News tagged with free radicals

Related topics: cells , mitochondria , antioxidants

How does prostate cancer form?

Prostate cancer affects more than 23,000 men this year in the USA however the individual genes that initiate prostate cancer formation are poorly understood. Finding an enzyme that regulates this process ...

Dec 18, 2014
popularity 4.7 / 5 (3) | comments 0

Cause of ageing remains elusive

A report by Chinese researchers in the journal Nature a few months ago was a small sensation: they appeared to have found the cause for why organisms age. An international team of scientists, headed by the ...

Oct 22, 2014
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A cup of coffee a day may keep retinal damage away

(Medical Xpress)—Coffee drinkers, rejoice! Aside from java's energy jolt, food scientists say you may reap another health benefit from a daily cup of joe: prevention of deteriorating eyesight and possible ...

Apr 30, 2014
popularity 3.5 / 5 (2) | comments 0

Radical (chemistry)

In chemistry, radicals (often referred to as free radicals) are atoms, molecules, or ions with unpaired electrons on an otherwise open shell configuration. These unpaired electrons are usually highly reactive, so radicals are likely to take part in chemical reactions. Radicals play an important role in combustion, atmospheric chemistry, polymerization, plasma chemistry, biochemistry, and many other chemical processes, including human physiology. For example, superoxide and nitric oxide regulate many biological processes, such as controlling vascular tone. "Radical" and "free radical" are frequently used interchangeably, although a radical may be trapped within a solvent cage or be otherwise bound. The first organic free radical identified was triphenylmethyl radical, by Moses Gomberg in 1900 at the University of Michigan.

Historically, the term radical has also been used for bound parts of the molecule, especially when they remain unchanged in reactions. These are now called functional groups. For example, methyl alcohol was described as consisting of a methyl "radical" and a hydroxyl "radical". Neither are radicals in the modern chemical sense, as they are permanently bound to each other, and have no unpaired, reactive electrons. They can, however, be observed as radicals in mass spectrometry after breaking down the substance with a hail of energetic electrons.

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