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Amines

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Fishy or Fundamental?

How are amines present in our daily lives?

                                

Credit: malias
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/malias/375664720/sizes/o/in/photolist-zco2W-Gwgb8-Jm8r6-MXmWo-MXAS8-VzBNj-2cAQJh-3PqdFH-47CzsM-47GDfy-4ypi5T-4Ein3K-4J6b6S-4MznHp-4NENRk-51hpxN-52hQ8K-52XuV4-57cfKP-57cfVx-57cfZg-57grAj-57grCW-5fnZjU-5oNe7k-5Aa1XX-6bbmLM-6gNFKr-6gSRLC-6ksmkH-6xSA9Q-6Vy8Lv-6ZDom1-6ZTEnw-71mJHw-7ahGu7-7cD37A-7ubRVw-7FgQyp-7WBzHK-dhcF1o-9SHxXP-8wrTWJ-8bZVdf-7YB6Xk-eykdes-c1wx23-bCc6cy-c1wxto-7DPH8o-9GC8Bg/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Have you ever visited a pier or a supermarket and caught the scent of raw fish in the air? If so, you were smelling odors that result from amines. This fact probably make amines seem annoying and unnecessary. What purpose could they serve?

On the contrary, amines are essential parts of various drugs and medicines that help cure us and keep us healthy. They also act as starting materials for different synthetic processes. As unpleasant as they may seem, amines are important in our lives.

Recall that an amine is an organic compound generally considered as derived from ammonia, or NH3.

Creative Applications

1. Which amine is most responsible for the smell of raw fish?

2. What other "unpleasant" odor are amines associated with? What are the names of the two amines that constitute this smell?

3. Find out some drugs and medicines that contain amines.

4. The production of which “synthetic materials” involves amines?

5. Amines are essential parts that form the building blocks of proteins. What are these “building blocks” called?


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