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Long-Lasting Enzyme Chews Up Cocaine

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the sadly-enzymes-have-no-gums dept.

Biotech 73

MTorrice (2611475) writes "Despite cocaine's undeniable destructiveness, there are no antidotes for overdoses or medications to fight addiction that directly neutralize cocaine's powerful effects. A natural bacterial enzyme, cocaine esterase, could help by chopping up cocaine in the bloodstream. But the enzyme is unstable in the body, losing activity too quickly to be a viable treatment. Now, using computational design, researchers tweaked the enzyme (full paper, PDF) to simultaneously increase stability and catalytic efficiency. Mice injected with the engineered enzyme survive daily lethal doses of cocaine for an average of 94 hours."

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Daily lethal doses (2)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | about 5 months ago | (#47307167)

Daily lethal doses? What a way to go...

Re:Daily lethal doses (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47307219)

Those mice love to party! They aren't white for nothing!

Re:Daily lethal doses (1)

doctor woot (2779597) | about 5 months ago | (#47307633)

Those mice love to party! They aren't white for nothing!

Please. A white mouse's idea of a party is a pint of Ben & Jerry's and a game of Jenga.

Re:Daily lethal doses (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#47307671)

And then can we make smores and stay up late? ;-)

Re:Daily lethal doses (2)

Shag (3737) | about 5 months ago | (#47310061)

Well, I guess I'm a mouse. And now, thanks to you, I'm a self-aware mouse!

Re:Daily lethal doses (4, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#47307271)

They're a special breed of mouse, called the Charlie Sheen mouse. They inject them with tiger blood.

'Cuz that's how they roll, banging 7 gram rocks. ;-)

checks google, yes, banging rocks, that's what he said.

Re:Daily lethal doses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47309331)

"Bangin' rocks" is indeed accurate junkie parlance.

Re:Daily lethal doses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47314189)

"the rest of you ... keep banging those rocks together."

Re:Daily lethal doses (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47307313)

Sounds like a solution one of those dumbass Republicans would come up with. Their kind is so stupid. They don't believe in addiction which is why they think prison rape is the solution to every drug problem.

Re:Daily lethal doses (1)

rduke15 (721841) | about 5 months ago | (#47308559)

Yes, "daily lethal doses" is really weird. The problem with cocaine is not lethal doses (that's a problem with heroin). It's that the people addicted to cocaine end up completely crazy after a few years. The effect on the brain can be fun, but in the long run it is really destructive.

Re:Daily lethal doses (2)

nospam007 (722110) | about 5 months ago | (#47309943)

"Daily lethal doses? What a way to go..."

Lethal doses, long-lasting, cocaine eating, ... mmmhhh, I hope they call the enzyme keithrichardserase

IRAQ NEEDS WATER (1, Insightful)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 5 months ago | (#47307185)

Not America and its crack cocaine dealing CIA mujehadin.

Re:IRAQ NEEDS WATER (-1, Troll)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 5 months ago | (#47307223)

It'll be instructive to watch all the Lefty do-gooders not rush out to deploy any Dean Kamen [wikipedia.org] innovations to help.

Re:IRAQ NEEDS WATER (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47307265)

So sorry, we had to wait for the neocons to stop freeing the hell out of the place, and now their hero George "Miss Me Yet?" Bush's handpicked warlord ally is currently fucking shit up even worse.

Re:IRAQ NEEDS WATER (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47308081)

Well, as long as there is a Bush Blame lined up, we can just phone everything in from the golf course, can't we?

Hmmm .... (1, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#47307207)

there are no antidotes for overdoses or medications to fight addiction that directly neutralize cocaine's powerful effects

And, this will do nothing at all to fight additiction.

You'll still be addicted, only the cocaine doesn't do anything. So you'll take more of it. Then you may die.

Me, I think they should put it into the water on Capitol Hill and on Wall Street, and see how many people start going through withdrawal symptoms. The ones which start going squirrely for no good reason are probably the hypocrites doing lines off their secretary's cleavage. ;-)

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 5 months ago | (#47307251)

Admit it, if you got a chance to do cocaine off of your secretary's cleavage you would do it as well.

Re:Hmmm .... (4, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#47307311)

I don't have a secretary you insensitive clod. ;-)

And, no, I have no interest whatsoever in trying cocaine.

However, I will concede to the more generalized 'motorboating'. :-P

Re:Hmmm .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47307517)

>And, no, I have no interest whatsoever in trying cocaine.

I'm not chicken, so I tried it once to see what it's like. It made the roof of my mouth numb and my jaw tight. Don't really see the appeal.

