from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 4Wednesday, 7th October 2015 00:45 - BBC TwoThis final episode considers the challenges faced by the historic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus - and asks what the... Read more: The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 4
Canals: The Making of a Nation: HeritageWednesday, 7th October 2015 00:55 - BBC Four
The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 4Wednesday, 7th October 2015 01:15 - BBC Two
The ascent of woman: RevolutionWednesday, 7th October 2015 01:45 - BBC Two
The Great British Year: WinterAvailable until Friday, 6th November 2015 22:00A frozen nation, but not a wasteland... Read more: The Great British Year: Winter
The ascent of woman: RevolutionAvailable until Friday, 6th November 2015 02:15
The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 4Available until Friday, 6th November 2015 01:15
The Bottom Line: Autumn 2015: Art and the Business of TasteAvailable for over a year
Rugby: A sport for sampling or specialisation?What are the benefits or risks of specialising in a sport early on? Jessica Pinchbeck discusses... Read more: Rugby: A sport for sampling or specialisation?
Order your free 'Nine Months That Made You' posterOrder your free poster on 'Nine Months That Made You' to accompany the OU/BBC series 'Countdown... Read more: Order your free 'Nine Months That Made You' poster
Innovation through representationInnovations are realised through design, and some of the most useful tools in the designers’... Try: Innovation through representation now
Introduction to bookkeeping and accountingLearn about the essential numerical skills required for accounting and bookkeeping. This free... Try: Introduction to bookkeeping and accounting now
Pain and Aspirin
What causes pain and how do we stop it? This unit looks at how the human body responds...
What causes pain and how do we stop it? This unit looks at how the human body responds to the release of certain chemicals and as a result feels pain. Pain can be reduced by inhibiting the formation of such chemicals and you will learn how the molecular structure of aspirin has been formulated to help in this process.
By the end of this unit you should have achieved the following learning outcomes.
- demonstrate general knowledge and understanding of some of the basic facts, concepts and principles relating to the development of medicines. In particular:
- the science behind the development of some drugs to achieve particular tasks;
- how chemical bonding determines the properties of compounds and provides an explanation for the mode of action of drugs.
- apply this knowledge and understanding to address familiar and unfamiliar situations;
- be able to express unit concepts in an objective and factually correct way.
- receive and respond to information obtained from text and models, as well as from numeric, pictorial and audio sources;
- communicate information clearly, concisely and correctly.
- (if you obtain a model kit) construct and manipulate models of molecules.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Ouch – that hurts!
- 1.1 Why does it hurt?
- 1.2 How does it hurt?
- 1.3 The aspirin story
- 1.4 The molecules involved
- 1.5 Some chemistry involving esters
- 1.6 How does aspirin relieve pain?
- 1.7 Enzymes
- 1.8 Enter aspirin!
- 9 Summary
- Next steps
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn and track your progress. Make your learning visible!
Pain and aspirin
In this unit you will find out that the sensation of pain is caused by the release of a chemical called prostaglandin that stimulates the nerve endings and sends an electrical message to the brain. Inhibiting the formation of prostaglandin reduces pain and we will see, by looking at the specific shape of the molecules involved, how aspirin can so inhibit the formation of prostaglandin. To make the most of the material of this unit you will need to use an organic molecular modelling kit such as the one that is supplied by Molymod™ to Open University students who study the course that this unit comes from.
This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course Learn about molecules, medicines and drugs which has been partly funded by the Wolfson Foundation in collaboration with The Royal Society of Chemistry and you can study for credit., or
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 17th October 2013
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.
- Latest OpenLearn pages
- Latest pages from OpenLearn - Biology
- Latest pages tagged - pain
- Latest pages tagged - Maths
- Latest pages tagged - enzymes
- Latest pages tagged - health
- Latest pages tagged - mu123 Learning Club
- Latest pages tagged - pre course work
- Latest pages tagged - Units
- Latest pages tagged - using maths
- Latest pages tagged - Powero
- Latest pages tagged - Power station
- Latest comments on this page