Man's physical universe

xanabras

UNIT X

SECTION 6

CHEMISTRY HAS PROVIDED MANY WEAPONS FOR

THE CONTROL OF DISEASE

A sound mind in a sound body is a short, but full description of a happy

state in this world. He that has these two, has little more to wish for; and he

that wants either of them, will be but little the better for anything else.


Locke.

Introduction.

"What do you believe is the most important development chemistry

can make for the welfare of mankind?" This question, addressed to

18,000 visitors to the Du Pont exhibit at the New York World's Fair,

revealed that the contribution of chemistry to the checking of disease

was mentioned more often than any other topic.

In this Section, we shall discuss chemotherapy , i.e., the use of chemicals

for the destruction of the microorganisms which cause disease.

Chemotherapy Is a Powerful Weapon in the Treatment of Parasites of

Human Beings.

The small, one-cell animal, amoeba histolytica, is a common intestinal

parasite which robs the body of its food, produces poisons, and even

penetrates the liver, where it does irreparable damage. Only a few

years ago emetine hydrochloride was the only remedy known, and it

often made the patient very sick. It was a common statement that

amoebic dysentery could never be cured. Within the past ten years,

a number of substances such as "chiniofon" (Yatren), "vioform,"

and "carbosone" have been found to give excellent results in destroying

intestinal amoebae, but they have to be used with discretion

because of their toxic possibilities.

Another intestinal parasite, the hookworm, may be destroyed by

use of carbon tetrachloride or thymol.

Plantlike Parasites Are So Common That Nearly Every Home Needs

Chemicals to Destroy Them.

There are numerous plantlike parasites that cause such diseases as

impetigo, ringworm, and athlete's foot. Many substances have been

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