Octopus-inspired wearable sensor

Wearable electronics that adhere to skin are an emerging trend in health sensor technology for their ability to monitor a variety of human activities, from heart rate to step count. But finding the best way to stick a device ...

Life in evolution's fast lane

Most living things have a suite of genes dedicated to repairing their DNA, limiting the rate at which their genomes change through time. But scientists at Vanderbilt and University of Wisconsin-Madison have discovered an ...

Air pollution hotspots in Europe

Big cities beset with gridlocked traffic, major regions producing coal, pockets of heavy industry encased by mountains—Europe's air pollution hotspots are clearly visible from space on most sunny weekdays.

Single-atom nanozymes

Nanozymes are catalytic nanomaterials with enzyme-like characteristics that have attracted enormous recent research interest. The catalytic nanomaterials offer unique advantages of low cost, high stability, tunable catalytic ...

Colorful solution to a chemical industry bottleneck

The nanoscale water channels that nature has evolved to rapidly shuttle water molecules into and out of cells could inspire new materials to clean up chemical and pharmaceutical production. KAUST researchers have tailored ...

A superior, low-cost catalyst for water-splitting

In a significant step toward large-scale hydrogen production, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have developed a low-cost catalyst that can speed up the splitting of water to produce hydrogen gas.

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Redox (shorthand for reduction-oxidation reaction) describes all chemical reactions in which atoms have their oxidation number (oxidation state) changed. This can be either a simple redox process such as the oxidation of carbon to yield carbon dioxide or the reduction of carbon by hydrogen to yield methane (CH4), or it can be a complex process such as the oxidation of sugar in the human body through a series of very complex electron transfer processes.

The term redox comes from the two concepts of reduction and oxidation. It can be explained in simple terms:

Though sufficient for many purposes, these descriptions are not precisely correct. Oxidation and reduction properly refer to a change in oxidation number — the actual transfer of electrons may never occur. Thus, oxidation is better defined as an increase in oxidation number, and reduction as a decrease in oxidation number. In practice, the transfer of electrons will always cause a change in oxidation number, but there are many reactions that are classed as "redox" even though no electron transfer occurs (such as those involving covalent bonds).

Non-redox reactions, which do not involve changes in formal charge, are known as metathesis reactions.

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