Reactive Oxygen and Nitrogen Species
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The term “radical” is often used loosely in chemistry to refer to various groups of atoms that behave as a unit, such as the carbonate radical (CO 3 sup2- ), nitrate radical (NO 3 sup- ), and the methyl radical (CH3p-). According to this definition, Lavoisier (1789) has already indicated that the four elements: phosphorus, sulphur, carbon, and hydrogen not only by themselves can take up oxygen, but may also mutually combine to likewise oxidizable compounds. Berzelius (1817) formulated: in inorganic nature all oxides contain a simple radical, while all organic compounds are oxides of composed radicals; the radical of vegetable matter mostly consists of carbon, that of animal matter besides carbon contains nitrogen.