Punch for a Poison: A New Way to Treat and Prevent Cyanide Poisoning (Profs. Vince, Nagasawa, and Patterson)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cyanide is one of the deadliest poisons around. Your body can handle a little of it, but for larger exposures an antidote is necessary. Current antidotes can work, but they're slow. That could change, however, now that three researchers at the University of Minnesota's Center for Drug Design (Profs Steve Patterson, Robert Vince and Herbert Nagasawa) have synthesized Sulfanegen, a faster-acting antidote.

The researchers synthesized and tested several compounds and named the one that worked best Sulfanegen. Its job is to help out an enzyme that's key to the body's own cyanide-defense system. "It provides the enzyme with a compound it needs to detoxify cyanide," Patterson says.