Eltham College Scholars Programme

Feeling jaundiced?

“Jaundice is a yellow discoloration of the skin, mucous membranes, and the whites of the eyes caused by increased amounts of bilirubin in the blood. Jaundice is a sign of an underlying disease process.”

Students had heard of the condition but had no idea of its causes, certainly not at the molecular level, nor of how and why exposure to sunlight (and now artificial blue light) was an effective cure.

All these matters were expertly explained to the Year 9 Scholars by Head of Chemistry Mr James Copley. Using a molecular model to demonstrate the processes at work the students enjoyed a fascinating exposition of the topic. They were left pondering the importance of chemical isomers in treating both jaundice and cancer.