The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: Dan M on December 02, 2002, 09:18:45 am

Title: Free Radicals?
Post by: Dan M on December 02, 2002, 09:18:45 am
Could someone explain the notion of free radicals to me? If I understand it right, they're listed in your cargo underneath the amount of free space you have.

What are they for/worth?  ???


Title: Re: Free Radicals?
Post by: Garthor on December 02, 2002, 09:22:04 am
No, free radicals are just another kind of mineral you can pick up.  I forget what they are worth.  The number below the free space in your ship is your biological data.  You can exchange these for credits for buying very useful upgrades and information from the Melnormes.

Title: Re: Free Radicals?
Post by: Uffo on December 02, 2002, 07:29:53 pm
Free Radicals are political refugees like yourself, on the lam from the Ur-Quan.  Outcasts like Yehat loyal to the Queen, Black Spathi Squadron members, etc.  If you obtain enough of them on key worlds, you can spread a network of underground resistance among the proletariat that, at a key moment, will rise up against the might of the oppressors.  Plus, they're worth 25 RU's if you sell them to the starbase commander.

Don't ask about the "Super Fluids."  Trust me.  :)

Title: Re: Free Radicals?
Post by: Cerulean on December 06, 2002, 12:03:52 am
Needless to say, the freeest radical of them all is Cheep-Guava, Yehat resistant!

Title: Re: Free Radicals?
Post by: *camper* on December 07, 2002, 08:06:29 am

Don't ask about the "Super Fluids."  Trust me.  :)

 Superfluids are fluids that can flow without friction or viscosity.  This would include liquid Helium-3... which, being really really cold, would not be found in Alpha Centauri.

Title: Re: Free Radicals?
Post by: Casey Monroe on December 19, 2002, 02:59:55 am
Free Radicals are Exotic minerals, worth 25 RUs per kiloton.

Title: Re: Free Radicals?
Post by: captain_kirk on July 11, 2003, 05:39:30 am
free radicals are radioactives

Title: Re: Free Radicals?
Post by: Death 999 on July 11, 2003, 06:12:28 am
Free Radicals? Aren't free radicals lone oxygen atoms? They're extremely harmful inside your cells, because, well, monatomic oxygen is very corrosive and likes to alter nucleic acids and refold proteins and stuff like that.
I don't know why that would be exotic, except that if you got a large amount of oxygen together it would probably vastly prefer to become diatomic. So having a kiloton of free radicals would be rather bizarre.

Title: Re: Free Radicals?
Post by: AnonomouSpathi on July 11, 2003, 06:39:12 am
I'm pretty sure oxygen is a free radical, but it's not the only one.  I believe that any ion that will take extra electrons to complete a shell level that manages to get away by itself is a free radical.   Monoatomic Oxygen, if it can't pair up, will happily grab an electron away from other atoms to complete it's shell.  If those electrons were doing something important (like say, forming a chemical bond in your DNA), this would be bad for you.  I imagine things like SO4- and Cl- would also be qualified as free radicals.

(edit: mystery of the disappearing not solved, even if the rest of it was wrong anyway  :-/ )

Title: Re: Free Radicals?
Post by: Crowley on July 12, 2003, 01:20:52 am
I'm no chemistry of physics major, but I believe that definition is about right. Free radicals can be especially harmful to DNA, since when a free radical snatches an electron from another atom, that atom itself becomes a free radical and this can set off a long chain reaction.

Title: Re: Free Radicals?
Post by: neo_b on July 12, 2003, 05:56:00 am
Close, but not quite.  There's a subtle difference between ions and free radicals.
(/long-winded explanation mode)

An ion forms when a molecule receives or loses an electron.
Ex. NaCl (table salt) in water becomes Na+ and Cl-.

First off, atoms like to have filled electron orbitals (in simplified terms, atoms like having pairs of electrons).  Here, the sodium (Na) loses an electron to the chlorine (Cl) in order to get down to 10 electrons to empty its' last s orbital.  Since it has one less electron than protons, it's written as Na+ (it has a positive charge).

The chlorine gains an electron to get up to 18 electrons, thus filling its' last p orbital.  It is written as Cl- because it has an overall negative charge.

(note that ions usually only happen in solution [not counting supercharged plasma]- in this case if you take away all the water, the sodium and chlorine ions reform as table salt)

Free radicals, on the other hand, DO NOT involve an exchange of electrons.  They are formed when a molecule has an unpaired electron (in other words, the molecule really wants to gain an electron).  The free radical can strip an electron from most other molecules, and this quality makes it pretty bad to have in the body.

Ex. a chlorine molecule is broken down by sunlight into free radicals: Cl2 + (sunlight) --> 2Cl.

The resulting chlorine free radical molecules have neither lost or gained electrons, but they are no longer sharing an electron with each other, so they try to hunt another electron from another source.

Free radical chemistry does have it's upsides, though.  It is can be used in polymerization reactions (i.e. polyethylene), I won't go into it, unless you really want me to; this is WAY too long already.

/end long-windedness

Bleh, I hope that wasn't too confusing.

Title: Re: Free Radicals?
Post by: Paxtez on July 12, 2003, 01:47:01 pm
Science is now saying free radicals  (present in many heavly processed foods, and certain fats) cause a whole lot of bad things.  Eat foods with a lot of them, they pass thru your system, steal some electrons, start the previously mentioned cascade effect,  The current thoery is that is can cause DNA and cellular, and that they may be responcible for cancer.

But dammit... Lifes short and Jack-in-the-Box is good.  =)