Saturday, September 3, 2011

Peru 2011 International Year of Chemistry

Peru released on 1 August 2011 a stamp commemorating the International Year of Chemistry, featuring an array of symbols representing the connections between chemistry and the Peruvian coat of arms. For example, the helical structure of keratin, the main polymeric material that makes up the wool of the vicuña and other camelids, is shown to the left of the coat of arms; and to right, the molecular structure of quinine, the classic antimalarial drug extracted from the bark of the cinchona tree. Also shown are the symbol and electronic configuration of gold (Au for Aurantium) since a cornucopia spilling coins of the noble metal is included in the bottom half of the coat of arms. Then there's the logo of the Colegio de Químicos del Perú, the organization representing all professional chemists in the country (not to be confused with the Peruvian Chemical Society). The lower portion of the stamp has images showing chemists handling reagents and working in laboratories.

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