Note: Do not rely on this information. It is very old.
Uric AcidUric Acid is present, though not a large extent, in human urine and in that of other mammals. In the excrement of birds and reptiles, however, it occurs in very considerable quantities, either free or combined with ammonia. From these sources the compound is best obtained, guano being most easily available for the purpose. The excrement is disolved in hot dilute potash, and sulfuric acid is added to the solution, when the uric acid is precipitated as a white powder. It may also be prepared synthetically, but the reactions are by no means simple, and do not completely elucidate its constitution. It is almost insoluble in water, alcohol, and ether, and acts as a weak dibasic acid, but in most of its salts only one hydrogen is replaced. On heating, it decomposes into urea and other products. It occurs normally in small quantities in the blood and muscle juices. Under certain pathological conditions that separates out between the joints and in the muscles, giving rise to that painful complaint the gout, while it also becomes at times deposited in the bladder, with the formation of "gravel."