Instagram account managed by a chemistry student is here to show you what molecules look like

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You may probably take an aspirin when you have a headache but do you know what its molecules actually look like?

Well, look no further than this Instagram account created by a student in Singapore who wants you to get “your daily dose of chemistry” by checking out his “a molecule a day” page.

Matthew Ng, a 17-year-old college student, uses special building kits to show the molecular structures of all chemicals, ranging from pills such as ibuprofen and aspirin to the neurotransmitters present in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin.

Matthew was inspired by his chemistry teacher who often uses building kits to help students visualise the molecular structures of chemicals.

He said: “We find it really useful. My classmates and I love to tinker with these sets to build all sorts of molecules.

Wanting to use the kit in a meaningful way, Matthew turned to Instagram to showcase his work.

He said: “Since I loved chemistry a lot, but not everyone shares the same passion, I thought it would be cool if I could showcase the aesthetic beauty of chemistry to thousands of people all over the globe.

Matthew also takes suggestions from his followers about the molecules they would like to see on his Instagram feed.

His posts, which include anything from hormones and food additives to medicine and drugs, are accompanied by a caption that explains what the chemicals are.

He said: “My favourite one was definitely one of the first few molecules that I posted, which was the Nanokid, purely because its molecular structure looks like a human!

“This, along with Phycocyanobilin, a blue pigment found in algae, were also the most challenging ones to build due to the large number of atoms and complicated structure.”

He said: “Initial growth was slow, probably due to the academic nature of this page, but I’m really glad that this page has been discovered by so many people and growing at an increasing rate.

“Every now and then, people drop nice comments that really motivates me to continue maintaining this page. My follower count is just over 3,000 now, and increasing exponentially!”

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