Volume 94 Issue 38 | p. 10 | Concentrates
Issue Date: September 26, 2016

Detoxifying VX

Calixarene compounds deactivate deadly organophosphonate nerve agents in a matter of minutes
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Organic SCENE, Environmental SCENE
Keywords: chemical weapons, VX, organophosphonate, calixarene, nerve agent

Venomous Agent X (VX) and related organophosphonate nerve agents do their deadly work by deactivating the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. This causes the neurotransmitter acetylcholine to build up, poisoning the central and peripheral nervous systems. Doctors currently treat exposure to these nerve agents by managing the symptoms of acetylcholine accumulation. But there is a window of several hours between exposure to VX and the time its toxic effects take hold in which a therapy might be used . . .

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