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AG4: What Was In The First Vending Machine?

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Please And Thanks:
Currently trying to find a way to transfer to the alternate dimension where Milt's Guide To Life is real

Eider Duck:
On the Donald Duck family tree, I'm the one whose kids turned out to be a crazy duck and an axe murdering duck

A Meat:
Oh no! squiddy! you read the fact wrong! also I forgot part of the fact in the email! Chewing Gum spoilers below!

Chicle and mastic are two different saps from two different trees, mastic is from the Greek island of Chios and is from the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus) and chicle is from a mesoamerican tree called Manilkara chicle

Chios is where the ancient poet Homer was from by the way so he probably had minty fresh breath


I can help explain how it works! :D Okay, first off, to explain. Alcohol dehydrogenase, as most biochemical things that end in -ase are, is an enzyme. Enzymes' jobs are to act as catalysts for a chemical reaction to take place; they help make reactions easier and faster to perform. They're great and fascinating little protein complexes! :D

Now, in order to do this, enzymes have this particular shape -- it's different for each kind of enzyme, but for the sake of illustration... Let's say your enzyme looks like this. [trap]

That toothy bit is what we'll call the enzyme's active site -- this is where a reaction happens. The thing that the enzyme is meant to work on is attracted to and fits in the active site -- in this case, let's say our enzyme is here to turn cake [cake] into a pancake [beret] .

So cake [cake] comes along and goes "ooh! That looks like a nice place for a cake. I'll settle here." And it fits right into the wedge-shaped slot of our enzyme.

Enzyme says [trap] "TRAP SPRUNG"

And cake gets turned into a pancake. [beret] And then released to do whatever it is pancakes do.

However, if, say, [headphones] came along, the enzyme would say [trap] "Nope, you don't fit. You're not attracted in the right way to my structure, and you're not properly wedge-shaped. I can't make you into a pancake, bye."

Here's the thing, though -- if two chemicals are closely-enough related structurally, an enzyme can act on both of them. Methanol and ethanol, for example, are both tiny alcohols -- CH3OH for methanol versus CH3CH2OH for ethanol. In our trap monster cockogy, if ethanol is [cake], then methanol is [cheese].

[cheese] comes along and says "Hey enzyme! Make me into a pancake!"

"Well," says the enzyme [trap], "you don't quite LOOK right. And you don't quite TASTE right. But you are wedge-shaped and are food -- close enough for me! Come here, I'll make you into a pancake."

And so it does. Albeit a wonky-shaped pancake. (Like [bowler] or something.)

(In the alcohol dehydrogenase case, what the enzyme does is clips a hydrogen off the alcohol it's attached to so that it can react better to other things further down the line. It turns CH3CH2OH (ethanol) into CH3CHO (acetaldehyde -- which is then made into acetic acid by another enzyme, which is totally safe -- heck, that's vinegar), and CH3OH (methanol) into CH2O (FORMALDEHYDE -- THIS IS WHY METHANOL IS BAD BAD BAD TO INGEST!) )

However, if given the choice, enzymes will go for the things that fit BEST with their structure. So if given the choice between cheese [cheese] or cake [cake], our enzyme will say, [trap] "SCREW YOU CHEESE I'M EATING CAKE"

That's why you want to binge on ethanol if you imbibe methanol -- ethanol is far more attractive to alcohol dehydrogenase than methanol. It is cake to alcohol dehydrogenase. :B Since there's only so much alcohol dehydrogenase to go around, what you're doing is flooding the enzyme with a MASSIVE supply of ethanol, so it's too busy chowing down on ethanol and converting it to acetaldehyde to bother going for stinky cheese methanol and converting it to formaldehyde.

This is also exactly why if you or your pets accidentally consume antifreeze (ethylene glycol), you should also do your best to get yourself/them drunk off your/their ass. Ethylene glycol is basically ethanol with an extra OH group tacked onto it. Alcohol dehydrogenase turns that sucker into glycolic acid -- okay not too bad -- which then gets further converted into oxalic acid -- TOXIC ACK IT'S LEACHING ALL OF MY CALCIUM OUT AND DEPOSITING IT IN MY KIDNEYS AND JOINTS HELP x3; (So it's like [pyramid] being stuck into [trap] since it's wedge-shaped, although not food, and producing [jock], which later morphs into [fedora].)

Hope that was educational and a wee bit entertaining. x3 And now you know what to do if your pets lap up antifreeze, too!


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