Chemistry & Biochemistry

Imagine a simple hike in a grassy part of South America.  You hear a rattle and feel a quick stab of pain as fangs sink into your leg.  Toxins in the snake venom travel through your blood vessels and penetrate your skin.  If the snake is a South American rattlesnake, Crotalus terrific duressis, one of those toxins will be a phospholipase.  Phospholipases attack cell and mitochondrial membranes destroying nerve and muscle function.  Without quick treatment, a snakebite victim may be die or suffer permanent damage (1, 2).

The phospholipase from the South American rattlesnake ... Read more

When finding a female scientists' data turns into an archeological treasure hunt.

A few months ago, I decided it would be interesting to celebrate various scientific contributions by making images of chemical / molecular structures in the Molecule World iPad app and posting them on Twitter  (@MoleculeWorld).  Whenever I can, ... Read more

On pinene and inhibiting enzymes. People of a certain age may remember a series of really funny commercials featuring Euell Gibbons and his famous question about whether you've ever eaten a pine tree.  "Some parts are edible" said Euell. Perhaps some parts are, but other pine tree products aren't so nourishing.  Crystallography365, aka @Crystal_in_city  had a couple of fun blog posts about pinene, ... Read more