Questions tagged [chemical-biology]

Questions about the application of chemistry to interrogate and modify biological systems and processes.

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39 votes
4 answers
120k views

Why does carbon monoxide have a greater affinity for hemoglobin than oxygen?

Hemoglobin is an iron-containing oxygen transport metalloprotein in the red blood cells of most mammals. Simply put, it's a carrier protein. Interestingly it doesn't carry carbon dioxide in the same ...
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33 votes
4 answers
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Why is methanol toxic?

There are two points of view for the answer of this question: The biological view, the only one that I faced during my research, states that since it can trigger perilous conditions like metabolic ...
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32 votes
4 answers
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How are poisons discovered? Does someone have to die/be poisoned from it first?

How are poisons discovered? Does someone have to die/be poisoned from it first? Or are there other ways of discovering the harmfulness of a substance? Perhaps everything is tested on other animals ...
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3 votes
1 answer
774 views

Solving two electron integral numerically

Is there any software package in python or C to evaluate two electron integral repulsion integral in quantum chemistry of atoms. I am trying to solve the helium atom by constructing many body basis....
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13 votes
4 answers
25k views

Dissolving Organic Tissues [duplicate]

Watching some movie/TV this question came to mind, purely theoretical of course, if one wanted to dissolve a human corpse, like getting rid of a body after killing someone, is it better to use an acid ...
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4 votes
2 answers
2k views

How does existence of alpha and beta form of glucose prove that it exists as a cyclic structure

My book says that Glucose is found to exist in two different crystalline forms which are named as $\alpha$ and $\beta$. Next it says that This behaviour could not be explained by the open ...
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3 votes
1 answer
2k views

How are glycosidic linkages formed?

Consider glycosidic linkages in disaccharides. I know a condensation reaction occurs, with the loss of water. But which OH is lost? The O in the linkage belongs to which monosaccharide? Example: ...
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3 votes
0 answers
65 views

What component of the human DNA reacts with 4,5-benzo[a]pyrene oxide and 7,8-benzo[a]pyrene oxide to produce cancerous tumors

I read in an article that we have this enzyme called P450 that converts aromatic compounds into water soluble compounds that can be eliminated. This enzyme converts aromatic compounds into arene ...
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23 votes
2 answers
4k views

Xenon and the human body

Reading this article on Wikipedia: Xenon Medical applications I see that Xenon can be used as an anesthetic, neuroprotectant and doping agent. If it is a noble gas, and thus, chemically stable, how ...
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10 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do sodium-potassium pumps differentiate between sodium and potassium?

I don't know if this should be Biology, but it seems pretty Chem to me. Does the protein of the sodium-potassium pump tell the difference between sodium and potassium cations based on size, electron ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Can reaction of gastric acid with swallowed things be dangerously exothermic?

Okay, okay. I know that swallowing a large enough amount of any substance would be considered dangerous. That isn't the point of this question, however. As you probably know, the stomach has ...
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11 votes
1 answer
233 views

Is Acrylamide carcinogenic? Why?

Recently concerned with health effects by common chemicals existent in food I've been rather busy reading article after article; and just an interesting one came around: Acrylamide (or acrylic ...
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8 votes
3 answers
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Why does radiocarbon dating only work in nonliving creatures? [duplicate]

I understand how carbon dating works, though I do not understand why it doesn't happen while a creature is living. Because while we are alive we still have carbon 14 in us, so shouldn't it work?
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4 votes
1 answer
6k views

Advantages of thioesters over esters in fatty acid catabolism

In several metabolic pathways, Nature (live systems) chooses to make esterification using thioesters (CoA) and not esters. I would like to know what is the main aim of the Nature with this choice: ...
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5 votes
2 answers
424 views

How does one tell (or conclude) if a substance is carcinogenic?

It's common to read statements like: Tetrachloroethene ($\ce{CCl2=CCl2}$) was earlier used as a solvent for dry cleaning, but since it contaminated ground water and is a suspected carcinogen, ...
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4 votes
1 answer
91 views

Carcinogens, how do they work?

The easiest carcinogenic thing for me to grasp is radiation, as it directly messes with DNA. Then it seems there are other compounds that simply mimic hormones, but these shouldn't necessarily cause ...
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3 votes
0 answers
176 views

How far has "self-organizing chemistry" gone? [closed]

This is my first question here so, please, bear with me if I go out of the style or the scope of the SE section. I think I am quite new here, so I am prone to make mistakes. I am a molecular ...
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2 votes
2 answers
309 views

Photosynthesis, science fair [closed]

So I was thinking about something to do for a science fair and photosynthesis sounded like a good idea. I was wondering what the exact process of photosynthesis was on a chemical level. I know the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
7k views

The meaning of different parts in the naming of glucose

There are two main types of glucose, $\alpha$-D-(+)-glucose and $\beta$-D-(+)-glucose. Can anyone please explain what is $\alpha$,D or (+)? So (maybe by permutation and combination), how many types ...
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1 vote
2 answers
31k views

How to convert glucose to fructose

How to convert glucose to fructose? Moreover, can there be direct conversion(not necessarily in a single step), or we have to use indirect means, such as from sucrose, or other higher carbohydrates, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
3k views

DNA pairs (adenine-thymine, guanine-cytosine) [closed]

Well I was wondering why adenine pairs with thymine and cytosine pairs with guanine. From those pictures: Thymine has the lowest acidity and adenine has the biggest acidity. So it is logical that ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
181 views

How is equilibrium achieved in osmosis?

According to BRS Physiology book: excessive NaCl intake will lead to an increase in the osmolarity of the Extracellular Fluid (ECF) compartment, and thus will lead to water shift from the ...
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