Monthly Archives: June 2016

Sniffer Bees and TNT


Chemistry is everywhere and the clever Chemists can take two seemingly random items and link them together. TNT is an explosive composed of an Arene and a Bee is a Bee. I would like you to look at the structure of TNT and compare it to the structure of some of the Arenes you have made in the lab. How close are the structures? Any ideas for the conversion of these to TNT? Why is TNT explosive?

What is the link with ‘sniffer’ Bees? Do some research and comment on the link between the two and the feasibility of the studies / reports you find. What is it about TNT and Bees that makes them suitable for this application?





Aspirin is possibly the most used drug in the world. It has uses in pain relief, reducing inflammation, reducing fever, cardiovascular health and now there are reports on its anti-cancer abilities. However, were it to be discovered and trialled today it would probably not make it to market due to its side effects.

You research task is to uncover the history of aspirin and the role chemists have played in modifying its structure to improve its health benefits. Dig into what aspirin can be prescribed for and if the ‘cure’ is worth the risk of the possible side-effects. Since it’s a chemistry blog, you need to include details on functional groups, the reactions done to modify its structure and the benefits gained. Have a look at the structure of some other related drugs and note any similarities or differences. Who owns aspirin and what is its market worth?

Finally, you need to include details about your own attempted synthesis of aspirin in the form of a brief lab report.