Sarin nerve agent molecule

Sarin nerve agent molecule

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Credit: DR TIM EVANS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sarin nerve agent molecule. Computer model of a molecule of the chemical weapon nerve agent sarin, also known as GB. Atoms are represented as spheres and are colour- coded; carbon (blue), hydrogen (white), oxygen (red), phosphorous (orange) and fluorine (green). It can be absorbed through the skin, inhaled, ingested or injected. It acts by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that degrades the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This leads to an accumulation of the neurotransmitter and overstimulation of the nervous system. Exposure results in loss of control over bodily functions, twitching, coma and even at low concentrations death.

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