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Old October 5th, 2012, 02:33 AM
oshron oshron is offline
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A World Without Morphine?

this idea occurred to me recently. what if morphine was never isolated from opium in 1804, and was never isolated at all as a result? i want to ignore any immediate butterflies that could/would come about from the very non-existence of morphine even as little as a second after it not existing ITTL when it does IOTL. instead, what i want to look at is, potentially, what historical figures could be changed because they or their ancestors do not receive morphine if and when they become injured, in war or otherwise: thus, they have more severe wounds or rougher recovery periods and their persons change because of that, or the inability of getting them to relax during surgery results in their deaths.

if anyone knows of notable historical figures who were saved thanks to the administration of morphine, i'd be much obliged. keep in mind these three other key events:
  1. morphine was first distributed in 1817
  2. it was sold commercially for the first time in 1827
  3. the hypodermic needle was invented in 1857, which resulted in morphine being more widely used IOTL; morphine doesn't exist ITTL, but the hypodermic needle does
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Old October 5th, 2012, 02:57 AM
Color-Copycat Color-Copycat is offline
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The mechanism by which endorphins and their receptors operate would remain a mystery, as it was initially discovered through their similarity to morphine molecules and their binding sites.

Also, Hermann Goering would have to find some other way to get high.
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Old October 5th, 2012, 03:01 AM
twovultures twovultures is offline
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Perhaps the artists and partiers of the 20's turn to different hard drugs-maybe relying more heavily on cocaine. They experiment with different ways of preparing cocaine more often and advance cocaine 'technology'. Ultimately the crack epidemic hits the West during the 30's and 40's.
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Old October 5th, 2012, 03:04 PM
Dathi THorfinnsson Dathi THorfinnsson is offline
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???why wouldn't Morphine be discovered?

People were experimenting with purifying lots of things and opium was a prominent natural drug. If it doesn't get discovered in 1804, it gets discovered in 1805, or maybe, possibly as late as 1810. 1820, if you push it.

So, little to no difference.
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Old October 5th, 2012, 03:18 PM
lloyd007 lloyd007 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dathi THorfinnsson View Post
???why wouldn't Morphine be discovered?

People were experimenting with purifying lots of things and opium was a prominent natural drug. If it doesn't get discovered in 1804, it gets discovered in 1805, or maybe, possibly as late as 1810. 1820, if you push it.

So, little to no difference.
I'd agree here, barring a POD that sets all science back, morphine is going to be discovered since, unlike some synthetic drugs that are only discovered when some moron decides to eat the residue at the bottom of a beaker, morphine is derived from opium, and opium has been known for centuries / millenia by this time.
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Old October 5th, 2012, 05:33 PM
altamiro altamiro is offline
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Let's use rather a small biological POD: a few hundred thousands of years ago the poppy plant underwent a beneficial mutation that resulted in modified morphine structure - which is only toxic but not otherwise active in humans. Let's say the mutation protected the plant from grazing animals and in no time the “epimorphine" producing poppy plants replace the morphine producing ones. No opium...
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Old October 5th, 2012, 06:05 PM
Lord Grattan Lord Grattan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by altamiro View Post
Let's use rather a small biological POD: a few hundred thousands of years ago the poppy plant underwent a beneficial mutation that resulted in modified morphine structure - which is only toxic but not otherwise active in humans. Let's say the mutation protected the plant from grazing animals and in no time the “epimorphine" producing poppy plants replace the morphine producing ones. No opium...
Interesting; but the thread isn't about "How do we get a 'no morphine' world". No, oshron asked ...

Quote:
What if morphine was never isolated from opium in 1804, and was never isolated at all as a result?

What i want to look at is, potentially, what historical figures could be changed because they or their ancestors do not receive morphine if and when they become injured, in war or otherwise: thus, they have more severe wounds or rougher recovery periods and their persons change because of that, or the inability of getting them to relax during surgery results in their deaths.
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Old October 5th, 2012, 08:52 PM
jamsodonnell jamsodonnell is offline
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I suppose there's still laudanum. On the other hand does the non-discovery of morphine mean no discovery of codeine? If Codeine is still discovered then stronger derivatives like Oxycodone will be produced by the early 20th century
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