More Molecules of Murder

Author: John Emsley
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
ISBN: 9781788011037
Release Date: 2017-06-23
Genre: Law

How can a plant as beautiful as the foxglove be so deadly and yet for more than a century be used to treat heart disease? The same is true of other naturally occurring molecules as will be revealed in this current book by award-winning author and chemist, John Emsley. More Molecules of Murder follows on from his highly-acclaimed earlier book Molecules of Murder, and again it deals with 14 potential poisons; seven of which are man-made and seven of which are natural. It investigates the crimes committed with them, not from the point of view of the murderers, their victims, or the detectives, but from the poison used. In so doing it throws new light on how these crimes were carried out and ultimately how the perpetrators were uncovered and brought to justice. Each chapter starts by looking at the target molecule itself, its discovery, its chemistry, its often-surprising use in medicine, its effects on the human body, and its toxicology. The rest of the chapter is devoted to murders and attempted murders in which it has been used. But, be reassured that murder by poison is not the threat it once was, thanks to laws which restrict access to such materials and to the skills of analytical chemists in detecting their presence in incredibly tiny amounts.

Molecules of Murder

Author: John Emsley
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
ISBN: 9781782627999
Release Date: 2015-12-07
Genre: Science

Molecules of Murder is about infamous murderers and famous victims; about people like Harold Shipman, Alexander Litvinenko, Adelaide Bartlett, and Georgi Markov. Few books on poisons analyse these crimes from the viewpoint of the poison itself, doing so throws a new light on how the murders or attempted murders were carried out and ultimately how the perpetrators were uncovered and brought to justice. Part I includes molecules which occur naturally and were originally used by doctors before becoming notorious as murder weapons. Part II deals with unnatural molecules, mainly man-made, and they too have been dangerously misused in famous crimes. The book ends with the most famous poisoning case in recent years, that of Alexander Litvinenko and his death from polonium chloride. The first half of each chapter starts by looking at the target molecule itself, its discovery, its history, its chemistry, its use in medicine, its toxicology, and its effects on the human body. The second half then investigates a famous murder case and reveals the modus operandi of the poisoner and how some were caught, some are still at large, and some literally got away with murder. Molecules of Murder will explain how forensic chemists have developed cunning ways to detect minute traces of dangerous substances, and explain why some of these poisons, which appear so life-threatening, are now being researched as possible life-savers. Award winning science writer John Emsley has assembled another group of true crime and chemistry stories to rival those of his highly acclaimed Elements of Murder.

The Elements of Murder

Author: John Emsley
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191517358
Release Date: 2005-04-28
Genre: Science

How can a chemical we need on a daily basis to keep us healthy be fatal at a different dose? Why should elements that are intrinsically dangerous be used in medicine? How did poisoners use the chemical properties of chemicals to cover their tracks? Emsley gives detailed histories of five of the most toxic elements - arsenic, antimony, lead, mercury, and thallium, highlighting some of the most famous murders and how the murderers used the chemical properties of elements to hide what they were doing. He shows how the elements have been behind many modern day environmental catastrophes including accidental mass poisonings from lead and arsenic, and the Minamata Bay Disaster in Japan. The array of fascinating stories shows how chemicals have impacted the lives of people ranging from the Greeks and Romans to Newton, Napoleon, Lucrezia Borgia, Mozart, Nelson Mandela, and Saddam Hussein. Emsley also touches on subjects close to home: cot deaths, laxatives, venereal disease, alleged cures for acne, hangovers, and insanity.

Molecules of Murder Set

Author: John Emsley
Publisher:
ISBN: 1788011163
Release Date: 2017-06-23
Genre:

How can a plant as beautiful as the foxglove be so deadly and yet for more than a century be used to treat heart disease? The same is true of other naturally occurring molecules as will be revealed in these two books from award-winning author and chemist, John Emsley. Molecules of Murder and More Molecules of Murder deal with potential poisons from man-made and natural sources. Both books investigate the crimes committed with them, not from the point of view of the murderers, their victims, or the detectives, but from the poison used. In so doing the books throw new light on how these crimes were carried out and ultimately how the perpetrators were uncovered and brought to justice. The crimes include those committed by infamous murderers and also famous victims like Harold Shipman, Alexander Litvinenko and Georgi Markov. Each chapter starts by looking at the target molecule itself, its discovery, its chemistry, its often-surprising use in medicine, its effects on the human body, and its toxicology. The rest of the chapter is devoted to murders and attempted murders in which it has been used. But, be reassured that murder by poison is not the threat it once was, thanks to laws which restrict access to such materials and to the skills of analytical chemists in detecting their presence in incredibly tiny amounts.

