ANTHRAX DOUBLE DUTY Researchers may have uncovered an inventive way of both battling anthrax and detecting its microscopic spores. By studying a virus that can invade and attack the anthrax bacillus, scientists isolated an enzyme, called lysin, that breaks apart the cell's walls, causing it to die. Early work in mice looks promising, though any potential drug based on this discovery would have to be administered immediately after exposure, before the anthrax germ had released its toxins. In addition, scientists have found that lysin could be a useful tool for picking up the presence of even trace amounts of anthrax in samples of air or from exposed surfaces. And it yields results faster than current methods.
Sources: Journal of the American Medical Association, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Nature