Molecule of the Day

Archives for April, 2008

Niacin (Nicotine vitamins?)

Niacin is also known as Vitamin B3. Interestingly, it’s also called “nicotinic acid,” and the similarity of the name to “nicotine” isn’t coincidental:

Is paying $5/liter for Fiji water not cutting it? Trying to come up with a more environmentally abhorrent, gauche hydration accessory? How would you feel about $1,000/liter, along with some iffy health benefits?

Mercury Beating Heart

Oscillating reactions are neat; I should write up one of my favorites sometime… Here, electrons flow from iron metal to mercury (I) sulfate to chromium (VI) oxide. Listen to the video for a step-by step explanation…

Molecules in the news…

A couple previous molecules of the day were in the news today: polylactide and lead chromate.

Phytic acid is an inositol derivative:

Inositol (Weird carbs)

Inositol is a sugar:

As you go down the group, the smells only get worse. You don’t smell oxygen (you’re soaking in it), sulfur compounds tend to be pretty stinky, selenium compounds are pretty rank, and purportedly, tellurium compounds are the worst.

Selenocysteine (#21)

As far as I know, selenocysteine is the only reason you need selenium in your diet (which you almost certainly get enough of; the requirement is vanishingly small, <100 micrograms/day). It is a member of the same group as oxygen. As you go down a group, things change in subtle ways. Sulfur is a less-electronegative,…

As Uncle Al mentioned, many antioxidants are ill-tolerated by the liver. However, it loves one antioxidant: silibinin.

Benzoyl peroxide is funny. As a commenter mentioned yesterday, it’s used in skin care.