Molecules at an Exhibition

Author: John Emsley
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
ISBN: 0192862065
Release Date: 1999-10-07
Genre: Science

Discusses interesting chemicals, such as the smelliest, most lethal, and most versatile, in a non-technical style that covers each chemical's importance without using formulas, equations, or diagrams

Napoleon s Buttons

Author: Penny Le Couteur
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1585423319
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Science

Examines the roles that the molecular properties of such items as the birth control pill, caffeine, and the buttons on the uniforms of Napoleon's army have played in the course of history.

Chemistry at Home

Author: John Emsley
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
ISBN: 9781782626374
Release Date: 2015-11-06
Genre: Science

Hand cream, detergent, shower gel, toothpaste, toilet cleaner, air freshener, lipstick, perfume, low-fat spread, painkiller, diet drink, insect repellent... hundreds of everyday products that make our lives so much better than those of our forebears. And yet most of us know little about the ingredients they contain and why they deliver the benefits we enjoy. Some people find it worrying when they examine the list of ingredients on a packaging label, because all they read may be unintelligible names or E numbers. It appears to be just chemicals, chemicals, chemicals. The aim of this book is to examine the ingredients more closely and explain the reasons for their being used. Start reading and stop worrying. Chemistry at Home has been written by award-winning popular science writer and chemist, John Emsley, using non-technical language. The book has 12 chapters, each devoted to the kinds of products we are likely to find around the home, including in the garage and the garden shed. Chemistry at Home also includes a glossary which gives more technical information about the molecules mentioned in the book.

Ballpoint

Author: Gyoergy Moldova
Publisher: New Europe Books
ISBN: 9780982578179
Release Date: 2012-08-21
Genre: Science

The triumphs and the trials of the men who invented the modern ballpoint pen as they battled corporate greed, dark eras--and each other. László Bíró's last name is, in much of the world, a synonym for his revolutionary writing tool. But few people know that Bíró began his career in interwar Budapest as a journalist frustrated with spotty ink; that he escaped fascism by fleeing to Paris and, finally, to Buenos Aires; that a fellow Hungarian, Andor Goy, also played a vital role in the pen's development--and that, in a tragic twist of shared fate, business pressures and politics ultimately deprived both men of their rights to the ballpoint pen. Taking us from Hitler's Europe in 1938, to Argentina, where Bíró settled, and to Communist-era Hungary, where Goy lived out his life, Ballpoint is a painstakingly researched, absorbing narrative that reads simultaneously like a work of history and a novel.

Stuff Matters

Author: Mark Miodownik
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780544237049
Release Date: 2014-05-27
Genre: Science

New York Times Bestseller • New York Times Notable Book 2014 • Winner of the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books “A thrilling account of the modern material world.” —Wall Street Journal "Miodownik, a materials scientist, explains the history and science behind things such as paper, glass, chocolate, and concrete with an infectious enthusiasm." —Scientific American Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does any material look and behave the way it does? These are the sorts of questions that renowned materials scientist Mark Miodownik constantly asks himself. Miodownik studies objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, uncovering the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world. In Stuff Matters, Miodownik explores the materials he encounters in a typical morning, from the steel in his razor to the foam in his sneakers. Full of enthralling tales of the miracles of engineering that permeate our lives, Stuff Matters will make you see stuff in a whole new way. "Stuff Matters is about hidden wonders, the astonishing properties of materials we think boring, banal, and unworthy of attention...It's possible this science and these stories have been told elsewhere, but like the best chocolatiers, Miodownik gets the blend right." —New York Times Book Review

The Poisoner s Handbook

Author: Deborah Blum
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101524893
Release Date: 2011-01-25
Genre: Medical

Equal parts true crime, twentieth-century history, and science thriller, The Poisoner's Handbook is "a vicious, page-turning story that reads more like Raymond Chandler than Madame Curie" (The New York Observer) A fascinating Jazz Age tale of chemistry and detection, poison and murder, The Poisoner's Handbook is a page-turning account of a forgotten era. In early twentieth-century New York, poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime. Science had no place in the Tammany Hall-controlled coroner's office, and corruption ran rampant. However, with the appointment of chief medical examiner Charles Norris in 1918, the poison game changed forever. Together with toxicologist Alexander Gettler, the duo set the justice system on fire with their trailblazing scientific detective work, triumphing over seemingly unbeatable odds to become the pioneers of forensic chemistry and the gatekeepers of justice. In 2014, PBS's AMERICAN EXPERIENCE released a film based on The Poisoner's Handbook.