Re:Hmmm .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47308207)

I tried it once. Most amazing thing I have ever experienced. I am extremely prone to addictions but fortunately I haven't been around it since and am finally no longer under its spell.

Re:Hmmm .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47310447)

Made me feel good, 'morey'; let me drink more and stay up. Left me feeling like I was hit by a truck. Not worth the money. (1 star out of 5)

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 5 months ago | (#47310273)

So, does this development mean that there'll soon be enzyme hookers?

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

cusco (717999) | about 5 months ago | (#47310523)

My own observations leads me to think that the people with low self-esteem or low self-confidence seem to like cocaine a lot. People without those particular issues don't enjoy it much if at all. I tried it a couple of times and decided it was a real waste of money, but it's really popular in the worlds of arts and politics, two places where people with some real personality issues tend to congregate.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 5 months ago | (#47307357)

What's a secretary?

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#47307409)

It's an antiquated term which used to be occasionally synonymous with 'mistress'. ;-)

Nowadays, they call them executive assistants.

Re:Hmmm .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47307711)

Still that double meaning thing, now even in the term itself:

executive assistants

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 5 months ago | (#47310297)

Nowadays, people just type their own emails and pick up the phone next to them?

Efficient use of company's money (1)

clay_buster (521703) | about 5 months ago | (#47310757)

Now we have expensive resources handle all kinds of mundane tasks and tasks they aren't suited for. Setting up a meeting that requires ordering food, handling the facilities and communicating with other groups? We now pay $100k/yr+ burden cost instead of someone at half the burdened cost.

Re:Hmmm .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47307919)

Admit it, if you got a chance to do cocaine off of your secretary's cleavage you would do it as well.

Yes, I prolly would. But unlike the hypocrites in Washington, I've never claimed to be against cocaine. ;)

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | about 5 months ago | (#47307259)

Maybe put some in the Toronto water too...

Re:Hmmm .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47307289)

Check out the link, not just the /. story. The enzyme is being developed for detox and overdose. It could potentially save someone's life if they OD. It could also remove the coke the bloodstream overtime, helping someone kick the habit.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 5 months ago | (#47307445)

And, this will do nothing at all to fight additiction.

You can't beat an addiction if you die from an overdose. Survival is the first priority, then you try to get a handle on your life.

Re:Hmmm .... (5, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 5 months ago | (#47307451)

And, this will do nothing at all to fight addiction.

Nope, but it will save lives from overdoses.

There's a line of reasoning that's somewhat common, it goes: "We should never do anything altruistic ever, because it will create a moral hazard, and the mere potential of moral hazard is always worse than concrete good." Similar arguments are used against drugs that treat opiate overdoses [wikipedia.org] , and relatedly, drugs used to fight alcoholism [wikipedia.org] . Some of this is bound up in the idea that addiction is a moral or character failing, or strictly a psychological disorder that can only be treated with therapy and "getting to the real problem," and anything else we do is simply palliative and forestalls treating the "real" problem.

To your point, what needs to be done is a real epidemiological study, to see if people really end up taking more drugs, or if the trauma of OD'ing, being revived by the paramedics and spending a week in the ER with heroic interventions isn't sufficient to make some people hit bottom and scare them straight.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#47307573)

Oh, I'm not saying that in some contexts it couldn't be a tool, and I'm not saying something which helps prevent someone from dying of an overdose isn't a good thing ... but if some well meaning idiot (and there are many) just decided to give people this 'for their own good', it could have very adverse reactions.

To your point, what needs to be done

LOL, what needs to be done is for actual medical professionals to ignore any random crap I say and get on with their jobs.

My point (although probably poorly expressed) is if you just gave this to someone and said "they're no longer addicted" that likely wouldn't work out so well. They'd still be addicted.

I'm all in favor of any tool which actually saves lives and helps with harm mitigation, but governments usually respond with the "well, if we make them so the cocaine doesn't work, problem solved addiction gone".

These same people are the ones who refer to pot as a dangerous narcotic, when in fact it's not a narcotic at all, except as defined by the law.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#47310541)

in fact it's not a narcotic at all, except as defined by the law.

Narcotics are drugs that put you to sleep.

Have you tried 'Trainwreck'? It's a narcotic, some of the time. Then again, I cleaned and organized the garage.

Re:Hmmm .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47316569)

@ "Then again, I cleaned and organized the garage."
In your sleep?

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 5 months ago | (#47307603)

There's a line of reasoning that's somewhat common, it goes: "We should never do anything altruistic ever, because it will create a moral hazard, and the mere potential of moral hazard is always worse than concrete good."

