Thursday, January 24, 2013

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. Those molecules are a bunch of Arsoles and Dickites!! :D

    "blah blah big words blah blah blah...."

    That's pretty much all I heard in science classes I've been in. Maybe I would have paid more attention if we were learning about these kinds of molecules.

  2. I LOVE stuff like this. I'm familiar with Traumatic Acid and its counterpart, Dramatic Acid. It's an adolescent hormone that divides rapidly without warning and causes slamming of doors, deep sighing, and massive over reactions to simple requests. I spray it with Momacite mixed with Groundahol. Works like a charm.

  3. I like that Fucitol is an alcohol because that is *exactly* what I exclaim right before I start drinking heavily.



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