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Emergency personnel at the Ashley Wood Recovery Centre in Salisbury as the investigation into the suspected nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal continues. PA Images

Podcast: the story of the Novichok nerve agents

An audio version of an in depth article on the story of how the nerve agent used in an attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal was developed.
Enzymes, the catalysts of biology, can engulf and break down hundreds of nerve agent molecules per second. Image: Pymol. PDB 4E3T

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.
UN inspectors will face several problems determining what has happened in Damascus. EPA/STR

Chemical weapons in Syria: who, what, where, when, why?

It’s been a little more than a week since reports surfaced of a large-scale chemical weapon attack in Syria. Governments in Europe and the United States have accused the Syrian government of attacking…
Hopefully this will remain a rare sight. Edgaras Zvirblys

Explainer: what are chemical weapons?

There was chaos on the streets of Halajba in March 1988. In this corner of Iraq, at the time Iraqi Kurdistan, people had suddenly started experiencing cold-like symptoms – tight chest and nasal congestion…

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