Researchers at UT are a step closer to creating a prophylactic drug that would neutralize the deadly effects of the chemical weapons used in Syria and elsewhere.
Jeremy Smith, UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair and an expert in computational biology, is part of the team that is trying to engineer enzymes—called bioscavengers—so they work more efficiently against chemical weapons. The work is a joint effort between scientists at UT, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and a French national laboratory in Grenoble. Their study was published recently in the Journal of Physical Chemistry.
Nerve agents, such as sarin, are among the most highly toxic chemical weapons. The study focuses on engineering enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of nerve agents as a prophylactic approach to diminishing their toxic effects.
“Enzymes exist that can potentially chew up nerve agents and render them useless before they’ve had time to act, but they need to be improved to work faster,” Smith said.
The researchers are using neutron scattering and computational sciences to study these nerve agent bioscavengers. Neutron scattering allows the scientists to get a detailed three-dimensional view of the enzymes. Computer simulation then uses this view to understand how the enzymes break down the nerve agents.
“The simulations produced an unexpected result,” Smith said. “The enzymes break down sarin in an unusual way. Now we can use that result to engineer them rationally.”
The Latest on: Chemical weapons
via Google News
The Latest on: Chemical weapons
- Russia faces new questions after chemical weapons body confirms Novichok in Navalny's bloodon October 7, 2020 at 7:01 am
This publicly unknown nerve agent has, to date, not been officially listed by the OPCW,” the German government said.
- Russia not producing chemical weapons, Kremlin says after OPCW findings on Navalnyon October 7, 2020 at 4:17 am
The Kremlin said on Wednesday that Russia was not developing any chemical weapons and was fully complying with its obligations under an international arms control treaty that outlaws their production.
- Chemical weapons watchdog says nerve agent traced in poisoning of Putin criticon October 6, 2020 at 4:26 pm
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said in a statement that the samples were marked by “similar structural characteristics” to the toxic Novichok family of agents, and ...
- Syria Is Still Trying to Use Chemical Weaponson October 6, 2020 at 3:56 pm
Syria Is Still Trying to Use Chemical Weapons Syria Is Still Trying to Use Chemical Weapon... Syria continues to obtain components for its chemical weapons and missile programs, the Trump ...
- Chemical weapons body confirms nerve agent Novichok in Navalny's bloodon October 6, 2020 at 1:59 pm
Blood samples taken from Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny confirmed the presence of a nerve agent from the banned Novichok family, the global chemical weapons watchdog said on Tuesday.
- Chemical weapons watchdog: Samples from Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny confirm presence of Novichok-like nerve agenton October 6, 2020 at 11:13 am
An international organization that works to eliminate the use of chemical weapons announced on Tuesday that biomarkers with "similar structural characteristics" to a Soviet-era nerve agent were found ...
- Nerve Agent Was Used to Poison Navalny, Chemical Weapons Body Confirmson October 6, 2020 at 7:39 am
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons bolstered the assessments of European countries that a form Novichok sickened Aleksei A. Navalny, the Russian opposition leader.
- Criminal Complaint Filed Against Assad and His Henchmen in Germany Over Chemical Weapons Attackson October 6, 2020 at 4:00 am
German law allows for universal jurisdiction over war crimes, and the authorities have already prosecuted former Syrian regime intelligence officials accused of torture.
- Moscow Invites Chemical-Weapons Watchdog to Russia in Navalny Poisoningon October 5, 2020 at 3:46 pm
Russia has invited the leading international chemical-weapons watchdog to help with the case of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who German authorities said was poisoned with a military-grade nerve ...
- Chemical weapons watchdog ready to assist Russia in Navalny caseon October 5, 2020 at 12:30 pm
The global chemical weapons watchdog, which has been asked by Germany to test samples of what Berlin says was a banned nerve agent used to poison a Russian opposition figure, said on Monday its ...
via Bing News