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Buckyballs have been found to inhibit the spread of HIV, according to a study published in 2009 in the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling; medical researchers are working to attach drugs, molecule-by-molecule, to buckyballs in order to deliver medicine directly to sites of infection or tumors in the body; this includes research by Columbia University, Rice University and others.Since then, other new, pure carbon molecules — called fullerenes — have been discovered, including elliptical-shaped "buckyeggs" and carbon nanotubes with amazing conductive properties.In older stars that have burned most of their hydrogen, leftover helium accumulates.Each helium nucleus has two protons and two neutrons.Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope of carbon used by archaeologists to date objects and remains.Carbon-14 is naturally occurring in the atmosphere.A 2010 paper in the journal Nano Letters reports the invention of flexible, conductive textiles dipped in a carbon nanotube "ink" that could be used to store energy, perhaps paving the way for wearable batteries, solar cells and other electronics.Perhaps one of the hottest areas in carbon research today, however, involves the "miracle material" graphene. It's the strongest material known while still being ultralight and flexible. Mass-producing graphene is a challenge, though researchers in April 2014 reported that they could make large amounts using nothing but a kitchen blender.
Animals incorporate carbon-14 into their bodies by eating plants or other plant-eating animals.
This method works on once-living organisms, including objects made of wood or other plant material.
Carbon is a long-studied element, but that doesn't mean there isn't more to discover.
And it uses them: Nearly 10 million carbon compounds have been discovered, and scientists estimate that carbon is the keystone for 95 percent of known compounds, according to the website Chemistry Explained.
Carbon's incredible ability to bond with many other elements is a major reason that it is crucial to almost all life. The element was known to prehistoric humans in the form of charcoal.
Carbon has two electron shells, with the first holding two electrons and the second holding four out of a possible eight spaces.