Chapter 10: Take Two Elements,

Call Me In The Morning -Kylie Storie-


In this chapter the author expresses multiple uses of Silver, Copper, Vanadium, Gadolinium, Sulfur, and Rhodium in early developments of medicine. He also showed how the uses of the elemental medicine helped save lives and the side effects of their use.

Copper (Cu)

Atomic Number: 29
Atomic Mass: 63.546
Transition Metal
Electron Configuration: 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d9
Where it's found: mines mainly in the US
In 1976 a plague broke out in a hotel building. Bacteria spread through the air conditioning systems, and within days hundreds of people were sick and thirty-four died. Laws were created mandating cleaner air and water systems, and copper has proved to be the simplest, cheapest way to improve infrastructure. If certain bacteria, fungi, or other algae inch across something made of copper they absorb copper atoms, and die a few hours later. Copper is also used in currency.
Discovery: known since 10000BC
Named After: comes from the Latin word "cuprum".

Gadolinium (Gd)

Atomic Number: 64
Atomic Mass: 157.25
Transition Metal
Electron Configuration: 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 4p6 5s2 4d10 5p6 6s2 4f8
Where It's Found: mainly found in minerals such as monazite and bastnaesite.
Gadolinium has an abundance of unpaired electrons. Since it has so many unpaired non-cancelling electrons, this allows Gadolinium to be magnetized more strongly than any other element, which is great for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). MRI machines work by magnetizing the body's tissues. When the tissues relax they become invisible to the magnetic field. Highly magnetic Gadolinium takes longer to relax, and the MRI picks that up. So, Gadolinium can be used to target tumors due to its ability to contrast between the tumors and normal flesh. But, it can have some health effects like, kidney problems, muscle stiffness, and shortness of breath, depending on the person.
Discovery: 1880 by Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac.
Named After: Johan Gadolin by Paul Émile Lecoq Boisbaudran in 1886.

Rhodium (Rh)

Atomic Number: 45
Atomic Mass: 102.96
Transition Metal
Electron Configuration: 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 4p6 5s2 4d7
Where It's Found: found with platinum deposits and is found as a byproduct of mining and refining platinum.

Rhodium is used to make electrical contacts such as jewelry, catalytic converters, and as alloying agents in multiple materials.
Discovery: by William Hyde Wollaston in 1803.
Named After: the Greek word rose "rhodon".

Silver (Ag)

Atomic Number: 47
Atomic Mass: 107.868
Transition Metal
Electron Configuration: 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 4p6 5s2 4d9
Where It's Found: found in various ores across the world. Mainly North and South America. Most abundant in ores of sulfides like argentite.
Noted in this chapter, Silver was used for preservation, and preventing infection. Early pioneers placed a silver coin in a jug of milk to preserve it for the long journey ahead of them. An astrologer, Tygo Brahe even had a silver, and possibly copper, nose made for him since he lost his in a dual. Today Silver is used widely to make jewelry, decorations, currency, electric conductors, and used with other elements for various things.
Discovery: well known earlier than 4000BC
Named After: Old English word "seolfer". Ag was named after the Latin word argentum meaning "white and shining".

Sulfur (S)

Atomic Number: 16
Atomic Mass: 32.066
Non Metal
Electron Configuration:1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p4
Where It's Found: mainly found in underground deposits usually along with salt deposits. Also found in petroleum refining operations.
Sulfur is mostly used in sulfuric acid (H2SO4). Large amounts of sulfuric acid is used to make fertilizers, lead-acid batteries, and multiple industrial purposes. Small amounts are used to vulcanize natural rubbers as insecticides, and in the manufacturing of gunpowder and as a dyeing agent.
Discovery: around 1777 by Antoine Lavoisier
Named After: from Sanskirt word sulvere and Latin word sulphurium.

Vanadium (V)

Atomic Number: 23
Atomic Mass: 50.942
Transition Metal
Electron Configuration:1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d3
Where It's Found: usually associated with uranium ores in sandstones in US, Russia, Africa, China
Vanadium has been lab tested on sperm, and proves to be a really great spermicide. It basically destroys the tail of the sperm leaving the sperm immobile. While Vanadium seems like the ultimate spermicide, scientists don't really know how to make the use of it safe for humans. Vanadium is also known to lower blood glucose levels.
Discovery: originally discovered in 1803 by Andres Manuel del Rio
Named After: named after goddess of beauty Vanadis by Nils Gabriel Sefstrom in 1831, Vanadium was chosen name.


Throughout the entire chapter in this book the author describes the importance of these elements in early medicine. He shows how multiple scientists helped save people's lives with lab tested and developed medicines containing these elements. While some had crazy side effects, others didn't. He shows an accurate connection between humans and elects and how they play roles in our lives. They're not just elements floating around, or letters in a table. They're part of our lives.