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Definition of Nitrogen

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Nitrogen: Element number 7, a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is biologically important. Nitrogen is a constituent of protein and nucleic acids and is present in all living cells. Nitrogen does not support respiration and is fatal if breathed alone, because of the lack of oxygen. Nitrogen is soluble in the blood and body fluids, but when released out of solutions as bubbles of gas, can have serious or even fatal consequences.

See also: Liquid nitrogen; Nitrogen narcosis.

Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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