Articles | Volume 17, issue 19
Biogeosciences, 17, 4785–4795, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-17-4785-2020
Biogeosciences, 17, 4785–4795, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-17-4785-2020

Ideas and perspectives 02 Oct 2020

Ideas and perspectives | 02 Oct 2020

Ideas and perspectives: The same carbon behaves like different elements – an insight into position-specific isotope distributions

Yuyang He et al.

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Latest update: 26 Feb 2021
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Short summary
Different carbon sites in a large organic molecule have different isotope compositions. Different carbon sites may not have the chance to exchange isotopes at all. The lack of appreciation of this notion might be blamed for an unsettled debate on the thermodynamic state of an organism. Here we demonstrate using minerals, N2O, and acetic acid that the dearth of exchange among different carbon sites renders them as independent as if they were different elements in organic molecules.
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