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EVERYDAY EXPLORATION OF CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS

Raspberries, Weight Loss, & The Galaxy – The Chemistry of Raspberries

09/18/2014

The Chemistry of Raspberries

Raspberries, like all fruits, contain a complex mix of organic compounds. Unlike many fruits, however, raspberries have the less common distinction of lending their name to the compound that is a major contributor to their aroma – and one of the compounds that contributes to their flavour has also been detected in the centre of our galaxy. So, does the centre of the galaxy taste faintly of raspberries?

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A Brief Guide to the Twenty Common Amino Acids

09/16/2014
20 Common Amino Acids v2

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The proteins that make up living organisms are huge molecules, but they’re composed of tinier building blocks, known as amino acids. There are over 500 amino acids found in nature, yet, of these, the human genetic code only directly codes for 20. Every protein in your body is made up of some linked combination of these amino acids – this graphic shows the structure of each, as well as giving a little information on the notation used to represent them.

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A Brief Overview of Classes of Antibiotics

09/08/2014
Major Classes of Antibiotics Summary

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When we’re suffering from a bacterial infection, a trip to the doctors to be prescribed antibiotics is commonplace. However, there are a wide range of antibiotics available, and they vary both in their usage and their mechanism of action. This graphic summarises the major classes, and also gives a brief insight into the manner in which they combat bacterial infections; we’ll also consider each of the groups in turn, as well as bacterial resistance to each.

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How Can Xylitol Gum Help Prevent Tooth Decay?

09/04/2014
Xylitol Gum & Tooth Decay

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Tooth decay, also commonly referred to as dental caries, is the result of acidic conditions in the mouth, due to bacterial activity. These conditions lead to the outer layers of the teeth slowly being dissolved, which can eventually lead to holes in the teeth (cavities) in serious cases. To combat this, xylitol gum has been suggested as a potential preventative measure – but is this backed up by scientific research?

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Benzene Derivatives in Organic Chemistry

09/01/2014
Benzene Derivatives in Organic Chemistry

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Benzene is a hugely important compound in organic chemistry. It consists of six carbon atoms joined together in a ring, with a hydrogen atom bonded to each carbon; by replacing one or more of these hydrogens with a functional group, a large number of different compounds can be formed. This graphic looks at a selection of the most common simple derivatives which can be obtained in this manner.

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The Chemical Compositions of Insect Venoms

08/28/2014
Chemical Composition of Insect Venoms

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Insect venoms are complicated. Really complicated. You could be forgiven for thinking that it must be a relatively simple company of chemicals that makes up the painful sensation of a bee or wasp sting, but in fact a hugely complex mixture of all sorts of compounds – proteins, peptides, enzymes, and other smaller molecules – go into a small amount of venom. The range of compounds is far too vast to detail every single one – but we can examine some of the major constituents in bee, wasp, hornet and ant venom.

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Monosodium Glutamate – An Undeserved Reputation?

08/25/2014
Undeserved Reputation - Monosodium Glutamate

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Monosodium glutamate, or MSG for short, has long been the villain of the food supplement world. In the UK, Chinese takeaways proudly display ‘No MSG’ signs beside their counters, and many websites will purport to tell you ‘the truth about MSG’. Numerous studies have been carried out examining the effects of MSG, but with all the conflicting information, it can be hard for consumers to know who to believe. Read More

Cosmetic Chemistry – The Compounds in Red Lipstick

08/18/2014
Cosmetic Chemistry of Red Lipstick

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Lipstick is one of the most commonly used cosmetic products – and a range of chemicals are required for its production. The choice of these ingredients is carefully considered to provide the desired colour, glossiness, and indelibility. A single stick of lipstick will contain several hundred different chemical compounds, but there are a few substances and compounds whose inclusion is essential.

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