Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Amusingly Named Molecules Of The Day

That's right. Molecules. If you're in school, this post might count as a science credit. Consult your advisor.

From this site by Paul May.

Yes, believe it or not, there is actually a molecule called Arsole... and it's a ring! It is the arsenic equivalent of pyrrole, and although it is rarely found in its pure form, it is occasionally seen as a sidegroup in the form of organic arsolyls.

Dickite, Al2Si2O5(OH)4, is a (kaolin) clay-like mineral used in ceramics, as paint filler, rubber, plastics and glossy paper. It got its name from the geologist that discovered it around the 1890s, Dr. W. Thomas Dick, of Lanarkshire, Scotland.

A triterpenoid organic acid found in Pistacia resin, and of interest to people studying archaeological relics, shipwrecks and the contents of ancient Egyptian jars.

Although this sounds like what an undergraduate chemist might exclaim when his synthesis goes wrong, it's actually an alcohol, whose other names are L-fuc-ol or 1-deoxy-D-galactitol.

Not to be confused with BaCoN (barium cobalt nitride), which is a black crystalline solid with a layered structure.

A food colouring used especially in hot sauces. Also used in plant microscopy anatomy studies, because it fluoresces under ultraviolet light and stains certain regions between plant cells.

This is a plant hormone which causes injured cells to divide and help repair the trauma - hence its name, and its synonym 'wound hormone'.

Draculin is the anticoagulant factor in vampire bat saliva.

An antibiotic produced by the fungus Sparassis ramosa. I'll 'sparassol' the rest of the boring description.

Also known as Reserpinine. It got its name since it was extracted from the plant Vinca pubescens.

Diabolic acids are actually a class of compounds named after the Greek diabollo, meaning to mislead, since they were particularly difficult to isolate. One of the inventors, Prof Klein, also thought that they had 'horns like the devil'.

A mineral composed of a basic chromate-arsenate compound of Pb and Cu with the formula: (Pb,Cu2+)3[(Cr,As)O4]2(OH).

DEAD is actually the acronym for diethyl azodicarboxylate, which is an important reagent in the well-known Mitsunobu reaction which blah blah big words blah blah blah....

Lots more here. There's even a book.


  1. You'd think Fornacite would contain at least a little Pubescine....

  2. "I'll 'sparassol' the rest of the boring description." Hahaha!

    I was pronouncing that a little differently and trying to imagine where a spare one would be and why anyone would have an extra one. :-)

  3. I agree, Carolyn! Of course, Dickite mixed with Vaginatin or Clitoriacetal is mostly to result in Cummingtonite.

    Love "The Godfather" reference in the tagline, Cary!

  4. HAHAHAHA RGR. One would certainly hope so.

  5. "I feel like Cummingtonite, like Cummingtonite!" Remember that Shake n Bake commercial with the chicken?

  6. I remember it but I can tell you that I don't feel like Cummingtonite with a chicken.....

  7. Was it male chemists who managed to discover and isolate Cliterin and Clitoriacetal?

    A male and female chemist were having an affair. They were deciding what molecules to work on in the lab after hours. The male says: 'I think I will work on Cliterin'. The female says: 'In that case, I think it is Cummingtonite for me.'

    PS I do like those cheesy, overly bright and homemade looking websites that haven't been tizzed up since 1997!

  8. Chemists do it on the table, periodically.

  9. chrocs said...

    Chemists do it on the table, periodically

    Chemists do it in an excited state.
    Chemists do it in the fume hood.
    Chemists do it in test tubes.

    Chemists do it organically.
    Chemists do it reactively.

    Chemists do it with pipettes.
    Chemists like to experiment.



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