Neuroscience

Antioxidant cocktail key to preventing Alzheimer's

Research from The University of Western Australia has found a diet rich in nutrients and antioxidants may prevent or even reverse the effects of Alzheimer's disease.

Medical research

Simple molecular reagents to treat Alzheimer's disease

Sometimes the most complex problems actually have very simple solutions. A group of South Korean researchers reported an efficient and effective redox-based strategy for incorporating multiple functions into simple molecular ...

Immunology

Fighting autoimmunity and cancer: The nutritional key

Scientists at the Department of Infection and Immunity of the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) revealed a novel mechanism through which the immune system can control autoimmunity and cancer. In the special focus of the ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Scientists trace path from PTSD to heart disease

People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) face a higher risk of heart disease at an earlier age than people without PTSD. A new study helps explain why.

Medical research

Changing what heart cells eat could help them regenerate

Switching what the powerhouses of heart cells consume for energy could help the heart regenerate when cells die, a new study led by UT Southwestern researchers suggests. The finding, published in the Feb. 20, 2020, Nature ...

Medical research

A new contributor to atherosclerosis

Free radicals produced during oxidative stress react with membrane fatty acids to yield highly reactive lipid aldehydes, which can modify proteins and cause cellular or tissue damage.

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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.

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