Molecular graphics of morphine molecule

Molecular graphics of morphine molecule

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Credit: J.C. REVY, ISM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Computer graphics representation of a molecule of morphine, an opiate analgesic (pain-killing drug). Lines represent the atomic backbone; spheres show the relative size of individual atoms. The isolation of morphine in the early years of the 19th century, from opium extracted from the poppy Papaver somniferum, marked the beginnings of modern pharmacy. Opium is one of the oldest known effective drugs, with its use as a pain-killer documented in ancient Egypt. The establishment of morphine's alkaline nature prompted chemists to search for other alkaline substances in plants, which they termed alkaloids.

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Keywords: alkaloid, analgesic, biochemistry biochemical, chemical, chemistry, compound compounds, computer model, drug molecule, molecules, morphine, narcotic analgesic, opiate, pharmaceutical, pharmaceutics

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