Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Aspirin Research Keeps Giving New Life to an Ancient Medicine

Summary: This short, concise history of aspirin gives the reader a fascinating look at an old standby. Aspirin in its natural form is found in the willow tree. Researchers learned how to mimic the willow tree's chemical salicin and make salicylic acid. Then a chemist at the Fredrich Bayer company in Germany create aetyl salcylic acid. The etymology of aspirin is examined and how that is tied to how medicine is named. How aspirin works in the body is presented in a very non medical way and the possible side effects are presented. The most promising piece of the article is the current research in using aspirin to help prevent heart attacks and how aspirin blocks the formation of blood vessels that feed cancer growth.

Classroom Strategies: Depending on grade level looking at ancient civilization's use of plants for health. The etymology of names and/or how medicines are named. Medicine names will contain many Latin and Greek roots. Mini research on the Greek doctor Hippocrates and his oath that every doctor takes. This can be expanded to veterinarians and their oath.

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