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Enzymes, the catalysts of biology, can engulf and break down hundreds of nerve agent molecules per second. Image: Pymol. PDB 4E3T rcsb.org

Enzymes versus nerve agents: Designing antidotes for chemical weapons

Scientists invented chemical weapons; some are now working to destroy them. New biomolecular design techniques let researchers design proteins that can destroy nerve agents in bodies.
Civilians in Iraq have reportedly been exposed to blister agents in fighting between Islamic State fighters and US-backed Iraqi forces. Reuters/Azad Lashkari

Explainer: what are chemical weapons and how do soldiers guard against them?

The characteristics of chemical weapons also make them weapons of terror. They do not only injure the body. The threat of chemical weapons harms the minds of soldiers and civilians.
Members of the youth wing of the National Front, Malaysia’s ruling coalition, hold placards during a protest at the North Korea embassy following the murder of Kim Jong-nam in Kuala Lumpur. Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters

Malaysia says Kim Jong-nam was killed with a chemical weapon – here’s what you need to know

Using nerve agents is banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention, but North Korea is not a party to it.

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