Molecule of the Day

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Cyprodenate (An oddity)

Cyprodenate is an old antidote for benzodiazepene overdose:

Limonene (Solvent or perfume?)

Limonene is a monoterpene that occurs in citrus peel, and it has a strong generic citrus smell. Many terpenes are smelly, like carvone (spearmint or caraway). Interestingly, limonene is cheap and abundant enough to use as a semi-green degreaser or solvent.

Atropine (Versatile Alkaloids)

Atropine can: Dilate pupils Speed the heart Inhibit sweat and salivation Serve as an “antidote” to “nerve gas” Sounds like powerful medicine, and it is, indeed. On the other hand, it is named for Atropos, the Greek goddess responsible for deciding how people die, for a reason. This is a molecule best used by doctors,…

Geosmin (Crunchy.)

Geosmin smells of earth:

Takin’ off that TBDMS? TBAF isn’t your only choice:

Stick that TBDMS on Monday and helplessly flailing around, looking for a way to get your alcohol back? Have a little TBAF:

Just like boc protects amines, TBDMS protects alcohols.

Last year, we were fretting about melamine contamination in foods from China. Again, this week, it’s happening – melamine was put into milk by some unscrupulous vendors. The idea here is that melamine is high in nitrogen and cheap. An easy way to get an idea of how much protein is in something is to…

Yesterday, I discussed ammonium nitrate, an industrial fertilizer. One problem with it is its lavish reactivity. On its own, and particularly in combination with hydrocarbons, it makes a potent explosive – it was used in the attack on Oklahoma City in the 1990′s.

Plants need nitrogen. You’re soaking in it – the air is 78% N2 Trouble is, the kind of nitrogen plants need is reduced (i.e., has more electrons) relative to dinitrogen in the air. In the past, this meant rotating crops – peanuts, for example, promote nitrogen-reducing, or “nitrogen-fixing” bacteria.