Chapter 5

Take Two Elements, Call Me in the Morning - Riley Schoonover

Chapter 10 gives a glimpse as to how elements have been used in the medical world. Elements don’t always have a positive effect, but sometime they do. Elements being used for medical purposes goes back a long time. Silver has been used for antibacterial purposes such as with Tycho Blahe, who used it to fight off infections or when the pioneers used it to stop milk from spoiling. But, if too much silver is ingested, it can make ones skin turn blue. Copper is used when constructing buildings as it kills bacteria, fungi, etc (Ch 10, pg. 167-172). Vanadium is another useful element. It can be used as a spermicide and used to prevent yeast infections. But, Vanadium is not on the market as it potentially has bad side effects (Ch 10, pg. 169). Gadolinium is used for MRIs and can potentially be used to kill tumors. It’s not currently being used because Gadolinium has reported to make people’s skin stiffen and they cannot flush it out of their systems. (Ch. 10, pg. 170-171).

Sulfur was used in Prontosil, a drug created by Gerhard Domagk in which he initially used to save his daughter. It was later on used to save President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Ch. 10 177-179). Rhodium was used by William Knowles to “awaken” Parkinson’s patients from their poor mental state (Ch. 10, pg. 183-185). Although, these element can have their side effect, some have done a lot of good in the world and a couple of the others could be utilized in the future.


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Copper (Cu):

  • Atomic Number: 29 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Atomic Weight: 63.546 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Period Number: 4 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Group Number: 11 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Electron Configuration: 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^6 4s^2 3d^10 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Element Classification: Transition Metal (Dayah, 1997).

  • According to Jefferson Lab, Copper can be found “in the United States, Chile, Zambia, Zaire, Peru and Canada.” (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Places: Large deposits of copper ore are located in the United States, Chile, Zambia, Zaire, Peru and Canada (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Copper is used to build water pipes and other infrastructure within a buildings. It is also what pennies are coated in (Ch 10, 168-169).

  • Jefferson Lab says,“Copper cyanide (CuCN) is commonly used in electroplating” (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Copper has been around since ancient times, so we do not know who discovered it or where it was found. According to the ICA, “Copper comes from the Latin word cuprum, meaning ‘from the island of Cyprus’” (ICA, 2012).

  • Some unique characteristics of copper are it’s ability to kill bacteria, fungi, or algae. If one of those three come in contact with copper, the copper will absorb copper atoms and mess up their metabolism. This kills the microbes. Other characteristic is that it is a lot cheaper metal. This makes it more widely used (Ch 10, pg. 168).

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Vanadium (V):

  • Atomic Number: 23 (Ch 11, pg. 169).

  • Atomic Mass: 50.9415 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Period Number: 4 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Group Number: 5 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Electron Configuration: 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 (Dayah, 1997).

  • Element Classification: Transition Metal (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • South Africa and Russia are the biggest resource for vanadium (Lenntech, 2016).

  • Vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) is a common compound for Vanadium. Vanadium is used as a material that dyes fabrics permanently (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Jefferson Lab says,“Vanadium was discovered by Andrés Manuel del Rio, a Mexican chemist, in 1801.” Vanadium was named after Vanadis, a Scandinavian goddess (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • A unique characteristic of Vanadium is that it is the best spermicide. Vanadium gets rid of any dissolving and crack’s the crankshaft on sperm. This leaves the sperm useless (Ch 10, pg.169). It is also used to make tools for the chemical industry because it is corrosion resistant (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

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Gadolinium (Gd):

  • Atomic Number: 64 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Atomic Weight: 157.25 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Period Number: 6 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Group Number: none (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Electron Configuration: 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^6 3d^10 4s^2 4p^6 3d^10 4s^2 4d^10 4p^7 5s^2 5p^6 5d^1 6s^2 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Element Classification: Lanthanoid (Dayah, 1997).

  • Not a naturally occurring element. Gadolinium is usually didymia and gadolinite (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Gadolinium is important because it is need to run MRIs. (Ch 10, pg. 170).

  • Gadolinium was discovered by Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • According to Jefferson Lab, “Named for the mineral gadolinite which was named after Johan Gadolin, a Finnish chemist” (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Swiss chemist, Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac observed gadolinium was first observed by the in the minerals didymia and gadolinite in 1880. (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Some characteristics of Gadolinium is that it is malleable, reacts slowly with water, and produces colorless salts (Chemicool Periodic Table, 2012).

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Silver (Ag):


  • Atomic Number: 47 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Atomic Weight: 107.8682 (Jefferson Lab, 2016)

  • Period Number: 5 (Jefferson Lab, 2016)

  • Group Number: 11 (Jefferson Lab, 2016)

  • Electron Configuration: 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^6 4s^2 4d^10 4p^6 5s^2 5d^9 (Dayah, 1997)

  • Element Classification: Transition Metal (Dayah, 1997)

  • Silver can be found many places. Significant places would be Mexico, Peru, and Canada. It is not usually in a compound (MEC).

