Platinum is a rare earth metal (0.005 ppm in the earth's crust). It has been used for jewellery as early as the ancient Egyptians. Its low abundance makes it more expensive than gold and similar to gold platinum does not tarnish in air. Platinum, as well as being used in jewellery, it has a range of application including medical implants, dentistry and catalytic converters in cars. Cisplatin is a complex that consists of a central platinum with two coordinated ammonia and two coordinated chlorides. Although being synthesised in the 1840s it wasn't until the 1960-70s that it was used to treat cancer. It has proven to be one of the most effective anti-cancer treatments and is on the world health organisation list of essential medicines. Cisplatin works by binding to DNA, preventing the DNA from unfolding and therefore stopping the cancer cell from copying itself.
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