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Discovered: A Better Cyanide Antidote?

Injectable version improves protection against large-scale cyanide attacks
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2013 8:20 AM CST

(Newser) – A terrorist attack or large accident involving cyanide has long been a deadly prospect, as current antidotes to the poison require a difficult-to-administer IV infusion that wouldn't be very practical in the case of mass exposure. But now scientists have come up with a much simpler cyanide antidote that can be administered by a basic intra-muscular injection (much like the EpiPens used in allergy attacks), reports LiveScience. "The antidote works by taking advantage of our natural biochemical processes which are able to detoxify cyanide," said one researcher.

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Called sulfanegen TEA, the new antidote works by breaking cyanide down into the much less dangerous chemical thiocyanate, which the body is able to rid itself of via urine. So far it has been tested on animals exposed to high but not deadly levels of cyanide. Researchers say they will next have to test against a fully lethal dose. (Should that go well, we'll likely be able to rest easy, knowing that our beloved buffets are safe from al-Qaeda once again...)

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