Supernova Condensate is a blog about our place in the Universe. Of astronomy, chemistry and life in the big bad bubble of academia.
Invader Xan is a molecular astrophysicist and part-time alien invader, who spends life looking at very small things on very large scales, and trying to better understand the chemistry of interstellar space.
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Category Archives: molecular gastronomy
What do oregano and tequila have in common? The answer is this stuff! Carvacrol is a monoterpenoid phenol which is the main aroma compound in oregano, causing that sweet and warm (if slightly pungent) aroma when you add a sprinkle … Continue reading
I absolutely adore iced tea. Indeed, part of the reason I was so enamoured with Hong Kong is the fact that tea-based soft drinks are available everywhere over there. All the same, it’s always been my favourite thing to do … Continue reading
Lots of plants have a set of cleverly contrived natural defences, carefully honed by millenia of evolution to be repulsive to animals which might want to try and eat them. Unfortunately for those plants, human beings are funny creatures who … Continue reading
Chocolate. Take a minute to think about enjoying a delicious piece of your favourite chocolate, won’t you? That moment when you bite and it snaps into your mouth with a light crunch, and the rich warm flavour of it starts … Continue reading
Did you know that there’s a twitter feed called molecule of the day? So now, courtesy of twitter, I get a text message every day containing one randomly selected interesting molecule. This is now one of my new favourite things … Continue reading
Happiness is a bowl of fresh strawberries. Pretty much everyone loves these iconic little fruit, and with good reason too! Strawberries are closely linked in our brains with feelings of happiness, and there may even be a chemical reason for … Continue reading
This lovely little molecule is dopamine. It’s manufactured in your body from the amino acid L-tyrosine and is a precursor to adrenaline. I’m rather fond of dopamine, and I daresay so are you. Whoever you might be. You see, dopamine … Continue reading
I was flicking through the rather marvellous webcomic, Abstruse Goose, recently, when I happened upon this particular comic (click the panel for the full version). Wait, what? Chlorinated sugar? This piqued my curiosity somewhat, so cat-like as ever*, I decided … Continue reading
Mangoes really have quite a rich flavour. Rich and complex, with plenty of subtleties. Despite this, they’re actually fairly easy to use in cooking. As it happens, the overall mango flavour is contributed to by a whole host of different … Continue reading