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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.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.
The molecule is now more commonly known as the "buckyball." The researchers who discovered it won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996.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.By vaporizing graphite with lasers, the scientists created a mysterious new molecule made of pure carbon, according to the American Chemical Society.This molecule turned out to be a soccer-ball-shaped sphere made of 60 carbon atoms.