A is for Arsenic

Author: Kathryn Harkup
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 9781472911292
Release Date: 2015-09-10
Genre: Science

Shortlisted for the BMA Book Awards and Macavity Awards 2016 Fourteen novels. Fourteen poisons. Just because it's fiction doesn't mean it's all made-up ... Agatha Christie revelled in the use of poison to kill off unfortunate victims in her books; indeed, she employed it more than any other murder method, with the poison itself often being a central part of the novel. Her choice of deadly substances was far from random – the characteristics of each often provide vital clues to the discovery of the murderer. With gunshots or stabbings the cause of death is obvious, but this is not the case with poisons. How is it that some compounds prove so deadly, and in such tiny amounts? Christie's extensive chemical knowledge provides the backdrop for A is for Arsenic, in which Kathryn Harkup investigates the poisons used by the murderer in fourteen classic Agatha Christie mysteries. It looks at why certain chemicals kill, how they interact with the body, the cases that may have inspired Christie, and the feasibility of obtaining, administering and detecting these poisons, both at the time the novel was written and today. A is for Arsenic is a celebration of the use of science by the undisputed Queen of Crime.

Cathedrals of Science

Author: Patrick Coffey
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199886548
Release Date: 2008-08-29
Genre: Science

In Cathedrals of Science, Patrick Coffey describes how chemistry got its modern footing-how thirteen brilliant men and one woman struggled with the laws of the universe and with each other. They wanted to discover how the world worked, but they also wanted credit for making those discoveries, and their personalities often affected how that credit was assigned. Gilbert Lewis, for example, could be reclusive and resentful, and his enmity with Walther Nernst may have cost him the Nobel Prize; Irving Langmuir, gregarious and charming, "rediscovered" Lewis's theory of the chemical bond and received much of the credit for it. Langmuir's personality smoothed his path to the Nobel Prize over Lewis. Coffey deals with moral and societal issues as well. These same scientists were the first to be seen by their countries as military assets. Fritz Haber, dubbed the "father of chemical warfare," pioneered the use of poison gas in World War I-vividly described-and Glenn Seaborg and Harold Urey were leaders in World War II's Manhattan Project; Urey and Linus Pauling worked for nuclear disarmament after the war. Science was not always fair, and many were excluded. The Nazis pushed Jewish scientists like Haber from their posts in the 1930s. Anti-Semitism was also a force in American chemistry, and few women were allowed in; Pauling, for example, used his influence to cut off the funding and block the publications of his rival, Dorothy Wrinch. Cathedrals of Science paints a colorful portrait of the building of modern chemistry from the late 19th to the mid-20th century.

Fundamentals of Asymmetric Catalysis

Author: Patrick J. Walsh
Publisher: University Science Books
ISBN: 1891389548
Release Date: 2009-01
Genre: Science

The field of asymmetric catalysis plays an increasingly large role in chemical synthesis as the demand for single-enantiomer starting materials, intermediates, and products rises. This book describes the essential aspects of enantioselective catalysis in a clear, logical fashion, with chapters organized by concept rather than by reaction type. Each concept is supported by carefully selected examples to give the reader broad exposure to a wide range of catalysts, reactions, and reaction mechanisms.

A Tale of Seven Elements

Author: Eric Scerri
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 9780195391312
Release Date: 2013-07-18
Genre: Science

In A Tale of Seven Elements, Eric Scerri presents the fascinating history of those seven elements discovered to be mysteriously "missing" from the periodic table in 1913.

The 13th Element

Author: John Emsley
Publisher: Wiley
ISBN: 047144149X
Release Date: 2002-01-21
Genre: Science

The incredible "glowing" history of the "Devil's element "phosphorus Discovered by alchemists, prescribed by apothecaries, exploited by ninth-century industrialists, and abused by twentieth-century combatants, the chemical element phosphorus has fascinated us for more than three centuries. It may even be the cause of will-o'-the wisps and spontaneous human combustion! Now John Emsley has written an enthralling account of this eerily luminescent element. Shining with wonderful nuggets-from murders-by-phosphorus to a match factory strike; from the firebombing of Hamburg to the deadly compounds derived from phosphorus today-The 13th Element weaves together a rich tableau of brilliant and oddball characters, social upheavals, and bizarre events.