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The Story

Join the Weizmann Institute in Creating a Safer World. 

 

Nerve gases used by armies and terrorists are a real threat to both the military and civilians. To help keep us safe, Weizmann Institute of Science researchers are finding new ways to break down these lethal agents.  

 

People worldwide are concerned about biological warfare, and yet the treatments for nerve-agent exposure are not very strong or effective. And so, relying on the principles of evolution, Weizmann scientists created a more efficient version of an enzyme that occurs naturally in our bodies. Known to be able to help break down the insecticide paraoxon, it is also involved in drug metabolism and detoxification. This enzyme does counteract the so-called “G-type” nerve agents, including sarin, tabun, soman, and cyclosarin, but not well enough. After several rounds of Weizmann evolution, however, the enzyme had up to 3,400-fold higher efficiency in metabolizing the three most toxic G-type nerve agents. These new, improved enzymes are promising candidates for use both as preventive and post-exposure treatments in the event of nerve-gas attack. 

 

You can help scientists find smarter, more effective ways to keep humankind safe.

 

To learn more about how the Weizmann Institute is keeping us safe, read:

 

Defending Against Chemical Acts of Terrorism

 

Weizmann Institute Scientists used Accelerated Evolution to Develop Enzymes that Provide Protection Against Nerve Gas

 

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Creating a Safer World

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