☆ (theidolhands) wrote in 1word1day,

theidolhands
1word1day

Tuesday Word: Enantiomer

en·an·ti·o·mer [ə-nan-tee-ə-mər]:
origin: [1660] Greek; enantíos= opposite + méros= part.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Two-faced: duplicating each side of the same human face as one.


noun
An optical isomer; two sets of atoms that are mirror images of one another, but do not overlap if placed on top of one another (common example: your right & left hand, identical but opposites, a.k.a. chirality).

Now, just because something looks alike,and is made up of the exact same substances, it does not mean they are alike; so, in a curiosity of chemistry (even of the universe itself), what is harmless in one arrangement can become deadly when simply flipped.

You know...like "evil" Star Trek?

The drug thalidomide is an example of a molecule possessing an enantiomer that went horribly wrong (due to that "flipped" nature), it was designed simply to help women struggling with morning sickness & sleep depravation, which it did effectively, yet it was also capable of causing an array of serious birth defects. Removing the harmful enantiomer that causes birth defects (while leaving the useful one that causes sleep intact) is ineffective, for the molecule may re-flip inside the body.

The thalidomide tragedy forced drug companies to reconsider enantiomers as separate molecules instead of different forms of the same drug. However, it's still effectively used to treat leprosy and cancer with the enforced use of birth control.
Tags: e, greek, noun, scientific, wordsmith: theidolhands
Subscribe

  • Friday Funny

    I have had this cartoon on my phone forever--it's a gem! Image shows a four panel cartoon of singing cartoon books Panel One: Dictionary…

  • Wednesday Word: Stonkered

    Stonkered - adjective. Not to be confused with Internet meme word stonks, stonkered means to be in a state of completely exhaustion.

  • Tuesday word: Diverge

    Tuesday, Jun. 8, 2021 Diverge (verb) di·verge [dih-vurj, dahy-] verb (used without object) 1. to move, lie, or extend in different directions…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 0 comments