Category Archives: Molecular Models

Molecular models of important organic or biochemical compounds are useful for teaching, research & marketing.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin & Beta Carotene-Molecule Monday

Today is Halloween & what is more iconic than a pumpkin carved into a Jack o’ Lantern? The orange colour is due in part to beta carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A. It turns out that pumpkins do more than help ward off blindness or evil spirits, they may also protect us from other undesirables.  For more, read on…

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ammonia

Ammonia-A Versatile Chemical
Molecule Monday

Ammonia is about as simple as molecules get. Ammonia, like methane, water and carbon dioxide, consists of only 2 different elements. Yet, this otherwise unassuming molecule helped give rise to life on Earth and has many important industrial uses. For a brief overview, read more below. Continue reading

Aspartame

Aspartame-Amino Acid Sweetener
Molecule Monday

Aspartame has been in the news again. Pepsico, which dropped aspartame from its diet Pepsi formulation over a year ago has reintroduced it. The motivation to remove it was driven by the bad press aspartame had received over the years which was thought to have impacted sales. It turns out that the aspartame version has a loyal following which persuaded Pepsico to backtrack. For more on what the controversy is all about…
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Diamond is composed solely of carbon. It gets its strength from having 4 bonds to every other carbon except the ones on the edges.

Molecular Models-Not Just for Chemistry

Molecular models are a staple for teaching organic chemistry to students from high school to university and beyond. For others, they are considered an anachronism in today’s world of computing, especially with advances in virtual reality. While there is some truth to these viewpoints, physical models still have many other practical uses. Below we will describe four different uses.

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Cholesterol-A Steroid; Who Knew?
Molecule Monday Fast Fact

Food and drug ads have likely made you anxious about your cholesterol levels but the health of your blood vessels is only part of the story. Did you know that testosterone, progesterone  and performance enhancing steroids are all essentially different versions of cholesterol? You can try to avoid them in your diet all you want but you can’t eliminate them from your body without disastrous consequences.

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