Making Of… Photo of Sugar Cane

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Time for another post in our occasional series, bringing you the stories behind the pictures and content of some of our posts.

Sugar cane plantation with sucrose molecules. Sugar cane plantation with sucrose molecules.

We didn’t want to make too big a deal at the time, but the two sugar posts written by Ana McGuinness and Charles O’Brien (follow the links for Part 1 and Part 2) were actually special in several ways: Apart from being new to writing for Picture It… Chemistry, both Ana and Charles had just completed their first year of undergraduate study in Chemistry, and they had spent most of the summer to prepare a winning post for a School of Chemistry competition open to all Bristol staff and students. Successfully, as it turns out.

In their original submission, the photo above drew my attention almost immediately – as one of the chief editors of the blog, it falls to me…

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Apple (Malus domestica)

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Apples, round-bottomed flasks and some of the molecules present in apples: Apples, round-bottomed flasks and some of the molecules present in apples: (left-to-right, top) malic acid, epicatechin, amygdalin, (left-to-right, bottom) quercetin, pectin, procyanidin B2

Will an apple a day really keep the doctor away, or do apples deserve their role of forbidden and poisonous fruit popularised in religious texts and folklore? Just in time for your New Year’s resolutions, we look at some of the compounds present in this popular fruit in detail.

1. Before you panic, rest assured that apples are fine to eat, and are indeed one of our favourite foods here at Picture It HQ. As this wikipedia article suggests, the bad press may have come about either because the Latin word for apple (malum) is written the same as the Latin word for evil, or because all foreign fruit used to be called apple. Just like the round-bottomed flasks in the main picture, which are…

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