duckbunny (duckbunny)

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  • More bits - So that's why when the punctuation goes wrong you get three symbols in place of the one! I am excited to know this!
  • Capsaicin - Honestly? I have no idea. Ask a biologist ;)

All Posts by duckbunny

Penicillin

We’re halfway through the month, and today is the day for looking at medical breakthoughs. There’s no actual reason for this, it just seems like a good idea. This is penicillin: Penicillin is, famously, produced by some kinds of mould as a form of self-protection,...

Hadley Cells

As the ocean has currents, so does the air. But where the ocean has to move around the continents, air can move over them. The land isn’t flat, but in most places it’s a pretty good approximation of it. Air currents are primarily shaped not...

Cyanide

The cyanide ion consists of one carbon, triple-bonded to one nitrogen, with a negative charge on the carbon. And it is, as I’m sure you’re aware, a deadly poison. The thing is, though, that it’s only the cyanide ion that’s poisonous. The functional group of...

Ocean Currents

The ocean currents are a single vast system, spanning the globe. Water rises in the north Pacific and flows, a few hundred metres below the surface, past the northern coast of Australia to join the water rising in the Indian Ocean. The combined current flows...

Carvone

Today, I think we’ll give the bonding issue a rest, and look at something new: isomerism. “Isomers” are molecules that have the same structure, almost. That is, if you add up the numbers of each kind of atom, you get the same totals. But if...

Capsaicin

Capsaicin is a wonderful compound. It appeals to the evil part of me, because a strong solution of capsaicin is essentially liquid pain. Hey, I never said my evil side was nice. Capsaicin is the active compound in chilli peppers – the bit that makes...

Great Lakes

The cold snap in Europe 12,000 years ago was caused by things warming up in North America. Europe is warmed by an ocean current called the North Atlantic Drift, which is the Gulf Stream to you and me. For fairly complicated reasons, if there’s too...

Water

That up there is a water molecule. Now, I know you think water isn’t very interesting, but bear with me. There’s a reason I like water, and it’s not just because it makes me live. It’s a really interesting and unusual chemical. Water is extremely...

Younger Dryas

The Younger Dryas event is named after the kind of pollen used as a proxy for the temperature. Dryas octopetala grows at the edge of icy regions. So if you find its pollen at a particular time in a particular place, you know that’s where...

Sodium Chloride

Ionic bonds are really simple. Where covalent bonds are about sharing electrons, in an ionic bond one atom completely loses an electron to the other. The first atom become positively charged, because it’s got more protons than electrons now. The second becomes negatively charged, because...