heavy water

Mark W. Trumbore Trumborm at dc37a.nci.nih.gov
Fri Apr 14 08:21:11 EST 1995

In article <Pine.A32.3.91.950412215501.32024A-100000 at umabnet.ab.umd.edu>,
Leslie Gartner <lgartner at umabnet.ab.umd.edu> wrote:

> On 10 Apr 1995, wendy wolk wrote:
> > Can anyone tell me the chemical formula for heavy water and in what dosage
> > is it harmful. Also what are the symptoms of someone who has ingested too
> > much.
>  Wendy,
D2O does behave differently than water in many systems.  These effects are
the result of the difference in mass between hydrogen and deuterium. 
Heavy water is more dense and has different hydrogen bond strengths. 
While these differences are subtle they can and do effect cellular
processes.  It is possible to "perdeuterate" a rabbit for instance by
feeding it D2O as its water source.  It takes a long time and the rabbit
is rather sick.  Even with this the absolute amount of deuterium
incorporated is only between 50 and 75%.  Any more than this and the
rabbit dies.  
Mark Trumbore

Mark W. Trumbore
National Institutes of Health
National Cancer Institute
Building 37, Room B109
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: (301)496-6682
Fax:   (301)402-0213
Email: Trumborm at dc37a.nci.nih.gov

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