Chemistry, around us and in us

It is difficult to imagine any manifestation of our daily life in which chemistry is not involved in any way (Balzani 20141Balzani, V. and Venturi, M. (2014) Chemistry. Reading and writing the book of nature, Cambridge: The Royal Society of Chemistry. Original edition in Italian: Balzani, V. and Venturi, M. (2012) Chimica! Leggere e scrivere il libro della natura, Trieste: Scienza Express.). Chemistry is all around us and in us. Chemistry is around us in the natural phenomena indispensable for life, such as photosynthesis, and in artificial products that are important for civilization (pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, plastic materials, semiconductors and detergents); and it is in us because the functioning (or malfunctioning) of the human body is regulated by chemical reactions.

VIDEO – Your Body’s Molecular Machines. These are the molecular machines inside your body that make cell division possible. Animation by Drew Berry at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.

Indeed, life is chemistry in action. Without over simplification, we can say that all the manifestations of life, including what we call cognitive categories (learning, memory, thought, experience and dreams), are ultimately the result of chemical reactions that are too complex to interpret, at least for now.

VIDEO The molecular machines illustrated by the three Nobel Prize winners in Chemistry 20162The (full) video of the conference “What molecular machines are and why they will change our lives”, held on 22 November 2018 in the Aula Magna of Santa Lucia, University of Bologna, with the three Nobel Prize winners for Chemistry, Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa..