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Oddly enough - Lab girls are Manganesey

It is a problem faced by chemistry teachers the world over - how do you make the periodic table more appealing to students?

Miyuki Mitsuda, of the Musashi Institute of Technology in Tokyo, believes she has the answer - and it mainly involves turning the elements into semi-naked cartoon girls. She has created a textbook featuring 118 saucily clad Manga characters - one for each of the elements.

The book, which employs the "moe" process to feminise inanimate objects, has already sold 17,000 copies since it was published last October.

Among the "element girls" are Fluorine, who is depicted brandishing a frying pan, and Sodium, who is portrayed baking. One can only imagine how praseodymium or ununoctium are rendered.

So if you see pupils getting hot under the collar over the periodic table, now you know why.

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