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Michael Mosley tries to make the ‘philosopher’s stone’ using urine

Michael Mosley tries out a bizarre experiment using human urine, first performed by a seventeenth-century alchemist called Hennig Brand. Searching for the ‘philosopher’s stone’ – a substance with the power to transform base metals into gold – Brand began by boiling down gallons of urine. With help from Dr Andrea Sella, Michael repeats Brand’s experiment, and finds something almost as magical: the element phosphorus.

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2 minutes