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 Sahityaki Quizzes - 2001

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Medical Trivia Quiz Finals - Drugs Round

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1. Red yeast contains a group of substances called monocolins. In 1976, Professor Akira Endo of Japan and co-workers reported the discovery of fungal metabolite isolated from the cultures of Penicillium spp. It was found to be an unusually potent inhibitor of a metabolic pathway. What group of drugs?

2. Stole and Albert Hoffmann in an effort to produce more efficient ergots, discovered this. This led in 1970s to a very imaginative drugs operation. A medically qualified member of the gang got large quantities of ergometrine for obstetric use and handed it over to chemist who then converted it. This racket came to an end due to Thames Valley Police Force Operation code-named Julie. Name the drug.

3. Prof. Barnet Rosenberg, a physicist working in biophysics department of Michigan state University studied photographs of mitosis taken under high magnification and was intrigued by similarity in appearance between the spindle fibres and the patterns obtained when iron filings were sprinkled around a bar magnet. He decided to investigate the effects of electric current on bacterial cells growing in culture to see if there was some kind of electromagnetic phenomenon. The current was passed for about 2 hours. By this time, all of the cells had stopped dividing,  but some of them had grown into filaments up to 1mm in length. They then carried out numerous experiments and found out the responsible factors. They then tried several compounds, which they hoped would mimic the effect. One of the compounds proved to be unstable and on standing in light in the presence of air changed colour from light yellow to colourless. This solution then reproduced the effects of the original experiment. What drug was this?

4. Linus Pauling in his two books on common cold advises, ‘At the first sign that a cold is developing ... begin the treatment by swallowing 1 or 2 1000 mg tablets. Continue the treatment for several hours by taking an additional tablet or two every hour.’ This drug is still prescribed in common cold, and it is possible that it may reduce the incidence and severity of common cold. Since reliable trials in this disease are difficult and the results for benefit to risk ratio for such high doses are inconclusive. What drug?

5. Richard Gill spent much of 1920s living with Indians in Ecuador, and learnt how to prepare and use this toxin. On returning to US in 1938, he brought 30 lbs of it. But no drug company was interested in it. so he set up his own business in California. An account of his adventures, White Water and Black Magic brought him fame and eventually Squibb & Burroughs Wellcome were interested in it. Dr. Frederick Prescott, Wellcome’s director of clinical research, was one of the first to have himself injected with this drug, and sensational press reports like ‘Doctor died for seven minutes’ ensured speedy entry of this drug into clinical use. What drug?

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