Chasing the Antidote for Deadly Nerve Agents

Global Biodefense  March 13, 2020 Poisons such as organophosphorus nerve agents and pesticides wreak havoc by blocking an enzyme essential for proper brain and nerve function. Fast-acting drugs, called reactivators, are required to reach the central nervous system and counteract damage that could lead to death. To enhance the antidote’s effectiveness, the reactivator’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier should be improved, it should bind loosely to the enzyme, chemically snatch the poison and then leave quickly. A team of researchers in the US (UC San Diego, University of Tennessee, Ohio State University, University of Utah, Oak Ridge National Laboratory) […]

On-chip light source produces versatile range of wavelengths

Science Daily  December 19, 2019 A team of researchers in the US (NIST, University of Maryland, Carnegie Mellon University) has created visible light from an infrared pump by widely separated optical parametric oscillation (OPO) using silicon nanophotonics. The OPO creates signal and idler light in the 700 nm and 1300 nm bands, respectively, with a 900 nm pump. It operates at a threshold power of (0.9±0.1)mW, over 50× smaller than other widely separated microcavity OPO works, which have been reported only in the infrared. This low threshold enables direct pumping without need of an intermediate optical amplifier. The device design […]

Catalyst renders nerve agents harmless

Phys.org  April 22, 2019 Commonly used filtration method as protection against chemical agents is limited in, because once a filter reaches its capacity, it needs to be regenerated, removed, or replaced. A team of researchers in the US (Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, Virginia Tech, Emory University, Kennesaw State University) sought to decompose the nerve agent Sarin and its simulant, dimethyl chlorophosphate (DMCP) into non lethal chemicals using zirconium polytungstate. To identify why a catalyst works they hypothesized that the isolated zirconium atoms were the active sites for this catalyst and they isolated […]

Using a virus to make a better type of memory

Nanowerk   November 27, 2018 An international team of researchers (USA – MIT, Singapore) controlled the morphology, composition, and functionality of Segregating-binary-alloy-type germanium–tin oxide systems using template-driven nucleation that leverages the electrostatic-binding specificity of the M13 bacteriophage surface. A wire like phase-change materials (PCM) was achieved, with controllable and reliable phase-changing signatures, capable of tens of nanoseconds switching times. This approach addresses some of the critical material compositional and structural constraints that currently diminish the utility of PCMs in universal memory systems…read more. Open Access TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Nanobot pumps destroy nerve agents

Eurekalert  August 21, 2018 When enzymes catalyze a reaction, they move. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have shown that if enzymes are anchored to a surface and given their reactant, they end up pumping the fluid surrounding them. An enzyme, called organophosphorus acid anhydrolase, can destroy nerve agents. The researchers immobilized this enzyme on a gel that also contained an antidote. The enzyme actively pumps in the organosphosphate compound and destroys nerve agent, and at the same time pumps out an antidote. The system requires no external power source. The nanobot pumps might someday be incorporated into protective clothing for […]