Heinrich Otto Wieland – pioneer in bile acids chemistry

Heinrich Otto Wieland – pioneer in bile acids chemistry

Heinrich Otto Wieland – pioneer in bile acids chemistry

Biography & contributions

Heinrich Otto Wieland was a German chemist born on June 04, 1877 – died on August 05, 1957. Heinrich determined the molecular structure of bile acids and for this research work he got Nobel prize in the year of 1927.

He is credited with the first synthesis of Adamsite. Along with Boehringer-Ingelheim he worked on synthetic alkaloids such as morphine and strychnine. In 1941, Heinrich isolated the toxin alpha-amanitin. He was the first to successfully produce nitrogen free radicals. His findings helped show the close relationship between cholesterol and bile acids.

Heinrich also studied toad poison and the pigment of butterfly wings. He is perhaps best remembered for his theory that oxidation in living tissues is more a matter of hydrogen atoms being removed than of the addition of oxygen.

Facts about adamsite

Adamsite is an airborne chemical. It cannot be detected in our surroundings. It works by inhibiting enzymes in our bodies. It causes irritation at moderate doses. Adamsite can cause death at higher doses. It belongs to the group of chemical warfare agents known as vomiting agents or sneeze gases.

Adamsite is an odorless crystalline compound with a very low vapour pressure. It is readily soluble in some organic solvents. Adamsite is usually dispersed as an aerosol, making the upper respiratory tract the primary site of action.

Facts about strychnine

Strychnine was the first alkaloid to be identified in plants of the genus Strychnos, family Loganiaceae. It is colorless, bitter crystalline alkaloid used as a pesticide. It is also used as a rodenticide, but is not specific for unwanted pests and may kill other small animals.

Strychnine was first discovered by French chemists Joseph Bienaime Caventou and Pierre-Joseph Pelletier in 1818 in the Saint-Ignatius’ bean. Strychnine working mechanism includes when inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through eyes or mouth, causes a poisoning which results in muscular convulsions and eventually death through asphyxia.

Strychnine is a terpene indole alkaloid belonging to the Strychnos family of Corynanthe alkaloids, and it is derived from tryptamine and secologanin. Strychnine is rapidly metabolized by the liver microsomal enzyme system requiring NADPH and O2. Strychnine competes with the inhibitory neurotransmitter glycine resulting in an excitatory state.

Facts about morphine

Morphine is an opioid analgesic drug, a recreational drug, and the main psychoactive chemical in opium. Morphine was the first active ingredient purified from a plant source. It is one of at least fifty alkaloids of several different types present in opium, poppy straw concentrate, and other poppy derivatives. Morphine was first isolated in 1804 by Friedrich Serturner.

Morphine is primarily used to treat both acute and chronic severe pain. It is also used for pain due to myocardial infarction and for labor pains. Morphine is a potentially highly addictive substance. It can cause psychological dependence and physical dependence as well as tolerance.

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