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  • Challenge: Make paper and ink Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: qimono

    Challenge: Make paper and ink

    By The OpenLearn team

    Could our stricken scientists make their own paper and ink? It required undestanding of the processes involved. ...

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    Video

    15 mins

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    12 Apr 2017

  • Challenge: Make paper and ink

    Featuring: Video Video
    Challenge: Make paper and ink Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: qimono
    Introductory level Duration 15 mins Updated 12 Apr 2017
    Could our stricken scientists make their own paper and ink? It required undestanding of the processes involved.  
  • Separate coloured ink with this experiment

    By Dr Nicholas Turner

    Did you know your black biro isn't black and your green felt tip isn't green? Don't believe this? Try this...

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    Article

    15 mins

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    13 Mar 2017

  • Separate coloured ink with this experiment

    Introductory level Duration 15 mins Updated 13 Mar 2017
    Did you know your black biro isn't black and your green felt tip isn't green? Don't believe this? Try this chromatography experiment.
  • Humphry Davy, laughing gas and the era of self-experimentation Creative commons image Icon Wellcome Images under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license

    Humphry Davy, laughing gas and the era of self-experimentation

    By Mike Jay

    When Humphry Davy wanted to explore the properties of nitrous oxide, he decided the best way would be to experiment...

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    Article

    5 mins

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    03 Feb 2017

  • Humphry Davy, laughing gas and the era of self-experimentation

    Humphry Davy, laughing gas and the era of self-experimentation Creative commons image Icon Wellcome Images under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license
    Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 03 Feb 2017
    When Humphry Davy wanted to explore the properties of nitrous oxide, he decided the best way would be to experiment upon himself.
  • Will burnt food give you cancer? Creative commons image Icon Matt Allworth under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license

    Will burnt food give you cancer?

    By Simon Cotton

    Reports warn that burnt food - from overdone toast to too-crispy roast potatoes - can give you cancer. Simon Cotton...

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    Article

    5 mins

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    25 Jan 2017

  • Will burnt food give you cancer?

    Will burnt food give you cancer? Creative commons image Icon Matt Allworth under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
    Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 25 Jan 2017
    Reports warn that burnt food - from overdone toast to too-crispy roast potatoes - can give you cancer. Simon Cotton explains what we really know.
  • How do I pitch an idea to a science editor? Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: Kaboompics

    How do I pitch an idea to a science editor?

    If you've got a story about science, you'll want to get it read. The first step is getting an editor to want to...

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    Article

    Updated on:

    11 Jan 2017

  • How do I pitch an idea to a science editor?

    How do I pitch an idea to a science editor? Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: Kaboompics
    Updated 11 Jan 2017
    If you've got a story about science, you'll want to get it read. The first step is getting an editor to want to publish it... but how do you persuade the...
  • Christmas Crackers: An OpenLearn reading list Creative commons image Icon George Hoaden under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license

    Christmas Crackers: An OpenLearn reading list

    By The OpenLearn team

    Christmas dinner wouldn't be Christmas dinner without a member of the family being forced through passive-aggressive...

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    Article

    Updated on:

    19 Dec 2016

  • Christmas Crackers: An OpenLearn reading list

    Christmas Crackers: An OpenLearn reading list Creative commons image Icon George Hoaden under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
    Updated 19 Dec 2016
    Christmas dinner wouldn't be Christmas dinner without a member of the family being forced through passive-aggressive peer pressure to don a paper crown. Join...
  • Brady’s Rogue Reagent? Creative commons image Icon Ccroberts at English Wikipedia under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license

    Brady’s Rogue Reagent?

    By Dr Nicholas Power

    Why are schools inviting the bomb squad to explode chemicals in their cupboards? The OU's Nick Power explains.

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    Article

    5 mins

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    07 Nov 2016

  • Brady’s Rogue Reagent?

    Brady’s Rogue Reagent? Creative commons image Icon Ccroberts at English Wikipedia under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license
    Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 07 Nov 2016
    Why are schools inviting the bomb squad to explode chemicals in their cupboards? The OU's Nick Power explains.
  • Explainer: What is autophagy? Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Sarah Needs

    Explainer: What is autophagy?

    By Sarah Needs, Tala Chehab, Dr Sarah Allman

    The discovery of the mechanism for autophagy by Professor Yoshinori Ohsumi won the 2016 Nobel Prize in...

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    Article

    10 mins

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    06 Oct 2016

  • Explainer: What is autophagy?

    Explainer: What is autophagy? Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Sarah Needs
    Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 06 Oct 2016
    The discovery of the mechanism for autophagy by Professor Yoshinori Ohsumi won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine - get the lowdown on what...
  • Why could phosphorus depletion leave us all hungry? Creative commons image Icon Dennis Jarvis under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license

    Why could phosphorus depletion leave us all hungry?

    By Michelle Dobrovolny

    Easily accesible phosphorus rock sources are starting to run out. As the mines empty, food production could be hit....

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    Article

    5 mins

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    25 Jul 2016

  • Why could phosphorus depletion leave us all hungry?

    Why could phosphorus depletion leave us all hungry? Creative commons image Icon Dennis Jarvis under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license
    Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 25 Jul 2016
    Easily accesible phosphorus rock sources are starting to run out. As the mines empty, food production could be hit. Should access to the rock become a basic...
  • OpenLearn Live: 22nd July 2016 Creative commons image Icon Ydam under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license

    OpenLearn Live: 22nd July 2016

    By The OpenLearn team

    A biochemist with a fearsome reputation; how drones are helping ferrets and keeping your workers involved. Free...

