemistry
PAN, Warsaw, Poland
Sept 2001 Methyl Jasmonate (H,C,JM,V)
The smell of jasmine flowers
Simon Cotton Uppingham School, Rutland, UK
Aug 2001 Nicotine (H)
The addictive drug in tobacco
Muriel Fabre, Guillaume Bouchon, Sébastien Abry and Daniel Simon École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France
July 2001 VX gas (H,C)
The notorious nerve agent
Cavus Batki University of Bristol
June 2001 ClF3 (H,C,JM,V)
Rocket fuel
Simon Cotton Uppingham School, Rutland
May 2001 Brassinolide (H,C,V,JM)
The plant growth hormone
Martin A. Iglesias-Arteaga University of Havana, Cuba
Apr 2001 Capsaicin (H,C,V)
The heat of chillis
Matthew Bellringer University of Bristol
Mar 2001 Frontalin (H,C)
A beetle signal pheremone
Gérard Dupuis and
Nicole Berland
Lycée Faidherbe, Lille, France.
Feb 2001 Aspartame (H,C,JM,V)
A synthetic sweetener
D. Eric Walters Finch University of Health Sciences
The Chicago Medical School
Chicago, USA
Jan 2001 Tetraethyl Lead (H,C,JM,V)
The anti-knock agent in petroleum
Simon Cotton Uppingham School, Rutland
Dec 2000 2,4,5-T (Agent Orange) (H,C,V)
The notorious Vietnam War defoliant
John Hardy University of Bristol
Nov 2000 Bis(2,4-dinitrophenyl) oxalate (DNPO) (H,C)
Light emitting chemicals
Daniel Ormsby University of Leeds
Oct 2000 Nandrolone (H,C,JM,V)
The controversial anabolic steroid
Paul May University of Bristol
Sept 2000 ABT-594 and Epibatidine (H)
A painkiller
John Cameron and
Kathleen Brawley
University of Aberdeen
Aug 2000 Cisplatin (H,C)
The anti-cancer drug
Mitch Miller Symyx Technologies, USA
July 2000 Thalidomide (H)
The notorious morning sickness drug
Alex Lingham Bristol University
June 2000 Histrionicotoxin(H,C,JM,V)
The frog poison used in blowpipe darts
Neil Edwards and Mark Reed Sussex University
May 2000 Chlorophyll (H,C,JM,V)
The green colour of plants
Paul MayBristol University
Apr 2000 Melatonin (C)
The sleep-wake cycle regulating chemical
Salinthip Thipayang Imperial College London
Mar 2000 cis-g-Irone (H,C)
The violet-like scent of Iris oils used in perfumes
Jean-Marie Galano Université D'Aix-Marseille III, France
Feb 2000 Frankincense
(Boswellic Acid)
The Biblical fragrant gum resin
Gordon Docherty Bristol University
Jan 2000DNA (H,C,JM,V)
The genetic blueprint molecule
Paul MayBristol University
Dec 1999 Tamoxifen (H,C)
The anti-cancer drug
Huw Tanner Imperial College London
Nov 1999 Tetrodotoxin (H,C,V,JM)
The poison in puffer fish
Jim Johnson 3D Biochem, USA
Oct 1999 Psilocybin and Mescaline
The hallucinogen in 'magic mushrooms'
Paul May Bristol University
Sept 1999Anatoxin(H,C,V,JM)
A toxin extracted from algae
Neil EdwardsSussex University
Aug 1999Salbutamol(C)
The anti-asthma treatment
Jerome HettichImperial College London
July 1999Zyban (Bupropion)(H)
The treatment for nicotine addiction
Bernard Blessington
and Jamie Harris
University of Bradford
June 1999 Nitrous oxide(H,C,JM,V)
Laughing gas
Ewan Cameron
and Paul May
University of Bristol
May 1999 Adrenaline(H,C,J,V)
The 'fight or flight' hormone
Frank Oellien Computer-Chemie-Centrum
University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
Apr 1999 Staurosporine(H,C)
An anti-cancer drug
Clive WalkerNovartis Horsham Research Centre
Feb 1999 Ptaquiloside(H,C,JM,V)
The poison in bracken
David Bradley Freelance Science Writer/Editor
Jan 1999 Cubane(H,C)
A cubic molecule
Beinn Muir Imperial College
Dec 1998 LSD(H,C,JM)
The notorious hallucigenic drug
Paul May University of Bristol
Nov 1998 Polythiophene (J,JM)
A conducting organic polymer
Peter Tebbutt Cherwell Scientific Publishing
Oct 1998 Ferritin (H,C)
An iron-storage protein
James Bashkin, Regina Frey and Maureen Donlin Washington University
in St Louis, Mo, USA
Sept 1998 Saxitoxin (H,C)
A powerful shellfish poison
Neil Edwards University of Sussex
Aug 1998 Finasteride (H)
A treatment for baldness?
Cynthia Schieck Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
July 1998 Formaldehyde (H)
The biology specimen preservative
Walter VollandBellevue Community College, Washington, USA
June 1998 Mustard Gas (H,C,JM)
The notorious WW1 chemical warfare agent
Rebecca Holland Bristol University
May 1998 Proline (H,C)
A useful synthetic reagent
Andrew Potter Liverpool University
April 1998 MCM-41 (H,C)
A zeolite catalyst
Vladimir GusevFreelance
Mar 1998 Ozone (H)
The Earth's protective layer
Eloise Stattersfield Bristol University
Feb 1998 Sulfanilamide (H,C,JM)
A useful antibiotic
Peter Tebbutt Cherwell Scientific Publishing
Jan 1998 Adenosine Triphosphate
The body's energy storage molecule
Paul May University of Bristol
Dec 1997 4-Bromo-4'-Methoxy-
acetophenone Azine
An organic magnet
Rainer Glaser University of Missouri-Columbia
Nov 1997 Sscorpionine (H,C)
A scorpion-shaped molecule
Henry Rzepa Imperial College London
Oct 1997 N2S2 (H,C)
A molecule with unusual bonding
Joe Gerratt University of Bristol
Sept 1997 Hexol (C)
The molecule that helped the understanding of coordination chemistry
Robert Lancashire University of the West Indies,
Mona, Jamaica
Aug 1997 [Ag{(NC)Mn(CO)2-
A molecule with a near-linear chain of 7 atoms
John Crossley University of Bristol
July 1997 Vancomycin (H,C)
The antibiotic
Alan Bunch
and Anthony Baines
University of Kent
June 1997 Triphenylmethyl (H)
A propellor-shaped molecule
Andrew Hudson
& Richard Jackson
Sussex University
May 1997 Vitamin B12 (C)
The vitamin that prevents anaemia
John Maher Bristol University
April 1997 Cyclooctene (H,C)
A chiral molecule
David Bradley Freelance Science Writer/Editor
Mar 1997 t-AlF3 (H,C,V)
The interesting crystal structure
Armel Le BailLaboratoire des Fluorures, University of Lemans, France
Feb 1997 Taxol (H,C,JM)
The anti-cancer drug
Neil Edwards University of Bristol
Jan 1997 C60 Buckyballs (H,C)
The famous football-shaped molecule
Wyn Locke Imperial College London
Dec 1996Decahelicene (H,C,JM)
A spiral-shaped molecule
Hens BorkentCMBI, Radboud University Nijmegen, NL
Nov 1996 Sialyl Lewis X (H,C)
A carbohydrate that recognises blood groups
Steven Isles & Alan WilsonUniversity of Birmingham
Oct 1996 Water (H)
Not just for drinking...
Shawn Huston Kenner MDL Information Systems, Inc.
Sept 1996 Digitalis (H,C)
The treatment for heart disease
Paul MayUniversity of Bristol
Aug 1996 Helvetane and Israelane (H,C)
Hypothetical molecules with intriguing shapes
Mitchell Miller Lion Biosciences, USA
July 1996 Diamond (H,C,JM)
The world's favourite gem
Paul MayUniversity of Bristol
June 1996 Urea (H)
The first synthetic organic product
Stuart Fairall De Montfort University
May 1996 Ferrocene (H,C)
The well known organo-metallic sandwich
Karl Harrison University of Oxford
Apr 1996 Delta-THC (H)
The active ingredient in cannabis
Lee Banting Portsmouth University
Mar 1996 Phthalocyanine (H,C)
A dye, catalyst and anti-cancer agent
Alan Wilson University of Birmingham
Feb 1996 Aspirin (H,C)
The first painkiller
Paul May University of Bristol
Jan 1996 Mauveine dye (C)
The first synthetic dye
Henry Rzepa Imperial College London


Coming soon:

TNT, Phenolphthalein, Isopropanol, ...


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