In this file photo taken on on Oct. 4, 1987, a Soviet army officer presents ammunition rigged with chemical agents during a visit by Western diplomats and journalists to a chemical weapons research facility in Shikhany, Saratov region, Russia. The facility in Shikhany led the efforts to develop Soviet chemical weapons, including Novichok-class nerve agents.
John Thor Dahlburg/ AP Photo
Novichok are a set of molecules that are some of the most deadly nerve agents ever developed. They are almost impossible to detect and clean up.
German troops near the front in 1915.
The spectacle of thousands of soldiers gassed to death in France announced to the world that a new class of weapons had arrived.
The UN Security Council has proved powerless to stop Assad’s use of chemical agents.
Nothing the world has done has stopped Bashar al-Assad's regime from using chemical weapons – but it's imperative to keep trying.
Aum Shinrikyo cult leader Shoko Asahara at the time of his sentencing in 2004.
The 1995 Tokyo sarin attack helped make Japanese criminal justice dramatically more punitive.
Investigators next to a police tent in Salisbury near to where Sergei Skripal was found critically ill.
Steve Parsons/PA Wire/PA Images
Nerve agents were discovered by accident in the 1930s.
Denial in Damascus.
Denial and obfuscation have always been a part of chemical warfare.
Syrian children, first aiders and civil defence volunteers showing their support of victims in the recent alleged chemical attack in Syria.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Fact Finding Team has not yet revealed the nature of the chemicals used in Khan Sheikhoun.
Enzymes, the catalysts of biology, can engulf and break down hundreds of nerve agent molecules per second.
Image: Pymol. PDB 4E3T rcsb.org
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.
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.
Using nerve agents is banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention, but North Korea is not a party to it.
Syria's chemical weapons were supposedly all destroyed in 2014, but news reports indicate that nerve gas may have been kept back.
South Africa needs to ensure that it is equipped to deal with bioterrorism attacks and possible laboratory outbreaks.
In the science world, laboratories are essential but safety precautions should be taken to prevent any incidents like the Ebola outbreak or biochemical attacks.
The huge task of locating and disposing of Syria’s chemical weapons has begun … so what will inspectors look for?
A team of inspectors from the United Nations and Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) entered Syria on Tuesday to begin the long task of finding and disposing of the country’s chemical…