  • Silver is used as a conductor of heat, in electrical contacts and circuit boards, and reflecting visible light (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • It is unknown when silver was discovered as it has been around for thousands of years. The work silver comes from the Anglo-Saxon word seolfor (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • A few characteristics of Silver is that it is soft, malleable, and has “ the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of all metals,” according to Chemicool Periodic Table (Chemicool Periodic Table, 2012).

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Sulfur (S):

  • Atomic Number: 16 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Atomic Weight: 32.065 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Period Number: 3 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Group Number: 16 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Electron Configuration: 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^4 (Dayah, 1997).

  • Element Classification: Chalcogen and Nonmetal (Chemicool Periodic Table, 2012).

  • Sulfur is usually found around volcanoes and hot springs, not necessarily somewhere specific in the world (Chemicool Periodic Table, 2012). Sulfur is commonly found as sulfuric acid (H2SO4).

  • According to Chemicool Periodic Table Sulfur is used, “in the vulcanization of natural rubber, as a fungicide, in black gunpowder, in detergents and in the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers.” Sulfuric acid is used in lead-acid batteries for cars (Chemicool Periodic Table, 2012).

  • People have known of sulfur since ancient times. Antoine Lavoisier is the one who got scientists to believe it was element sometime around 1777. Jefferson Lab says sulfur comes “from the Sanskrit word sulvere and the Latin word sulphurium” (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Characteristics of sulfur include: being soft, odorless, and turns blue with flame (Chemicool Periodic Table, 2012).
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Rhodium (Rd):

  • Atomic Number: 45 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Atomic Weight: 102.90550 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Period Number: 5 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Group Number: 9 (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Electron Configuration: 1s^2 2s^2 2p^6 3s^2 3p^6 4s^2 4d^10 4p^6 5s^2 5d^7 (Dayah, 1997).

  • Element Classification: Transition Metal (Dayah, 1997).

  • According to Chemicool Periodic Table, “Rhodium occurs in small quantities in ores metals such as platinum, palladium, nickel, silver, and gold. Commercially, it is obtained as a byproduct of refining nickel sulfide ores from Canada” (Chemicool Periodic Table, 2012). Rhodium is not really used in a compound, but is an alloying agent with platinum (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Rhodium is useful because it is used as a catalyst, alloying agents, and an electrical contact material. The metal is used in jewelry. When rhodium is an alloying agent, furnace coils, electrodes for aircraft spark plugs and laboratory crucibles are made (Chemicool Periodic Table, 2012).

  • Rhodium was discovered in South America by William Hyde Wollaston. Rhodium came from “rhodon”, the Greek word for rose (Jefferson Lab, 2016).

  • Characteristics of Rhodon include: being rare, hard, highly reflective, and resistant to corrosion (Chemicool Periodic Table, 2012).

Summary

These elements have been extremely important to human’s health throughout history. Without Gadolinium, we wouldn’t have things like MRI, which saves lives by letting doctors see what’s wrong. We wouldn’t have proper building structure and could be constantly overcome by disease without Copper. Silver has helped humans several time through history by fighting infections. Sulfur and Rhodium have saved lives with the drugs made from them. Even if an element can’t be used to it’s full potential like Vanadium and Gadolinium, they still were stepping stones to other medical breakthroughs. Those elements are are just a few that impact the medical world and our lives. We wouldn’t be here like we are without them.


Citations

Chemicool Periodic Table. (2012). Gadolinium Element Facts. Retrieved from http://www.chemicool.com/elements/gadolinium.html


Chemicool Periodic Table. (2012). Rhodium Element Facts. Retrieved from http://www.chemicool.com/elements/sulfur.html


Chemicool Periodic Table. (2012). Silver Element Facts. Retrieved from http://www.chemicool.com/elements/silver.html


Chemicool Periodic Table. (2012). Sulfur Element Facts. Retrieved from http://www.chemicool.com/elements/sulfur.html


Dayah, M. (1997, October 1). Dynamic Periodic Table. Retrieved from http://www.ptable.com


International Copper Alliance. (2016). History of Copper. Retrieved from http://copperalliance.org/history-of-copper/


Kean, Sam. The Disappearing Spoon. New York: NY Little Brown and Company, 2010. Print.


LennTech. (2016). Vanadium. - V. Retrieved from http://www.lenntech.com/periodic/elements/v.htm


Minerals Education Coalition. (n.d.). Silver. Retrieved from https://www.mineralseducationcoalition.org/minerals/silver


Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. (2016). The Element Copper. Retrieved from http://education.jlab.org/itselemental/ele029.html


Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. (2016). The Element Gadolinium. Retrieved from http://education.jlab.org/itselemental/ele064.html


Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. (2016). The Element Rhodium.

Retrieved from http://education.jlab.org/itselemental/ele045.html


Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. (2016). The Element Silver.

Retrieved from http://education.jlab.org/itselemental/ele047.html


Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. (2016). The Element Sulfur.

Retrieved from http://education.jlab.org/itselemental/ele016.html


Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. (2016). The Element Vanadium.

Retrieved from http://education.jlab.org/itselemental/ele023.html