organic compounds

3 Stories

Nasty Corpse Smell Can Reveal Secrets

Forensic experts measure volatile compounds in cadavers

(Newser) - Yes, corpses smell awful—but more careful scrutiny of that stench may help investigators learn just when a person died, the Royal Society of Chemistry reports. Apparently the trick is to measure volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like sulfurs, alcohols, and nitro compounds that change in combination and quantity as a... More »

Saturn Moon Holds Recipe for Life

Life's 'building blocks' found in massive geysers

(Newser) - Basic components of life like heat, organic chemicals, and water have been found on a Saturn moon, Reuters reports. A spacecraft flying over Enceladus this month spotted 500-mile-high geysers spouting off its surface, containing water vapor and the organic molecules found in living things. Though no one’s saying there’... More »

Methane Found on Far-off Planet

Compound, crucial ingredient in early-life chemistry, detected 63 light years away

(Newser) - Methane, one of the simplest compounds known to play a role in the chemical genesis of life, was discovered for the first time to exist on a planet outside Earth’s solar system, the BBC reports. The planet, designated HD 189733b, is 63 light years away and also contains water,... More »

3 Stories