In 1901, Ernest Rutherford and Frederick Soddy discovered that radioactivity was a sign of fundamental changes within elements, and it was Soddy who quickly made the connection between this and the ancient search for the philosopher's stone (Soddy had studied alchemy extensively as a hobby).
At the moment of realization, that their radioactive thorium was converting itself into radium, bit by bit, Soddy later recalled that he shouted out: "Rutherford, this is transmutation!"
Rutherford snapped back, "For Mike's sake, Soddy, don't call it transmutation. They'll have our heads off as alchemists."
FMA is also listed under the Fiction section of this site. :)