Summary of Napoleon's Buttons Chapter 12: Molecules of Witchcraft

1836 Words Apr 6th, 2013 8 Pages
Introduction
Between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries, many people died by cruel and horrible deaths of buring at the stake, hanging, or being tortured. The estimates of people killed ranged up to the millions which included men, women, children, and even aristocrats as they were accused of witchcraft. Although, poor and elderly women were the ones effected the most from multitudes of paranoia and delusions in those centuries. However, certain molecules played a role in this discrimination that ultimately led millions to their demise.

Toil and Trouble Witchcraft, prior to 1350, was regarded as sorcery where one controls nature in their own interest by protecting crops or people and casting spells to influence or provide. It was
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Three sugar unitsThe steroid ring system In the Digitalis extract, there are also many other molecules that's similar to digoxin, like the digtoxin molecule. It lacks the OH and similar cardiac glycoside molecules are in other plants that are often members of the lily or ranunculus families. The molecules have the same structural features though,so they're likely resposible for the caridac effect. All have five membered lactone ring that's attached to the end of the steroid system with an extra OH in between the C and D rings of the steroid system.

lactone ring

extra OH between C and D rings

Molecules affecting the heart are not found in plants. Toxin compounds found in animals are similar to the structures of cardiac glycosides found in plants. The molecules don't have sugar or used as heart stimulants, but they are poison and have little medical value. The venom is extracted from amphibians, like the frog or toad that are used as arrow poisons and the common anima attributed with witches since in folklore, it is said that many potions made by witches contained toad parts. Bufotoxin is a molecule that's an active component of venom from the common European toad. It's one of the most toxic molecules with structures showing similarities to the steroid system ring of the digitoxin molecule with same extract OH between the C and D rings. The difference is that it has a six membered lactone ring instead of a five

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