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Some Biological Applications of Organometallic Compounds


Some Biological Applications of Organometallic Compounds



Science 93(2403): 47-50



ISSN/ISBN: 0036-8075

PMID: 17832843

DOI: 10.1126/science.93.2403.47

Organometallic compounds are compounds which have a metal directly attached to carbon, but only those of low chemical reactivity can, of course, have any immediate biological application. The more important applications are their use in the determination of structure and the synthesis of biologically significant materials like vitamins, hormones, haemoglobin, and chlorophyll, and in the treatment of infections and diseases of both plants and animals. Arsenic, antimony and bismuth coin-pounds have found wide' applications in the treatment of a variety of protozoan diseases-, As and Bi compounds have also been shown to be effective in the treatment of some forms of coccidiosis. Organogold compounds have been used, with indifferent success, in the treatment of TB. but with greater promise in the treatment of some forms of arthritis . Recent studies indicate that organolead compounds may be beneficial in the treatment of cancer, and germanium compounds are being examined in studies on pernicious anaemia. The pronounced effects of very small quantities of metals and their derivatives have given rise to the expression "oligodynamic action", e.g., 1 part of Cu in 100 million parts of distilled water will kill algae. Metals or their salts are widely distributed in plants and animals and the importance of trace elements in nutrition is well known.

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Accession: 013500861

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