More to the point, some people simply aren't happy if someone doesn't suffer, yet don't have the guts to straight-up admit that. So they infest religion and turn holy texts into torture porn, infest politics and either push for war or harsh sentences, infest media and produce grimdark bullshit, and in general oppose anything that might save someone some pain with ridiculous excuses, such as "moral hazard".

It has nothing to do with reasoning of any kind, it's simply insane, malicious evil hiding behind the mask of rationality.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#47307839)

It has nothing to do with reasoning of any kind

Ah, but (some) religion apparently absolves (some) people from the need for reasoning.

An argument which boils down to "because god told me" is irrefutable by logic, because it's not founded in logic.

And people are most wedded to the things which aren't based on actual reasoning, but are nonetheless Unassailable Truths because that's what they believe.

Sadly, economics and politics are rife with examples of things which are 'known' to be true because people believe it to be true. And evidence and reason be damned. It is simply taken as True, and any claims to the contrary are heresy.

And, sadly, the "they deserve to suffer because they're sinners, so throw them all in jail" seems to be a prevalent thing.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47308843)

More to the point, some people simply aren't happy if someone doesn't suffer, yet don't have the guts to straight-up admit that.

I think you're still off by one step. They aren't happy with themselves, so they can only feel good if someone else is suffering more than they are. Since they don't feel good about themselves, they cannot be happy no matter what their situation might be, but they can make themselves seem less miserable [to themselves] by contrast, and since your perception of your attitude shapes your attitude, it really does make them feel better.

These people aren't inherently bad people. They're damaged. Pity the trolls, they know nothing of positive responses.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#47310671)

Like most complicated questions, it's not black and white.

At one end of the scale you have something to save someone from OD. Obvious, yes fund and use it. Same as has been done for opiates. Not going to undo heart damage. Find another for tweak.

In the middle, free rehab.

At the other end of the scale. Enable the fuckers to live on the street and beg. Give them shelter. Let them use all their panhandlings for their poison of choice.

The only complication is the nut mixed in with the junkies. Gotta have sympathy, but if you open a door, the junkies will bum rush it. See also: SSDI enrollment growth.

Not to conflate the use of hard drugs (alcohol,opiates,cocaine and tweak) with anything else. The worst of them live deep in the burbs and have family money to go forever. No more trustworthy then any other junkie, but at least they're not usually doing it in public.

Re:Hmmm .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47307657)

There is also the line of reasoning that there is nothing inherently wrong with being addicted to anything.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

ToddInSF (765534) | about 4 months ago | (#47317031)

You are seriously going to include anabuse in your argument ?

There is nothing "altruistic" about Disulfiram.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

guises (2423402) | about 5 months ago | (#47307741)

You'll still be addicted, only the cocaine doesn't do anything. So you'll take more of it. Then you may die.

Well, no. This isn't like a speedball where you have two drugs fighting each other - the enzyme removes the cocaine from your system. You're still addicted and the cocaine isn't doing anything, so you take more and it still doesn't do anything. If you take so much that you start to feel it, all that means is that you've exceeded the capacity of the enzyme to break it down and you now are responding as normal. It's still possible to overdose, I'm sure, but presumably more difficult.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#47310715)

They'll just pop a hand full of Xanex. There are so many chemicals to alter mood/perception I can't even imagine building enzymes to attack them all.

Inside six months they will have an online formula for cocaine substitute. Like the heroin addicts figured out valium gives methadone the same stumble as heroin.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#47307755)

So you'll take more of it. Then you may die.

From the sounds of it, you wont be able to afford enough of it to kill you. :-)

I think this is a great thing. If you don't want to quit, nothing can help you.
But there are a lot of people that need help during moments of weakness.
I got put on a prescription once that was highly addictive, not as bad as street stuff, but still a pain.
The doctor wanted me to go off of it, so did I, but it was still there if I needed it.
You have to remember how hard it is to give up something like this. You only have to screw up for a split second and you're starting your withdraw all over. It's something that gets progressively worse as time goes on. You feel like you're going to die. All you have to do is reach over and open the bottle to make the pain and psychological suffering stop...
But if you do that, you literally start the withdraw process completely over. It's not like it's just a setback. You start from the beginning as if you'd never tried to quit at all. I had to restart 6 times myself, and I've got crazy willpower and self control. I finally just had the doctor cancel the script, I personally talked to pharmacists of the places I could go in my HMO and told them not to help me no matter what. They all agreed, and acted like my request wasn't uncommon at all.

