Microbial research unravels a global nitrogen mystery

Novel research led by Wei Qin, an assistant professor of microbiology at the University of Oklahoma, that significantly changes the understanding of ammonia oxidation, a critical component of the global nitrogen cycle, has ...

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Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as happy gas or laughing gas, is a chemical compound with the chemical formula N2O. At room temperature, it is a colorless non-flammable gas, with a pleasant, slightly sweet odor and taste. It is used in surgery and dentistry for its anesthetic and analgesic effects. It is known as "laughing gas" due to the euphoric effects of inhaling it, a property that has led to its recreational use as an inhalant drug. It is also used as an oxidizer in rocketry and in motor racing to increase the power output of engines. It is often created in bushfires[citation needed].

Nitrous oxide reacts with ozone and is the main naturally occurring regulator of stratospheric ozone. Nitrous oxide is also a major greenhouse gas. Considered over a 100 year period, it has 298 times more impact per unit weight than carbon dioxide.

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