Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Friedrich Wöhler

  • The discovery of urea and the end of vitalism

    Mostafa ElbabaDoha, Qatar In history, ancient chemistry is known as “alchemy.” It is different than modern chemistry since it was mixed with philosophy and pseudoscience, although it is considered a protoscience. Alchemy failed to explain the nature of matter and its transformations. However, by experimentation and recording the results, alchemists set the stage for modern…

  • Friedrich Wöhler (1800–1882)

    When the proteins of the human body are broken down to their constituent amino acids, they are converted to ammonia (NH3), which, being toxic, is metabolized in the liver to urea. As the main nitrogenous end product of proteins, urea is found mainly in the blood, but to some extent also in bile, milk, and…