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    Article

    5 mins

    Level: 1 Introductory

    Updated on:

    22 Jul 2016

  • OpenLearn Live: 22nd July 2016

    OpenLearn Live: 22nd July 2016 Creative commons image Icon Ydam under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license
    Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 22 Jul 2016
    A biochemist with a fearsome reputation; how drones are helping ferrets and keeping your workers involved. Free learning from across the day.

    Free OpenLearn courses.
    Free extracts from OU course materials

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  • Drug development process: combating pain

    Drug development process: combating pain, is a free course offering a brief introduction to the process of new drug discovery; from identification...

    Updated content

    Try: Drug development process: combating pain now

    Free course

    2 hours

    Level: 3 Advanced

    Updated on:

    16 Aug 2017

  • Drug development process: combating pain

    Free Course Free Course
    Updated content
    Advanced level Duration 2 hours Updated 16 Aug 2017
    Drug development process: combating pain, is a free course offering a brief...
  • Introduction to polymers

    This free course, Introduction to polymers, examines the use of polymers and demonstrates how their properties are controlled by their molecular...

    Try: Introduction to polymers now

    Free course

    20 hours

    Level: 3 Advanced

    Updated on:

    26 May 2016

  • Introduction to polymers

    Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video
    Introduction to polymers Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission
    Advanced level Duration 20 hours Updated 26 May 2016
    This free course, Introduction to polymers, examines the use of polymers and...
  • The molecular world

    From diamonds to dynamite, everything involves a chemical reaction. This free course, The molecular world, introduces you to the concepts and...

    Try: The molecular world now

    Free course

    20 hours

    Level: 2 Intermediate

    Updated on:

    22 Mar 2016

  • The molecular world

    Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video
    Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission
    Intermediate level Duration 20 hours Updated 22 Mar 2016
    From diamonds to dynamite, everything involves a chemical reaction. This free...
  • What chemical compounds might be present in drinking water?

    Do you want to know what’s in the water that you drink? This free course, What chemical compounds might be present in drinking water?, examines the...

    Try: What chemical compounds might be present in drinking water? now

    Free course

    6 hours

    Level: 2 Intermediate

    Updated on:

    21 Mar 2016

  • What chemical compounds might be present in drinking water?

    Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video
    What chemical compounds might be present in drinking water?
    Intermediate level Duration 6 hours Updated 21 Mar 2016
    Do you want to know what’s in the water that you drink? This free course, What...
  • Test kits for water analysis

    This free course, Test kits for water analysis, steps outside the laboratory to look at some examples of analytical procedures being carried out in...

    Try: Test kits for water analysis now

    Free course

    12 hours

    Level: 2 Intermediate

    Updated on:

    21 Mar 2016

  • Test kits for water analysis

    Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video
    Test kits for water analysis Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission
    Intermediate level Duration 12 hours Updated 21 Mar 2016
    This free course, Test kits for water analysis, steps outside the laboratory to...
  • Iron transport and storage

    This free course, Iron transport and storage, looks at the methods that have been developed by organisms for the uptake, transport and storage of...

    Try: Iron transport and storage now

    Free course

    5 hours

    Level: 3 Advanced

    Updated on:

    02 Mar 2016

  • Iron transport and storage

    Free Course Free Course
    Iron transport and storage Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission
    Advanced level Duration 5 hours Updated 02 Mar 2016
    This free course, Iron transport and storage, looks at the methods that have been...
  • Birth of a drug

    The search for new medicinal products is one of the major driving forces behind the development and application of new synthetic methods. This free...

    Try: Birth of a drug now

    Free course

    4 hours

    Level: 3 Advanced

    Updated on:

    02 Mar 2016

  • Birth of a drug

    Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video
    Birth of a drug Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission
    Advanced level Duration 4 hours Updated 02 Mar 2016
    The search for new medicinal products is one of the major driving forces behind...
  • The three-way catalytic converter

    This free course is concerned primarily with the chemistry that underpins the operation of the three-way catalytic converter that is placed in the...

    Try: The three-way catalytic converter now

    Free course

    12 hours

    Level: 3 Advanced

    Updated on:

    02 Mar 2016

  • The three-way catalytic converter

    Free Course Free Course Featuring: Activity Activity
    The three-way catalytic converter Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission
    Advanced level Duration 12 hours Updated 02 Mar 2016
    This free course is concerned primarily with the chemistry that underpins the...

    Become an OU student.
    Change your life with a qualification

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    BA/BSc Open degree

    Course Course
    BA/BSc Open degree Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Dreamstime
    Duration 3600 hours Updated 14 Aug 2017
    Over 40 per cent of OU students who graduate do so with an Open degree. It’s a...

    Certificate of Higher Education Open

    Course Course
    Certificate of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Irochka | Dreamstime.com
    Duration 1200 hours Updated 14 Aug 2017
    If you’re keen to try university study and want to keep your options open, this...

    Certificate of Higher Education in Natural Sciences

    Course Course
    Certificate of Higher Education in Natural Sciences Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Irochka | Dreamstime.com
    Duration 1200 hours Updated 14 Aug 2017
    Are you fascinated by life’s big questions? Are you thinking about studying for a...

    Diploma of Higher Education Open

    Course Course
    Diploma of Higher Education Open
    Duration 2400 hours Updated 14 Aug 2017
    Studying at university level is not just about gaining a degree. We also offer a...

    Diploma of Higher Education in Natural Sciences

    Course Course
    Diploma of Higher Education in Natural Sciences Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Dreamstime
    Duration 2400 hours Updated 14 Aug 2017
    If you’re curious about the world we live in and enjoy delving into a wide range...

    BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences

    Course Course
    BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The Open University/Karen Parker
    Duration 3600 hours Updated 14 Aug 2017
    We live in a society that depends on science, but how many of us really understand...