News tagged with free radicals

Related topics: cells , mitochondria , antioxidants

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
popularity 4.7 / 5 (15) | comments 6

Fresh faced: Looking younger for longer

Newcastle University researchers have identified an antioxidant Tiron, which offers total protection against some types of sun damage and may ultimately help our skin stay looking younger for longer.

Jan 10, 2014
popularity 4.6 / 5 (16) | comments 3 | with audio podcast

Discovering how the brain ages

Researchers at Newcastle University have revealed the mechanism by which neurons, the nerve cells in the brain and other parts of the body, age. The research, published today in Aging Cell, opens up new avenues of understanding ...

Sep 12, 2012
popularity 4.9 / 5 (9) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

Strawberries protect the stomach from alcohol

In an experiment on rats, European researchers have proved that eating strawberries reduces the harm that alcohol can cause to the stomach mucous membrane. Published in the open access journal Plos One, the st ...

Oct 25, 2011
popularity 4.4 / 5 (21) | comments 2

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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