Apatite

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A mineral for hungry people? Apatite is a phosphate mineral with the composition Ca5[PO4]3(OH,F,Cl). It has been used extensively as a phosphorus fertilizer and is still mined for that purpose today. The mineral called “asparagus stone” is a appropriately a type of green apatite. Ironically, apatite is the mineral that makes up the teeth in all vertebrate animals as well as their bones.

The gem material makes a great faceted stone.

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Thanks to ‘Sparkly’ Sally Ewen for suggesting this molecule and to Sean and to Kay Dekker for some info about it.

Apatite - click for 3D structure

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 18th October 2009

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Angelic Acid

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Angelic acid isn’t very angelic at all – it’s a defence substance for certain beetles. It gets its name from the Swedish plant Garden Angelica (Archangelica officinalis) from whose roots it was first obtained in the 1840s. Its proper name is (Z)-2-methyl-2-butenoic acid. The other isomer (E) goes by the equally silly name of tiglic acid (from the plant Croton tiglium, the source of croton oil) and is also a beetle defence substance.

Thanks to Andrew Walden for suggesting these molecules and to Florian Raab and Bo Ohlson for providing some of the information about them.

Angelic acid - click for 3D structure
Tiglic acid - click for 3D structure

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 18th October 2009

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Fukiic Acid

Fuki is the Japanese word for the butterbur flower, and Fukiic acid is the hydrolysis product from this plant, Petasites japonicus. Interestingly, further oxidation of this produces the wonderfully named Fukinolic acid. (I wonder if fukanolic is anything like alcoholic…) Anyway, since the conjugate base of fukinolic acid is fukinolate, it’s probably about time we stopped!

Thanks to Anton Sherwood for info on fukiic acid, and to Andrew Reinders for suggesting fukinolate.

Fukiic acid - click for 3D structure

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 13th Oct 2009

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