Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

You Could Even Say It Glows -- New Way To Detect Chemical Weapons

Date:
December 3, 1998
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Chemists at the University of Maryland, College Park, have developed a new, highly selective way to detect chemical weapons. The system uses molecules that are fluorescent in the presence of even small amounts of lethal phosphate esters.

Chemists at the University of Maryland, College Park, have developed a new, highly selective way to detect chemical weapons. The system uses molecules that are fluorescent in the presence of even small amounts of lethal phosphate esters.

Related Articles


The research is outlined in the December 2 edition of the peer reviewed Journal of the American Chemical Society, which is published by the world's largest scientific society, based in Washington, D.C.

The most common chemical weapons attack acetylcholine esterase, an enzyme in the human body which controls muscle contraction. Many current detectors employ the enzyme itself and are very sensitive. However, they also detect benign chemicals that inhibit acetylcholine esterase, including many pesticides.

To better target just dangerous substances, the new method uses molecules made to react specifically with volatile fluoro- and cyano- phosphate esters. They are the active ingredients in nerve agents like SARIN, which was used by terrorists in a 1995 Japanese subway attack. "Our molecules will selectively detect the phosphate esters that would injure you or me. Our molecules are more specific," claims University of Maryland chemist Robert S. Pilato, Ph.D.

For safety, Pilato's laboratory is testing the molecules against chemical weapon mimics. These phosphate esters react identically to warfare agents, but have vapor pressures too low to amass a lethal dose. The scientists engineered their molecules so that reaction with those gases produced another molecule that fluoresces.

In order to detect the fluorescence, the sensor molecule is immobilized in a polymer matrix which could be used to coat fiber optics. Says Pilato: "The next step is to take those polymer immobilized molecules and screen them against the real McCoy."

###

A nonprofit organization with a membership of more than 155,000 chemists and chemical engineers, the American Chemical Society publishes scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences, and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "You Could Even Say It Glows -- New Way To Detect Chemical Weapons." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981203073348.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (1998, December 3). You Could Even Say It Glows -- New Way To Detect Chemical Weapons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981203073348.htm
American Chemical Society. "You Could Even Say It Glows -- New Way To Detect Chemical Weapons." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981203073348.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins