This lovely molecule here is dioxin (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, or TCDD). It’s a toxic compound that was an unintentional byproduct of Agent Orange, an herbicide used in the Vietnam War. Additional sources of dioxin include the combustion (burning) of pretty much anything, but especially plastics and medical waste.
Its mechanism of toxicity includes binding to the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), which is found in the cytoplasm of cells. It’s through AhR mediation that dioxin exhibits most of its effects.
I wanted to show it to you all because it’s the molecule that I study in my research lab. We look at its toxic effects on a few different systems, including liver regeneration, the immune system, and the skeletal system. I personally look at how it affects macrophages, which are a type of immune cell in the body. I’m seeing lots of interesting effects as I work through my experiments!
But basically I felt like sharing. I feel like I mostly post photos and don’t actually say much to you, wonderful followers. I hope to try and write more original posts in the future, so if you have any topic suggestions, don’t hesitate to drop them in the Ask box! :)