Accession Number : AD0615814

Title :   THE PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF ARGON, HELIUM AND THE RARE GASES.

Descriptive Note : Technical rept.,

Corporate Author : UNION CARBIDE CORP TONAWANDA N Y LINDE DIV

Personal Author(s) : Schreiner,H. R.

Report Date : 31 MAY 1965

Pagination or Media Count : 76

Abstract : The report describes some physiologic effects of helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and of several other normally chemically inert gases such as nitrogen. The observations show that chemically inert gases are endowed with molecular properties which enable them to affect biological processes in a systematic and most likely, universal manner. At an equivalent depth of 980 feet of seawater, (30.6 atm) helium, neon, nitrogen, argon and nitrous oxide significantly (p < 0.005) inhibit the activity of tyrosinase which catalyses the oxidation of tyrosine by molecular oxygen. Helium produces the least inhibition (16%) among these gases. This small but significant inhibition of an enzyme at pressures within experimental depth ranges projected for future manned diving constitutes a finding of great potential importance to diving physiologists. Studies with the mold Neurospora crassa revealed a striking relationship between the biological effectiveness of helium group gases and their ability to take part in weak intermolecular interactions. The effect of helium group gases under pressures of up to 55.2 atm. on the rate of growth of mammalian cells in culture roughly parallels the effect seen on N. crassa or in the enzyme studies.

Descriptors :   (*RARE GASES, PHYSIOLOGY), (*PHYSIOLOGY, RARE GASES), NITROGEN, OXYGEN, OXIDOREDUCTASES, CELLS(BIOLOGY), MAMMALS, TISSUE CULTURE CELLS, GROWTH(PHYSIOLOGY), METABOLISM, PRESSURE, INHIBITION, NEUROSPORA

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE