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How to work with Rates of Reaction: Part 1

During chemical reactions two or more different substances or elements  mix together. They then undergo some sort of chemical change to become a different substance altogether.  Chemical reactions  don’t just occur during science experiments, they are actually happening all around you every day. However, there are some chemicals you would not want to come into contact with!

Batrachotoxin is so lethal that only a tiny amount, equivalent to around 2 grains of salt would be lethal to a human. Poison arrow frogs secrete this chemical onto their necks and backs. If you touch it, it  binds to sodium channels in nerve cells, which control muscles, forcing them to remain open. You lose all muscle control, which results in complete paralysis. Your heart cannot beat – and you cannot breathe. Unfortunately there is no antidote, and it can kill within minutes!  Weirdly if bred in captivity they are completely harmless. In the wild, the frogs obtain certain chemicals needed to form the toxin from eating insects.

It is not only animals which can be armed with deadly chemicals. Many plants also pack a deadly punch. Lily of the valley, a pretty, sweet smelling plant with tiny bell shaped flowers, can cause headaches, hallucinations or hot flushes if eaten!  One of the most toxic plants found in the UK is wolfsbane. Eating a small amount can upset the stomach. More could slow the heart rate, and even prove fatal!

GCSE scientists, you need to know about rates of reaction and the factors that affect them. Try our new guide “How to work with Rates of reaction: Part 1”. Information on collision theory, and how different factors affect rates of reaction is included. You will also find questions to try, alongside answers to check your understanding.

Click the picture below to see the guide.

Rates of reaction

Come back and check our blog page for more resources to help you improve your understanding of different topics in various subjects. New Maths and Science guides will be coming soon.

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