Wonder Drugs

All through out human history herbal remedies have been use for all sorts of ailments. Before the use of pharmaceuticals different cultures used unique remedies, many of which are now used in modern medicines. Quinine, a drug from the cinchona tree in South America was used to treat fevers and is now used as an antimalarial. Various illnesses that used to be a death sentence are now just a slight inconvenience due to the progression of medicines. William Perkin, the man whose synthesis of mauve revolutionized the dye enterprise, did not even realize that such a development would change pharmaceuticals. His grasp of synthetic organic chemistry transformed the practice of medicine and preserved millions of lives.
Lets jump back to Germany, 1893, and visit Bayer and Company, a German firm that first recognized the prospects of medicines. Felix Hofmann, a chemist for B and C, was researching compounds similar to salicylic acid, a molecule taken from salicin. He took salicylic acid and through oxidation created salicylic acid, which reduces fever and relieves pain, however its tendency to irritate the stomach lining took it off the medicinal market. Hofmann soon found that the acetylated form of salicylic acid had potential due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Due to such high demand the Bayer company bought heaps of phenol in order to synthetically create aspirin. However during WWI the international sources of phenol made a push towards using picric acid for munitions and hurried the development of explosives.
In addition to medicines to relieve the occasion ache, penicillins were created to target the tough illnesses. Louis Pasteur was the first to exhibit a microorganism’s ability to essentially murder another. Penicillin’s instable 4-membered ring structure is the reason for its antibiotic activity. When the ring breaks it releases the bacterial enzyme that eats the harmful bacteria. The synthesis of penicillin has accelerated humanity. Instead of living to forty-five we are now sticking it out to our eighties or later. That’s a whole forty years gained due to one molecule! If it weren’t for penicillin thousands of people wouldn’t make it to their twenties.
I whole-heartedly agree with the author’s defensive stand for the Wonder Drugs. So many people say that they couldn’t live without television or the microwave but they’re so wrong. Without penicillin more than likely the creator of either one those gizmos would have died before they even had the preconception of engineering them. Medicines impact on the world has allowed humanity to evolve into a more civilized and mature race. Although most humans do not think of the effect drugs had on the world the impact is still there in the back of the room, in the dark corner waiting to be recognized.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Wonder Drugs

  1. kaminicki97

    I LoVe your connection to today! I would never have thought of that. I really think you did a good job with this summary.

  2. gracehstafford

    I love how we managed to mention William Perkin in both of our summaries! I really enjoyed reading this, it was totally awesome!

  3. This was so great! It was so entertaining to read, but at the same time it gave the right information.

  4. Pingback: Mary Szela – The True Façade of the Cure and Remedy | Dan Martin Blog

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