51.1 MB (2.5 MB compressed)
5007 x 3567 pixels
42.4 x 30.2 cm ⏐ 16.7 x 11.9 in (300dpi)
PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Molecular modelling of a structure for RU486, an abortion-inducing drug, using an Evans & Sutherland PS-300 computer graphics system. RU486 is a steroid hormone similar to progesterone, the production of which by the ovary & placenta is essential to maintain a pregnancy. RU486 binds to cells in the same manner as progesterone does, but blocks the effects of the natural hormone. Two days after an oral dose of RU486, the woman takes a drug called a prostaglandin, which initiates contractions of the uterus that result in the expulsion of the embryo - a drug-induced termination (abortion). RU486 is presently (Nov 1989) only used in clinical trials.
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