If I could have had a medication that I'd have to stop taking for 3 days before I could go back on my other medication... that would have been wonderful. It turns addiction on its head. Now it's a waiting game to go back on it... you only need a moment of clarity to take the anti-medication and be clean for 3 days. That's a fantastic scenario imo.

Re:Hmmm .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47308147)

And just how would you tell if they started going squirrely? Would they start making sense or something?

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | about 5 months ago | (#47308895)

Better off putting it in the bottled water and whiskey instead. Those wankers wouldn't lower themselves far enough to drink tap water.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#47310853)

Just put it in the cocaine.

So people are going to get really jacked up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47307301)

So... you consume the enzyme and god-mode amounts of coke...

Cocaine: (1)

Guy From V (1453391) | about 5 months ago | (#47307329)

A helluva drug.

No Worries (0)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 5 months ago | (#47307515)

If they love the powder they will refuse anything that limits the high or the frequency of getting high. I wish i could say that therapy is worth a hoot but so far what I see is cell therapy (the iron bar type) works better than a two thousand dollar a day rehab. Catch them the first time and lock them down until they are forty years old and some can be turned around. Twenty years in a cell can get one past the memories of getting high.

Re:No Worries (1)

StormReaver (59959) | about 5 months ago | (#47307697)

I wish i could say that therapy is worth a hoot but so far what I see is cell therapy (the iron bar type) works better than a two thousand dollar a day rehab.

All qualitative arguments aside, and sticking to purely quantitative evidence: imprisoning drug users has resulted in no reduction in drug users over the last 30+ years. Drug use has risen, unabated by the threat of prison, from the very beginning of our misguided war on drugs.

Punishing addiction is bad policy. There are far deeper psychological issues surrounding drug addiction that cannot be addressed by the penal code.

Re:No Worries (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#47307945)

There are far deeper psychological issues surrounding drug addiction that cannot be addressed by the penal code.

And, it's not purely psychological issues. Some of it is social issues.

If you're poor, starving, abused, and miserable ... well, one can see why you might turn to something to tune all that crap out.

If the 'solution' is simply "Yarg! Throw 'em all in jail", you completely ignore the reasons why people do these things in the first place. Psychological, sociological, illogical, and all sorts of things.

Re:No Worries (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#47310813)

There are a number of socially acceptable ways of tuning out _for a while_. Drinking is legal. Pot is as good as, if not legal (you can see my garden on Google earth). Adrenaline is legally available, usually as expensive as cocaine. Psychedelics are readily available, freaks rarely cause problems, so cops ignore them.

Conflating self destructive behavior with adults occasionally partying hard is half the problem. There are many people who are 'poor, starving, abused and miserable' because of what they do.

Look at who the cops jump on...tweakers and heroin addicts (YMMV, West coast. Florida will be different.)

Re:No Worries (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 5 months ago | (#47308531)

Punishing addiction is an efficient way to reduce crimes. Addicts are often criminals in order to pay for their drug use. Many drugs can enable more violent crimes with both short term and long term effects. Examples: short term effect = feeling numb, indifferent to inflicting pain on others, long term effect = permanent damage of brain functionality.

Your platitudes aren't supported by facts.

Re:No Worries (1)

cusco (717999) | about 5 months ago | (#47310739)

The effect is only temporary, unless you're going to incarcerate them for life or execute all of them. They get out, they commit more crimes unless the cause is addressed first.

Re:No Worries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47315983)

You know another great way to reduce crimes? Lock everyone up. From the moment of birth you are bar coded, assigned a cell, and monitored and controlled every moment of every day and never allowed to have non sanctioned contact with other humans.

Or, maybe we reduce crime by having police actually patrol neighborhoods, and have detectives actually investigate actual crimes and find and arrest people who actually did commit a crime.. Instead of arresting and investigating people who maybe, possibly, at some point might actually rob, steal, and rape because of their hobby of choice.

True story, sister in-law got robbed. People broke into her house and stole anything of value. She KNEW who must have done it. The new shady neighbors (with records) who already got caught stealing a bike from another neighbor. She had just that day cleaned her living room and used glass cleaner on their entertainment center glass... The thing that had stuff stolen from it and now had obvious fingerprints on it.
They LAUGHED in her face when she asked them to take prints from it. LAUGHED. They could not be bothered to do any of their job other than fill out a form and grunt a few times and leave.

Same cops then spent 3 nights staking out the same sister in-law's house because when they came by for the break-in she had a Bob Marley poster and other decorations in her house they thought were 'indicative of drug use and sale'. Because one of their friends stopped by one night and he had a record they stormed the place saying they 'observed a drug sale'.. Actually just the guy borrowing a video game. They did not find ANYTHING. NOTHING. She is a bit 'hippy-dippy'.. But she has held down a job her whole life and is not involved in anything illegal.

