In chemistry, organic compounds are any chemical compounds that contain carbon. Due to carbon's ability to catenate, millions of organic compounds are known; the study of the properties and syntheses of organic compounds comprises the discipline known as organic chemistry. For historical reasons, a few classes of carbon-containing compounds, along with a handful of other exceptions, are not classified as organic compounds and are considered inorganic. Other than those just named, little consensus exists among chemists on which carbon-containing compounds are excluded, making any rigorous definition of an organic compound elusive. Although organic compounds make up only a small percentage of the Earth's crust, they are of central importance because all known life is based on organic compounds. Living things incorporate inorganic carbon compounds into organic compounds through a network of processes that begins with the conversion of carbon dioxide and a hydrogen source like water into simple sugars and other organic molecules by autotrophic organisms using light or other sources of energy.
Most synthetically produced organic compounds are derived from petrochemicals consisting of hydrocarbons, which are themselves formed from the high pressure and temperature degradation of organic matter underground over geological timescales. This ultimate derivation notwithstanding, organic compounds are no longer defined as compounds originating in living things, as they were historically. In chemical nomenclature, an organyl group represented by the letter R, refers to any monovalent substituent whose open valence is on a carbon atom. For historical reasons discussed below, a few types of carbon-containing compounds, such as carbides, simple oxides of carbon, cyanides are considered inorganic. Different forms of pure carbon, such as diamond, graphite and carbon nanotubes are excluded because they are simple substances composed of only a single element and therefore are not considered to be chemical compounds. For many centuries, Western physicians and chemists believed in vitalism; this was the widespread conception that substances found in organic nature are created from the chemical elements by the action of a "vital force" or "life-force" that only living organisms possess.
Vitalism taught that these "organic" compounds were fundamentally different from the "inorganic" compounds that could be obtained from the elements by chemical manipulations. Vitalism survived for a while after the rise of modern ideas about the atomic theory and chemical elements, it first came under question in 1824, when Friedrich Wöhler synthesized oxalic acid, a compound known to occur only in living organisms, from cyanogen. A more decisive experiment was Wöhler's 1828 synthesis of urea from the inorganic salts potassium cyanate and ammonium sulfate. Urea had long been considered an "organic" compound, as it was known to occur only in the urine of living organisms. Wöhler's experiments were followed by many others, in which complex "organic" substances were produced from "inorganic" ones without the involvement of any living organism. Although vitalism has been discredited, scientific nomenclature retains the distinction between organic and inorganic compounds; the modern meaning of organic compound is any compound that contains a significant amount of carbon—even though many of the organic compounds known today have no connection to any substance found in living organisms.
The term carbogenic has been proposed by E. J. Corey as a modern alternative to organic, but this neologism remains obscure; the organic compound L-isoleucine molecule presents some features typical of organic compounds: carbon–carbon bonds, carbon–hydrogen bonds, as well as covalent bonds from carbon to oxygen and to nitrogen. As described in detail below, any definition of organic compound that uses simple, broadly applicable criteria turns out to be unsatisfactory, to varying degrees; the modern accepted definition of organic compound amounts to any carbon containing compound, excluding several classes of substances traditionally considered as'inorganic'. However, the list of substances so excluded varies from author to author. Still, it is agreed upon that there are a few carbon containing compounds that should not be considered organic. For instance all authorities would require the exclusion of alloys that contain carbon, including steel, as well as other metal and semimetal carbides. Other compounds and materials that are considered'inorganic' by most authorities include: metal carbonates, simple oxides, the allotropes of carbon, cyanide derivatives not containing an organic residue, heavier analogs thereof.
Halides of carbon without hydrogen, carboranes, metal carbonyls, mellitic anhydride, other exotic oxocarbons are considered inorganic by some authorities. Nickel carbonyl and other metal carbonyls present an interesting case, they are volatile liquids, like many organic compounds, yet they contain only carbon bonded to a transition metal and to oxygen and are prepared directly from metal and carbon monoxide. Ni
Regionally important geological and geomorphological sites are locally designated sites of local and regional importance for geodiversity in the United Kingdom. RIGS may be designated for their value to Earth Science, to Earth heritage in general, may include cultural, educational and aesthetic resources; the concept was introduced by the Nature Conservancy Council's publication Earth Science Conservation in Great Britain – A Strategy. They are conserved and protected from development as a material consideration through the planning system by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, they do not have the statutory management protection enjoyed by Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Local geological sites including RIGS are locally designated. In many areas the selection and designation process relies on significant amounts of volunteer effort. Once designated through notification to the local planning authority, they are conserved and protected as a material consideration through local and national planning policies.
There are 56 RIGS groups in the United Kingdom. RIGS are treated by the UK government's'Planning Policy Statement 9: Biodiversity and Geological Conservation' under the category of regional and local sites. For more information about locally designated nature conservation sites in England see'Local Sites - Guidance on the Identification and Management'. In England Local Authorities reported on the management of RIGS through the Local Sites National Indicator NI197 reporting to DEFRA until 31 March 2011, when this was changed to 160-01 reporting to DEFRA as part of the single data list. Depending on the decisions of the members of the local sites partnership, in some local areas locally designated sites including RIGS with substantive geological interest may now be called local geological sites. List of regionally important geological/geomorphological sites in Cumbria List of regionally important geological/geomorphological sites in Suffolk Geoconservation UK'Local Sites - Guidance on the Identification and Management"Planning Policy Statement 9: Biodiversity and Geological Conservation'
Sir Michael David Rawlins is the chair of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. He took up post formally from 1 December 2014 and was reappointed for a second term in August 2017; the appointment will be for three years. He is currently Chairman of UK Biobank, he is an Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, Emeritus Professor at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He was Chair of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence from 1999 to 2013, he was President of the Royal Society of Medicine from 2012 to 2014. Rawlins obtained his undergraduate medical degree at St Thomas' Hospital, graduating in 1965, his post-graduate training in clinical pharmacology and general medicine was completed at St Thomas' and the Hammersmith hospitals, with a year at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. From 1973 to 2006, Rawlins was the Ruth and Lionel Jacobson Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at Newcastle University where he undertook research into the safety and efficacy of new and established pharmacological treatments.
At the same time he was consultant physician to the Newcastle University Hospitals where he practised clinical pharmacology and general internal medicine. He became a member of the Committee on Safety of Medicines in 1980, was vice-chair from 1987 to 1992 and served as chair from 1993 to 1998, he was appointed chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in 1998 and served until 2008. He was the Chair of NICE from its foundation in 1999 until April 2013, he is a member of the Advisory Board of Incentives for Global Health, the not-for-profit behind the Health Impact Fund. Rawlins has published numerous articles, book chapters, official publications, he has delivered the Bradshaw, William Withering, Samuel Gee, Harveian lectures at the Royal College of Physicians. He was awarded the Hutchinson Medal in 2003, the Galen Medal in 2010, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research in 2011. In 2012 he was awarded the Prince Mahidol Prize for Medicine.
In 2010 he helped establish the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Huntington's disease in the UK Parliament, supported by more than 40 MPs and peers. In November 2014 the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency announced the appointment of Professor Sir Michael Rawlins as its new Chair, he was knighted in the 1999 New Year Honours for services to the improvement of patient protection from the side effects of medicines and was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to the safety of medicines and innovation. Evidence to Parliamentary Committees Interview on Cancer Research UK's science update blog Michael Rawlins on the History of Modern Biomedicine Research Group website