New skin gel offers protection from some pesticides

Scientists conducted successful tests on rats and plan to undertake human trials soon

Indian researchers have developed a gel which, when applied on the skin, can inhibit some pesticides from getting absorbed into the body, thus averting serious adverse effects and even death.

Organophosphate-based pesticides, which are commonly used by farmers in India, are toxic to the nervous system and heart, and can cause cognitive dysfunction.

When esters present in organophosphate-based pesticides enter the body they bind and inhibit an enzyme (acetylcholinesterase or AChE) critical for nerve and muscle function. This causes neurological disorders, suffocation, paralysis, and even death.

Making inactive

A team led by Dr. Praveen Kumar Vemula from the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem), Bengaluru, an autonomous institute under the Department of Biotechnology, used a chemical reaction to convert the ester into acid by using a catalyst to make the pesticide inactive....Read more


Source web page: The Hindu

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