> Oh, NOW you've opened a can of worms. Ronn -- a short lecture on
> chemical nomenclature if you don't mind. What *do* those numbers
> before a chemical compound's name mean?
I'm not Ronn, nor to I play him on TV, but I did take organic chemistry
a couple of decades ago at BYU. Organic molecules are named by the main
"backbone" or "ring" molecule -- in this case, xanthine -- with prefixes
indicating the atoms or molecules/groups attached. Each atom or
molecule/group named also has a number preceding it that identifies its
position on the backbone molecule. If you have two of the same kind of
group, you precede the identifier with "di" and give both numbers
separated by a comma. Three of the same kind merits you a "tri" and all
three numbers separated by commas, and so forth.
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