Squid Protein: Our Best Defense Against Chemical Weapons?

Jun 18, 2014

By P. Nash Jenkins


If engineered correctly, the enzyme can “chew up” toxic agents in the human body.

A team of researchers at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville has identified an enzyme produced in the bodies of squid that may be effective in breaking down nerve gasses and other deadly chemical weapons.

The team’s study, recently published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry, focused on engineering the improvement of these proteins — known as “bioscavengers” — that “chew up” nerve agents like sarin, a chemical infamous for its use as a weapon in the ongoing Syrian civil war and in a terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995.

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