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- n. the simplest diazo compound, CH2=N+=N-; a toxic, yellow, explosive gas; used in analytical chemistry to convert carboxylic acids into their methyl esters for analysis via gas-liquid chromatography
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In the laboratory, methylcobalamin can be made by a series of reactions involving the reduction of aquocobalamin to a compound, probably cobalamin hydride, which easily exchanges with methyl compounds such as diazomethane or methyl sulphate; in nature, reduction also seems necessary for methyl transfer; the experiments of D.D. Woods and his colleagues strongly suggest that methylcobalamin is the actual intermediate in one of the pathways by which methyl groups are transferred from methyltetrahydrofolate to homocysteine to form methionine 20.
Her research involved, successively, identification and syntheses of a number of metabolites of carcinogenic and related polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); simulation in vitro of biological oxidations of PAHs; isolation of carcinogens from shale oil and coal tar; and, from the 1960s, studies on the carcinogenic action of certain pyrrolizidine (Senecio) alkaloids and their ability to induce chronic lesions and tumors in the liver, pancreas, etc., and of diazomethane and certain nitroso compounds.
When luteic acid is treated with diazomethane, it yields the methyl ester of pentamethoxybiphenylmethylolidcarboxylic acid.