The Alchemist admits this week that it ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it, especially when making polymer films. He learns that size does matter when it comes to liquid crystals and you can teach old drugs new tricks. Those clichés are almost as old as the dinosaurs of which we learn that their gaseous emissions could have been to blame for Jurassic global warming. And, speaking of gas, it turns out that graphene can detect gases by noise alone. Finally, the US army is hoping scientists can lighten their load.