Boric Acid

Boric Acid is an element that has made its way into the limelight this weekend. Image kindly reproduced according to the licence at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Boric-acid-2D.png Image kindly reporduced according to the licence at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Boric-acid-3D-vdW.png The people of Japan have been hit by a huge natural disaster. First the earthquake, then the devastating tsunami that followed. However, a third disaster is facing the country and this time it is man made. At the time of writing, there have been two explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear ...

Funny named molecules (5) – Quadratic acid

I promise you - no more after this one!! Quadratic acid - also known as squaric acid! Has the formula C4H4O2 Image kindly reproduced according to the licence at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Squaric_acid.svg The molecule is a white crystalline solid at room temperature and its dibutyl ester is used in the treatment of warts! More can be read about quadratic acid at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadratic_acid Thanks for bearing with me in this mini themed week on unusually named molecules. Look out for more themed week in chemistry and across the ...

Funny named molecules (3) – Draculin

By Wednesday, March 2, 2011 , , , , 0

Draculin This is a real molecule! It is a protein found in the saliva of vampire bats and is an anti-coagulant that is 100 times stronger than the anti-coagulants used in medicine. Image kindly reproduced according to the licence at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Desmodus.jpg The bat uses it to stop the blood of its victim from clotting whilst it is drinking. For more information, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draculin

Traumatic Acid

Following on from yesterdays 'Moronic Acid', todays stupidly named molecule is 'Traumatic Acid' Image kindly reproduced according to the lisence at : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Traumatic_acid_structure.png Traumatic acid is a solid, white, water insoluble dicarboxylic acid. However, it is found naturally in plants and is a wound healing agent (hence the name!)

Cod Liver Oil Weeds?

Genes from algae and fungus have been added to the genes in a common weed (thale cres)  to allow the weed to produce omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are fatty acids. The long chain omega-3 fatty acids are important in keeping the heart, brain and joints healthy. Most plants make short chain omega-3 fatty acids which the body can convert into long chains - but this process is not very efficient. However, some algae make the long chain version of this ...

Pineapples from Esters

This posting comes with the usual disclaimer - Please ensure you carry out a full safety / risk assessment before carrying out this lab work. It is your responsibility to carry this out. Take 10 drops of Butanoic Acid (smells bad - like vomit!) and10 drops of  Butan-1-ol (doesn't smell too much better). Add a little (one or two drops) of conc H2SO4 and gently warm for about 5 minutes in a water bath at about 70oC. Add the resulting solution to an ...

Esters

An ester is formed from the reaction of an alchol with a carboxylic acid. They are named as followed: eg, Alcohol, Acid eg, Ethanol and Propanic acid Except the alcohol ends in -yl and the acid will end in -oate, making Ethyl Propanoate. The functional group is shown: Image kindly reproduced according to the licence at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ester-general.svg    

Alcohol / Ethanol

  We are all familiar with ethanol, C2H5OH, the drug that society accepts the use of through drinks. I hope, we are also familiar with the many problems that it brings. Social problems aside, ethanol harms and damages the body as it is a toxic and a poison. The body also breaks it down as follows: C2H5OH is oxidised to CH3CHO (ethanal) which is also oxidised to CH3COOH (ethanoic acid) by an enzyme called 'alcohol dehydrogenase'. The ethanoic acid can be reacted with oxygen ...

What’s in a name?

  Asprin - we are all familiar with this drug but it's chemical name has an interesting history. It used to be called acetylsalicylic acid. Acetyl comes from Acetum, the Latin for acetic acid (which we know as vinegar or ethanoic acid). Salycilic is from salix, Latin for the willow tree. The bark of the willow tree used to be chewed to cure headaches as it was rich in salicylic acid. And the modern name? 2-ethanolyloxybenzenecarboxylic acid!! Much easy to understand but far less interesting! ...