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Tens of thousands of unique molecules detected in 467 beers from around the

Here we reveal an enormous chemical diversity across beers, with tens of thousands of unique molecules.

“Distinct”, rather than “unique” is the term a competent subeditor would be looking for, even if it were merely some species of rockinpacificnorthwestihopium, expensiveopseudowhiskibarrimati or cakeschmooshtumlactosimoos we’re talking about. Even a farty & delinquent gourmand such as myself requires several molecules to pick up the relevant nuances.

Think this took you in a strange direction. Unique: “being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else”. There’s room there for fuzziness. A molecule need not be the only one of it’s structure in existence to be unique. Water is considered a unique molecule. There are gazillions of water molecules, but chemists don’t think that excludes uniqueness. Chemists may use water to refer to a single molecule or a quantity of the compound. Every water molecule is distinct in that it is separate. The writer could have used “different” and perhaps this fuzziness could have been avoided. Every chemical compound is different, but as a chemist I have no problem with using the term unique. Much like I have no problem with saying you and I are each unique.

Apparently I was grumpy last night, sorry.





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