Hours of overtime trying to catch completely innocent people commiting the 'crime' of using a unapproved plant.. But they could not be bothered to actually investigate an actual known crime.

The neighbors... Eventually they graduated to armed robbery of local gas stations. If only there was a way that could have been prevented.....
>:\

Re:No Worries (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 5 months ago | (#47308023)

Yes that's what we should definitely do, lock people up for doing something they like. Lets line up the smokers, alcoholics, gamblers and everyone else with a form of addiction and put them behind bars for 20 years. They'll sure solve societies problems.

I can't say this politely, you are a fucktard.

How about we let people do whatever they want as long as they aren't physically hurting anyone else.

Re:No Worries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47310227)

Do you realize there are hard drugs in prison ? So yeah we can put him up in a hotel for 20 years and he can hang out with his buddies doing drugs on the tax payers dime, or we can just let him abuse cocaine until it kills him.

The name of the new enzyme... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47307519)

The "Rick James... Bitch!"

Summary has me confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47307547)

"Mice injected with the engineered enzyme survive daily lethal doses of cocaine for an average of 94 hours"

Every 24 hours they a lethal does that isn't lethal until 94 hours passes? Hell, I'm just going to RTFA...

Re:Summary has me confused (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 4 months ago | (#47311881)

I presume by "lethal doses" they mean "doses that would have been lethal to mice not injected with the enzyme".

Drug mules survival rate will increase... (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about 5 months ago | (#47307847)

But who will benefit, apart from the mule himself/herself?

Long-Lasting Enzyme Chews Up Cocaine... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 months ago | (#47307949)

... just like we do!

[/joke]

why ACS Chem Bio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47309613)

This seems like an exciting paper. It is very suspicious that they went to a low-mid tier journal (Impact Factor of 3.8), rather than a higher tier journal.

how nice (1)

Kevin Fishburne (1296859) | about 5 months ago | (#47309633)

Mice injected with the engineered enzyme survive daily lethal doses of cocaine for an average of 94 hours.

It's things like this that make me think that if there ever was an extinction event like a large asteroid collision or gamma ray burst, I wouldn't feel too bad about it. People create a highly addictive drug. People abuse the drug. People kill each other over purchasing, selling and law enforcement issues regarding the drug. Now people are torturing animals by forcing them to overdose on the drug, reviving them, and repeating the process until they die in order to find a way to combat the effects of an overdose in humans. Am I the only one who sees this as embarrassingly stupid and shameful behavior for the top dogs on the planet? An infinite number of Picards could not facepalm enough to make me feel better.

Re:how nice (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#47310831)

They should be doing it to monkeys.

Just to annoy the PETA types.

Bet they'll have to.

Mules (1)

az1324 (458137) | about 5 months ago | (#47310645)

This should make it easier to convince people to swallow balloons...

The myth of addiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47313441)

1) There is no such thing as 'addiction'. Read the books 'The myth of addiction' and 'Addiction is a choice' for irrefutable proof of this. Or just try THINKING a bit (I know that is asking too much.)
2) What's wrong with cocaine? It makes people happy, and the government doesn't want that.
3) Experiments on mice do not extrapolate to humans and are blatant FRAUD.

Possibility of misuse (1)

Jonathan Hart (2984995) | about 4 months ago | (#47313541)

The powers that be may want to get this classified as a controlled substance in short order. This enzyme could be used by dealers and users to "sober up" quick before the board meeting. Or dealers might just cut their product with the stuff in order to reduce the duration of the effects and thus increase demand for their product. Which in turn could further confuse addicts regarding their own tolerance levels and if they obtain coke from a different source, say on a business trip, they'd run the risk of overdosing. Needless to say, this stuff should be at least as controlled as Sudafed.

Remember what Rick James says (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about 4 months ago | (#47316317)

"Cocaine esterase? It's a helluva drug!"

The other side of the coin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47322353)

The oppressed evil genius in me had to point out that once this becomes widely available say hello to a cocaine flood on the streets due to safer smuggling inside human mules. Just think about it, no risk. Just coat the bundles with this and if one or two break, no biggie, you're immune!

promising, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47352793)

This is pretty cool, but since it's a bacterial enzyme I have to wonder what the chances are of someone developing an immune response to it.

I also can't help but wonder what levels you need in the bloodstream to provide benefit. Liver-directed gene therapy (what I'm involved with now) could establish a ~permanent block to cocaine activity.

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