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Why is chemistry important to medicine?

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Quick Answer

Chemistry is important to medicine because it allows researchers to create drugs that interact efficiently with the body to combat illness, as stated by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Once a promising molecule has been identified, chemistry is required to make sure that the correct version of the molecule is used.

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Molecules have a "right" and "left" version; these versions are produced from chemical reactions. These two versions are mirror images known as enantiomers. Specific enantiomers are required to fit in various parts of the body. For example, some bodily proteins only fit left enantiomers.

Chemistry is required to know what enantiomer to use. Some enantiomers are dangerous, while others cannot be used because they do not fit correctly. Creating drugs by producing a single enantiomer is costly, but it helps combat these problems.

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