Related topics: soil · climate change · carbon dioxide · plants · hydrogen

Molecular nanocarbons with mechanical bonds

Carbon materials with nano-scale periodicity such as graphene and carbon nanotubes, called "nanocarbons," are expected to become light, highly functional next-generation materials. There have been demands for precise synthesis ...

Researchers advancing understanding of vital enzyme

Nitrogenases, the enzymes responsible for converting atmospheric nitrogen into the nitrogen-based compounds used by living things, have been a major focus of chemistry research for decades because of the pivotal role that ...

High carbon dioxide can create 'shrinking stems' in marshes

For most plants, carbon dioxide acts like a steroid: The more they can take in, the bigger they get. But in a new study published Sept. 25, scientists with the Smithsonian discovered something strange happening in marshes. ...

Scientists create embryos to save northern white rhinos

Conservationists have successfully created two northern white rhino embryos in a key step towards pulling the species back from the brink of extinction, scientists in Italy said Wednesday.

Bones of Roman Britons provide new clues to dietary deprivation

Researchers at the University of Bradford have shown a link between the diet of Roman Britons and their mortality rates for the first time, overturning a previously-held belief about the quality of the Roman diet.

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Nitrogen

Nitrogen (pronounced /ˈnaɪtrədʒɨn/) is a chemical element that has the symbol N and atomic number 7 and atomic mass 14.00674 u. Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78% by volume of Earth's atmosphere.

Many industrially important compounds, such as ammonia, nitric acid, organic nitrates (propellants and explosives), and cyanides, contain nitrogen. The extremely strong bond in elemental nitrogen dominates nitrogen chemistry, causing difficulty for both organisms and industry in converting the N2 into useful compounds, and releasing large amounts of energy when these compounds burn or decay back into nitrogen gas.

The element nitrogen was discovered by Daniel Rutherford, a Scottish physician, in 1772. Nitrogen occurs in all living organisms. It is a constituent element of amino acids and thus of proteins, and of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). It resides in the chemical structure of almost all neurotransmitters, and is a defining component of alkaloids, biological molecules produced by many organisms.

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