Molecule of the Week

Xanthine

May 15, 2006

Xanthine is a two-oxygen cousin of adenine and guanine, the purine bases of DNA. Uric acid is a three-oxygen cousin, and methlyated relatives include key ingredients in coffee and chocolate: caffeine and, theobromine. Xanthine combined with its isomer oxypurinol forms an anti-cockroach pesticide that doesn’t harm humans.