The Big Bang East Midlands
UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair
The MRC Toxicology Unit will be there on 2nd July 2013 for two sessions. At these times a workshop will take place on: 'How your body deals with drugs'
This workshop will examine how the body carries out chemistry on drug molecules to allow them to be excreted from the body. These excreted forms of the drug are called metabolites. In this study we will be looking at paracetamol. This drug is perfectly safe when taken in therapeutic doses and is excreted mainly joined (conjugated) to glucuronide and sulphate groups. A small amount is excreted as thiol ethers. These latter conjugates result from a toxic paracetamol metabolite that forms from one particular chemical reaction in the liver. If not conjugated to a physiological thiol class molecule also found in the liver, and excreted, it damages the liver. For therapeutic doses this always happens. In overdose though the mechanism is overwhelmed and liver damage occurs. This demonstrates one of the principle pillars of toxicology; toxicity depends on the dose. For paracetamol a small dose is therapeutic and a larger dose is toxic. In this session we will measure the metabolites of paracetamol in urine.
We look forward to seeing you there.
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