Your DNA? Made of heterocycles. LSD and cocaine? Made of heterocycles. Why would anyone give a fuck about these so-called “heterocycles”? Initially, I was interested only because I’m eternally intrigued by basically anything of mild importance, however, after learning about the presence of heterocycles in nature, my eyes glazed, my mouth hung open with a little drool, and excitement spewed from the top of my head. Heterocycles are in almost anything you can imagine. Histamines you take Benadryl to neutralize? Made of heterocycles. Your blood? Made of heterocycles. Sugar? Made of heterocycles. Chlorophyll in plants? Made of heterocycles. And that’s not even tapping into pharmaceuticals where they really begin to shine.
Your life… made possible by heterocycles. Holy fucking smokes.
So what is a heterocycle anyway? Simply put, a heterocycle is a ring of carbon atoms plus at least one other atom. Pictorially:
So what’s the deal with these guys? What makes them so popular? Well, carbon is the basis of all life on Earth, so it’s useful really anywhere. Interjecting other elements in a carbon ring allows for all kinds of fun things and processes to happens, given the right tools. For example, the ring can open up and some atoms can be pulled out or more can be added. Think Minecraft with molecules, the possibilities are endless! Big rings, small rings, one nitrogen, three nitrogen, borons, oxygens, cyanides… anything! Life begins and ends with a heterocycle. How cool!!!
Pardon the enthusiasm, but I’m very delighted in this. Go share this knowledge with everyone you meet. It will serve you well in life. Maybe.