Molecule of the Day

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?

Gerolsteiner? H2O? What are you, a subprime borrower? The Gulfstream+Carbon Credit set are drinking deuterium oxide. Evian facial spray? Do you drive a hybrid or something? Only D2O facial spray will do.

That’s not all! Merely regioselectively deuterating say, guanine, may reduce its tendency to oxidize (assuming you don’t synthesize any purine de novo)

If you thought it was difficult to feed 6.7B people now, imagine how difficult it will be when I-Food becomes de rigeur. The investigators purport the primary kinetic isotope effect might have salubrious effects by inhibiting degradation of (say) purines to 8-oxopurines. Why not tritium?

Also, C4 plants like corn enrich themselves in heavy 13C relative to C3 plants like wheat. Cornfed American? You may already have won a prize – you’re 13C labeled! Have a soda and watch the health benefits pile on!

  • Shchepinov, M., Rejuvenation Research March 1, 2007: 47-60.

  • Demidov, V. Trends Biotech. (2007) 25:9 371.

Comments

  1. #1 Etha Williams
    April 24, 2008

    Damn. I really like Gerolsteiner. Well, it’s not as though I don’t do enough expensive, unhealthy things….

  2. #2 Andrew
    April 24, 2008

    “Evian facial spray”

    For some reason I read that as “Elven facial spray” the first time round.

    Although I suppose it makes about as much sense. :)

  3. #3 Uncle Al
    April 24, 2008

    Ingesting a good slug of deuterium oxide will set up density gradients in your inner ears. You will be profoundly, irremediably seasick. Medicine was fond of doing just that to measure aqueous compartment volume in patients. Punch out the doc and his therapeutic curiosities will wander elsewhere. (It wasn’t your fault – “heavy water psychosis” made you do it.)

    Perdeuterated organisms do not survive – isotope effect enzyme /_\G values are whacked. C-13 higher organisms barely survive. Grow your chemoautotrophic algae with (C-13)O2, then feed mice. Emulsify, purify, there are your intensely labeled biomolecules.

  4. #4 As You Lean
    April 24, 2008

    Thats it. I’m going on a D2O bender then heading over to the fair to make a killing on the Guess Your Weight booth.

  5. #5 azmanam
    April 24, 2008

    “The investigators purport the primary kinetic isotope effect might have salubrious effects by inhibiting degradation of (say) purines to 8-oxopurines. Why not tritium?”

    Tritium is radioactive

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tritium

  6. #6 Nick Anthis
    April 25, 2008

    This is actually something that gets joked about quite a bit in an NMR lab.

  7. #7 Vince Noir
    April 25, 2008

    It’s done in the “supplement” game so much it makes my head spin…take a line from some paper or another about the pH of cells and start claiming that drinking vinegar on a regular basis will cure and prevent your impending tumors.

    This is what we call the effects of an ignorant public that loves magical healing elixirs with the power of Mother Nature and high-tech super science.

  8. #8 Lab Lemming
    April 26, 2008

    Corn is a C3 plant, so shouldn’t show up as a d13C increase over other northern grains.

    On the other hand, if you eat Brazilian or Australian beef, combined with a lot of cane sugar (not beet sugar, sorry russia), then you’ll end up being isotopically over weight.

    Incidentally, the nitrogen fixation from legumes means that vegans, Mexicans, and other big time bean eaters can be identified by their N isotopes.

    On a more sober note, selling kg quantities of heavy water is actually a bit of a proliferation risk- heavy water reactors can make plutonium without having to enrich the fuel, so all you need is a few tens of kg of yellowcake and an evil scientist.

  9. #9 Albatrossity
    May 7, 2008

    Corn is a C3 plant, so shouldn’t show up as a d13C increase over other northern grains.

    Erm, corn is a C4 plant, for certain. See, for example, here, where you can read “Corn is among the 1 percent of plants that use the carbon-dioxide efficient photosynthesis system known as C4.”

  10. #10 Nanono
    June 5, 2008

    I think bacteria can grow in pure D2O. At least some but they grow poorly. I tried to grow some horse radish seeds in D2O, just for fun. Don’t even swell! (The control experiment grew nicely).

  11. #11 Ed
    June 16, 2008

    …so all you need is a few tens of kg of yellowcake and an evil scientist.
    I believe the term “mad scientist” is preferred. Perhaps you’re confusing “evil genius.”