Chemistry in addition to Warfare The use of “Greek fire” Learning Objectives Learning Objectives (cont) Outline
Villalobos, Louie, Metro Editor has reference to this Academic Journal, PHwiki organized this Journal Chemistry in addition to Warfare The use of “Greek fire” Credit: Bridgeman Art Library Learning Objectives The ability to produce weapons that specifically target living organisms is closely tied to recent advances in chemistry. Chemical weapons are classified according to mode of action, including lung irritants (such as chlorine gas), vesciants (such as mustard gas), respiratory poisons (such as cyanide), in addition to nerve agents (such as VX).
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Learning Objectives (cont) Biological weapons, which are derived from living organisms, include viruses, bacteria, in addition to toxic compounds found in nature. Paradoxically, the same advances in our underst in addition to ing of infectious agents that have led to a decrease in deaths from infectious disease have led to refinement of biological weapons. Outline Early Use of Chemistry in Warfare Black Powder An explosive mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal, in addition to sulfur developed by the Chinese in the 10th century. An alternate source of potassium nitrate is found in bird droppings. High Explosives Exemplified by nitroglycerine or trinitrotoluene (TNT), which contains internal nitro groups (-NO2) that rapidly oxidize the rest of the molecule Detonation results from a volume expansion because of a rapid release of heat in addition to gaseous products. NO2 NO2 NO2 CH3 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) Nitroglycerine High Explosives, which decompose entirely into gaseous products in a process called detonation.
Factors Affecting the Volume of a Gas Fritz Haber(left, with Albert Einstein),a pioneer of gas warfare Credit: AIP Emilio Segre Visual Archives Fritz Haber (left) with Albert Einstein. Haber, who pioneered gas warfare, said on receiving his Nobel Prize, In no future war will the military be able to ignore poison gas. It is a higher as long as m of killing. Outline Early Use of Chemistry in Warfare (cont) Harassing Agents Compounds such as teargas that temporarily incapacitate, rather than kill, the target The first step towards lethal chemical warfare in World War I
Outline Chemical Warfare Agents Definition Chemical substances, whether gaseous, liquid, or solid, which are used because of their direct toxic effects on humans, animals, or plants Classes Classified by their mode of action: lung irritants, vesicants, respiratory poisons, nerve agents, hallucinogens, in addition to herbicides Types of Chemical Warfare Agents Classes of Chemical Weapons Chemical weapons are molecules that have selectively toxic effects on a living target. Outline Chemical Warfare Agents (cont) Lung Irritants Damage lung tissue directly or via a reaction to produce a corrosive compound Exemplified by chlorine gas (Cl2) Cl2 is a powerful oxidizing agent in addition to also reacts with H2O in the lungs to as long as m hypochlorous acid (HOCl), which oxidizes cellular molecules. Lung irritants, or choking agents, damage cells within the bronchial passages, leading to leakage of fluid into the lungs
Examples of Lung Irritants Action of Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) Chlorine gas attack in World War I Credit: Corbis
Early gas masks worn by Allied troups, known as P-helmets Credit: Corbis Outline Chemical Warfare Agents (cont) Vesicants Produce painful blisters on any exposed tissue Exemplified by mustard gas Use of mustard gas in warfare led to the discovery that certain related compounds are useful anticancer drugs because they damage DNA Vesicants, which include mustard gas, produce painful burns in addition to blisters on any exposed tissue. Action of Nitrogen Mustard
Outline Chemical Warfare Agents (cont) Respiratory Poisons Interfere with oxygen use at the molecular level Exemplified by cyanide Cyanide leads to rapid death by inhibiting cytochrome oxidase, an enzyme essential as long as ATP production during cellular respiration. Respiratory poisons block an organisms use of oxygen at the cellular level. Action of Cyanide Inactivates an enzyme essential as long as production of ATP through aerobic metabolism. Outline Chemical Warfare Agents (cont) Nerve Agents Inactivate the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which is essential as long as muscle contraction. The result is rapid death by respiratory paralysis. Exemplified by VX a new compound ideal as long as total destruction of a battlefield. Atropine acts as an antidote as long as nerve agents by blocking the acetylcholine receptor. Nerve agents block the normal transmission of nerve impulses from the brain to the muscles, leading to uncontrolled muscle contraction, convulsions, in addition to respiratory paralysis.
Organophosphorus Nerve Gases Nicholas Cage h in addition to ling VX gas in The Rock Credit: Zuma Press In the movie The Rock (1996), biochemist Stanley Goodspeed is called in to help save San Francisco from a comm in addition to o attack with VX gas. During his mission, he is exposed to the deadly chemical but as long as tunately is prepared with a syringe of atropine. Action of Atropine Atropine blocks the receptor as long as acetylcholine (ACh) so that no messages can be received by the muscle, thereby blocking the effects of a nerve agent.
Experimental drugs may be factors in Gulf War syndrome Credit: Corbis Outline Chemical Warfare Agents (cont) Hallucinogens are compounds that cause an individual to experience things that are not real. Harassing agents induce delusions in addition to hallucinations Exemplified by LSD Herbicides are compounds that are selectively toxic to plants. Selectively toxic to plants Exemplified by Agent Orange Credit: Data from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), The Rise of CB Weapons, Vol. 1. Stockholm: SIPRI, 1971. Chemical Agents Used in addition to Estimated Effects in World War I
In Europe, cleaning up explosives from both world wars continues Credit: Zuma Press Reported Cases of Post-World War II Use of Chemical Weapons Outline Biological Warfare Agents Definition Living organisms such as bacteria or toxic material derived from them, which are intended to cause disease or death in humans, animals, or plants Early Examples Disease-infected cadavers, blankets, in addition to clothing Poison arrows Biological weapons are disease-causing agents such as bacteria in addition to viruses or their toxic products
Growing microbes in the lab takes days Credit: Courtesy of Julie Millard New microbe tests include h in addition to held devices like this Credit: Courtesy, Tetracore Inc. Key Words Black powder High explosives Harassing agents Chemical weapons Lung irritants Vesicants Respiratory poisons Nerve agents Hallucinogens Herbicides Biological weapons Biological toxins
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