Chemical processes have always been a part of life. They enable our bodies to function and are the basis of countless substances and processes we take for granted. This intriguing book explores the world's natural chemistry and how we understand and exploit it. From the first use of fire, people have practiced chemistry to produce food and drink, tan leather, make dyes for clothes and cosmetics, work metals, and produce glass and pottery. Today, chemicals help to purify our water, improve agriculture, and manufacture drugs, synthetic fabrics, and plastics. Our growing knowledge of the Earth's elements, the properties of atoms and DNA, and how substances interact, has resulted in many new technologies, products, and scientific advances. The most trusted nonfiction series on the market, Eyewitness Books provide an in-depth, comprehensive look at their subjects with a unique integration of words and pictures.