News tagged with free radicals

Related topics: cells · mitochondria · antioxidants

The simplistic beauty of a free radical

The study was conducted at the Center for Self-Assembly and Complexity within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) in South Korea. Director Kimoon Kim and his team experimented with nitric oxide, a highly stable molecule ...

Jun 19, 2015
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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 University of Bonn, ...

Oct 22, 2014
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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.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA

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