This article is about the hydroxyl functional group. For the Hydroxyl radical, see Hydroxyl radical.
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Representation of an organic hydroxyl group, where R represents a hydrocarbon or other organic moiety, the red and grey spheres represent oxygen and hydrogen atoms, respectively, and the rod-like connections between these, covalentchemical bonds.
Hydroxyl radicals are highly reactive and undergo chemical reactions that make them short-lived. When biological systems are exposed to hydroxyl radicals, they can cause damage to cells, including those in humans, where they react with DNA, lipids, and proteins.
Lunar and other extraterrestrial observations
In 2009, India's Chandrayaan-1 satellite, NASA's Cassini spacecraft and the Deep Impact probe have each detected the presence of water by evidence of hydroxyl fragments on the Moon. As reported by Richard Kerr, "A spectrometer (the Moon Mineralogy Mapper, aka "M3"), detected an infrared absorption at a wavelength of 3.0 micrometers that only water or hydroxyl—a hydrogen and an oxygen bound together—could have created."NASA also reported in 2009 that the LCROSS probe revealed an ultraviolet emission spectrum consistent with hydroxyl presence. The Venus Express orbiter has been continuously sending back Venus science data since April 11, 2006. Results from Venus Express include the detection of hydroxyl in the atmosphere.
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