Pete Ellis

  • An overweight child - obesity in children is an increasing problem

    Drug Discovery: metformin and the control of diabetes

    1 November 2011

    Type 2 diabetes is a serious disease, and it's on the increase. The search for a treatment is a story that traverses the world and touches on the treatment of other diseases

  • Iodine

    Discovering iodine

    1 June 2011

    From a chance discovery by a French saltpetre manufacturer, iodine celebrates 200 years of use in industry and medical science in 2011

  • William Roentgen, who discovered x-rays

    Radium - a key element in early cancer treatment

    1 March 2011

    An early example of how blue skies research by Pierre and Marie Curie led to the treatment of previously incurable cancers

  • A baby girl

    A sinister side to a synthetic sex hormone

    1 January 2011

    The story of the discovery, synthesis and prescription of a synthetic hormone, and the effects on those who took it and their descendants

  • Hennig Brandt discovers phosphorus

    The medicinal history of phosphorus

    1 September 2010

    In the early Middle Ages 'physicians' treated most illnesses ineffectually, with herbs and plant extracts

  • Michael Jackson's star on the walk of fame

    Is propofol a killer?

    1 January 2010

    Few people will not have been touched by the tragic death of musician and pop icon Michael Jackson last summer. The cause of his untimely death has been linked to the drug propofol. What is propofol and is it lethal?

  • A pile of fish

    Phosphorus - food for thought

    1 November 2009

    Can phosphorus-rich foods, such as fish, improve our intellect?

  • Joseph Lister

    Solving an infectious problem

    1 September 2009

    Joseph Lister's use of phenol as an antiseptic revolutionised surgical practice in the 19th century. But was he the first to use this antiseptic technique?

  • Electrical discharges from the nerve cells in the brain

    Epilepsy - beyond bromide

    1 May 2009

    An historical journey into the treatment of epilepsy, starting with potassium bromide 150 years ago

  • image - feature - dronsfield - main 1 - librium

    Librium and Valium - anxious times

    1 September 2008

    This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leo Sternbach, discoverer of the anti-anxiety drugs Librium and Valium

  • Arsenic: Arsenic was used as a treatment for Leukaemia in 1865

    Fighting cancer - the early years

    1 May 2008

    Research and development of nitrogen mustards 60 years ago sets the scene for new era in the treatment of cancer

  • Early surgical anaesthesia

    Early pain-free days

    1 November 2007

    Towards the latter part of 19th century cocaine provided the lead for chemists to develop effective local anaesthetics for dental surgery

  • Coca plants - a cash crop for farmers in countries such as Peru and Bolivia

    Cocaine - a short trip in time

    1 September 2007

    In the latter half of the 19th century chemists started to investigate the properties of cocaine. Elucidation of its molecular structure followed some 30 years later

  • Image - Phenols-ugr1

    Phenols in medicine

    1 January 2007

    Phenol encountered in school or college chemistry laboratories demands special respect on account of its toxic and corrosive nature. But phenol and its derivatives do have a few medicinal surprises

  • Chapattis

    Chapattis and the English disease

    1 September 2006

    In the early 1700s in England 'nothing was so much feared or talk'd of as Rickets among Children'. We now know that this softening of the bones, is caused by a deficiency of vitamin D.