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Chemistry of Life

Introduces molecules and chemical reactions in the context of living beings.

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Looking A Little Blue
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Looking a Little Blue

Sometimes the blue comes off, and sometimes it doesn't! Image courtesy of James Porto

Is That Papa Smurf?

If a small child ran up to you in the grocery store and told you Papa Smurf was in aisle 2, you'd probably think they had a vivid imagination or that there was some promotion going on of which you were unaware. But, there is another answer. They could have seen someone with a very rare condition.

Now that you've seen the condition, here is some detail on what's going on How Silver Turns People Blue

Head Scratchers

Use the resources below to answer the following questions:

  1. What is the cause of argyria? When was it first reported?
  2. What was the original use of silver solutions in medicine? How effective were these treatments at the time? What medicines lead to the decline in the use of silver solutions?
  3. How dramatic are the changes when someone first contracts this disease? How can this complicate initial diagnosis?
  4. What do argyria and the process to develop black and white film have in common? Explain this process as fully as you can.
  5. What has to happen to silver for it to enter the blood stream? Where does this occur?


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