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|German to English translations [PRO]|
|German term or phrase: Salvarsan|
|Appear on a list of toxic substances. Is it the same in English?|
Around 1900 in Frankfurt, Germany, a pharmacologist named Paul Ehrlich (not to be confused with The Population Bomb author) became preoccupied with the violently poisonous nature of arsenic. Ehrlich, however, was convinced that the toxic potential of arsenic could be harnessed and used therapeutically as a treatment for diseases such as syphilis. By chemically attaching arsenic to various carbon and hydrogen (organic) structures, he hoped to make it less accessible to binding cites on cells that produce adverse affects for humans and more specifically toxic for the infectious organisms. The search was tedious to say the least.
Ehrlich patiently threaded his way through 604 different organic compounds of arsenic before he literally stumbled on number 605 to which he gave the grandiose name of Salvarsan. With brilliant insight, he even postulated that its antimicrobial activity might involve the binding of Salvarsan to sulfur groups on the microbes. As toxicologists now know, arsenic - and many other metals - are strongly attracted to sulfur; some of the sulfur in human proteins is critical to biological function. Salvarsan became the first drug that was safe enough to be given to humans and to be truly effective against the dread spirochete bacteria that causes syphilis. It was to be replaced immediately on the discovery of penicillin, but Salvarsan deserves its place in history.
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|Very impressive information. Thanks to both of you for the verification. Helga |
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