Wilted Cherry Leaves Kill

It is widely known that, to cows, wilted cherry leaves are deadly poisonous. Every cattle farmer is well acquainted with this fact. Yet, I, as a chemist, for years have wondered why. Surely it has to be a matter of chemistry, I realized. Indeed, that is the case. Cherry Fruits Wild cherries are bitter, but to the aficionado (and I am one), the tiny fruits called wild cherries, are quite delicious, especially when made into the intensely-flavored wild cherry jelly. Curiously, these fruits contain substances that could be quite dangerous, except for the lack of substances called enzymes that would convert them into poisons. One of those chemicals is amygdalin, seen in the image below. Note—in the upper right-hand corner of the molecule—are two atoms. One of the atoms is…
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Termite Methane Generator

[caption id="attachment_3662" align="alignright" width="440"] Termites - ARS, US Gov't.[/caption] Clearly the world cannot function forever using "fossil fuels" in the way it currently uses them. Society recognizes the need for alternative fuel sources. But could it be that methane gas could be used in some new way as fuel? At present, methane gas is not viewed in too favorable a light. But sometimes a bane can be turned into a boon, depending upon how one deals with a matter. Methane is disparagingly referred to as a “greenhouse gas.” This is due to its being released into the atmosphere by biological sources, where its excess promotes global warming. Of these, we will address two main sources: cattle methane and termite methane. Better Out Than In The National Geographic News web site…
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