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Glossary

batrachotoxin - Go to Biochemical Molecules

This toxin is an alkaloidal steroid released through colorless or milky secretions from the granular glands (located on the back and behind the ears) of frogs from the Phyllobates terribilis, one of the “poison dart" frogs. The most common use of this toxin is by the Noanamá Chocó and Emberá Chocó Indians of western Colombia for poisoning blowgun darts for use in hunting.


biomagnify - Go to Environmental Molecules

The progressive build up of pollutants in organisms by successive trophic levels, such that the
concentration ratio in the tissue of a predator organism is higher compared to that in its prey.


catalysis - Go to Biochemical Molecules

A chemical reaction that is utilizing catalyst by which the rate of the reaction is increased but the catalyst itself is not changed.


the "cradle to grave" design - Go to Materials & Technology

William McDonough and Michael Braungart, Remaking the Way We Make Things: Cradle to Cradle, North Point Press, 2002; David W. Orr, The Nature of Design: Ecology, Culture, and Human Intention, Oxford Press 2002.


crystal engineered - Go to Materials & Technology

Crystal engineering is the design and bottom-up construction of functional materials from molecular or ionic building blocks.


fuel cells - Go to Materials & Technology

A fuel cell produces electricity and heat by an electrochemical process that converts hydrogen and oxygen into water.


fullerene - Go to Materials & Technology

Fullerenes consist of carbon atoms in pentagons and hexagons bound together to form a hollow, spherical molecule. In 1996, Kroto, Smalley, and Curl were awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry for their discovery of fullerenes


global distillation - Go to Environmental Molecules

Volatile or semi-volatile substances (DDT, lindane, etc.) volatilize in temperate and tropical regions and are then deposited in colder areas like remote arctic regions. This continuous transfer of contaminants in the global atmosphere towards the poles resembles a giant distillation process. As a result these contaminants are present at alarmingly high concentrations in cold ecosystems where they have never been used. The highest concentration of pesticides in human breast milk is found in the Inuit people living in the artic regions.


global warming - Go to Environmental Molecules

An increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere, especially a sustained increase sufficient to cause climatic change.


greenhouse gases - Go to Environmental Molecules

Gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, nitrous oxide, ozone and halocarbons in the atmosphere that trap heat from the sun and warm the earth.


homogenous - Go to Minerals and Gems

The state of being constant in composition


hormones - Go to Biochemical Molecules

A substance, usually a peptide or steroid, produced by one tissue and conveyed by the bloodstream to another to effect physiological activity, such as growth or metabolism.


igneous - Go to Minerals and Gems

Of, relating to, or characteristic of fire

metamorphic - Go to Minerals and Gems

Rocks that are created by the process where rocks are altered in composition, texture, or internal structure by extreme heat, pressure, and the introduction of new chemical substances


nucleosides - Go to Biochemical Molecules

Any of the various compounds consisting of a sugar, usually ribose or deoxyribose, and a purine or pyrimidine base, especially a compound obtained by hydrolysis of a nucleic acid, such as adenosine or guanine .


ozone layer - Go to Environmental Molecules

A layer of the atmosphere between 10 and 40 km above the earth’s surface, called the stratosphere, where ozone molecules absorb dangerous ultraviolet radiation from the sun.


photosynthesis - Go to Biochemical Molecules

The process by which green plants utilize sunlight to make food from carbon dioxide and water.


polymers - Go to Materials & Technology

Polymers are substances with high molar masses and are composed of a large number of repeating units (monomers).


proteins - Go to Biochemical Molecules

Complex combinations of amino acids that are present in plant and animal cells and are essential to life.


sedimentary - Go to Minerals and Gems

Rock that is formed by continuous deposits of matter by some natural process


semiconductors - Go to Materials & Technology

Any material that has a limited capacity for conducting an electrical current with properties between those of a conductor (e.g., copper) and an insulator (e.g., rubber).


smog - Go to Environmental Molecules

Fog that has become mixed and polluted with smoke.


superconductors - Go to Materials & Technology

Superconductivity is a phenomenon occurring in certain materials at low temperatures that is characterized by the complete absence of electrical resistance and the damping of the interior magnetic field.


supramolecular - Go to Materials & Technology

According to Jean Marie Lehn, supramolecular chemistry includes: "(1) supermolecules, well-defined, discrete oligomolecular species that result from the intermolecular association of a few components (a receptor and its substrate(s)) following a built-in "Aufbau" scheme based on the principles of molecular recognition; [and] (2) supramolecular assemblies, polymolecular entities that result from the spontaneous association of a large undefined number of components…" Lehn, Cram, and Pedersen received the Nobel prize in Chemistry in 1987 for their development and use of molecules with structure-specific interactions of high selectivity.


sustainable way of life - Go to Environmental Molecules

Living in a sustainable manner means that we are "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." The peace Nobel prize 2004 was given to Dr Wangari Maathai, a Keynian biologist and environmentalist who founded the "Green Belt Movement," and is an important visionary for sustainability in the local and the global community.


water crisis - Go to Environmental Molecules

Gradual destruction and provoked pollution of water resources in many world regions that decreases the access to clean water for the human population.


zeolites - Go to Materials & Technology

Microporous crystalline solids with well-defined structures, which generally contain silicon, aluminum, and oxygen in their framework and cations, water or other molecules within their pores.

Element and IonsMaterials and TechnologyBiological MoleculesMinerals and GemsEnvironmental Molecules
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