Related topics: cells · mitochondria · antioxidants

New strategy proposed for efficient degradation of antibiotics

A research team led by Prof. Kong Lingtao from the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science of of Chinese Academy of Sciences proposed a pre-assembly strategy to anchor single atoms on carbon nitride nanosheets. They prepared ...

Glowing cells light the way to new disease detection

Stains that make specific components of a live cell light up under a microscope have become powerful tools for detecting disease and monitoring biological processes, but the choice of available stains is severely limited ...

A radical new approach in synthetic chemistry

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory helped measure how unpaired electrons in atoms at one end of a molecule can drive chemical reactivity on the molecule's opposite side. As ...

Tiny bubbles boost alternative cancer therapy efficiency

Scientists from Skoltech, MIPT, Prokhorov General Physics Institute of RAS, and a number of other research centers have shown microbubbles made of a protein called albumin to be effective vehicles for the delivery of photodynamic ...

Exploring the antioxidant benefits of different types of honey

Citrus honey has an increased abundance of antioxidants in comparison to other standard types of honey, according to a new study by University of the West of Scotland (UWS). The research is published in the journal Antioxidants.

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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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