The stereochemistry of a molecule can have a drastic impact on its efficacy and toxicity. This activity provides instructors with homework and discussion questions for use within organic chemistry courses to discuss the importance of understanding the toxicity of stereoisomers using common pharmaceuticals and drugs.
By understanding how the structure of a molecule impacts its function, such as ability to degrade in the environment, chemists can design chemical products that have reduced impacts on humans and the environment. These brief lessons introduce design rules for biodegradability and provide instructors discussion questions that link toxicology concepts directly to organic chemistry concepts, such as alkanes and carbon branching, and electrophilic aromatic substitution.
The toxicity of xenobiotic (a substance foreign to the body, typically a chemical substance) electrophiles are related to their ability to bind to proteins in the body. There are about 50 specific reactive protein binding mechanisms known, with 6 being the most common reaction mechanisms: SN1, SN2, Acylation, Schiff Base formation, Michael Addition and SNAr. This unit provides a brief introduction to electrophilic-nucleophilic reactions in the body, along with some discussion questions for instructors.
Understanding what makes a molecule hazardous to the environment or toxic to humans is a key piece to green chemistry design. However, what do we mean when we use the terms “hazardous” or “toxic”? There are many toxicological and environmental endpoints that determine whether or not a molecule will have human an environmental impact. This activity helps students to understand more about the various endpoints and how to assess whether or not a molecule poses human and environmental risks.
In this lab, a bioassay is performed on salts that are used for road de-icing. The lab demonstrates the concept of LD50, or the lethal dose of a chemical that kills 50% of a particular organism when 100% of the organisms are exposed. Concepts: bioassays, toxicology, LD50
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