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Fe-TAML(R) activators developed at Carnegie Mellon decontaminate anthrax simulant

NEW YORK-Carnegie Mellon University scientists today announced that one of their powerful, environmentally friendly catalysts called Fe-TAMLR activators has the potential to become an important cleanup tool for anthrax contamination.

The Fe-TAML activator used with hydrogen peroxide can substantially decontaminate a cultured, benign simulant of anthrax, they said. This anthrax simulant is commonly used in the laboratory testing of agents designed to eliminate its more deadly cousin, which is considered a significant biological warfare and terrorist threat.

The results of initial laboratory investigations are being presented by Carnegie Mellon graduate student Deboshri Banerjee on Wednesday, Sept. 10, in New York City at the 226th annual meeting of the American Chemical Society (paper 158, "Deactivation of bacterial spores using TAML-peroxide technology towards developing an efficient process for water disinfection," Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Division). The National Science Foundation funded this research.

"In our laboratory tests, Fe-TAMLs are highly promising in cleaning up an anthrax simulant, Bacillus atrophaeus," said Terry Collins, the Thomas Lord Professor of Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon and the chief researcher on the Fe-TAML project. "These results indicate the enormous potential of Fe-TAMLs to kill the lethal strain of anthrax and to eradicate other water-borne infectious microbes that account for significant death and disability worldwide."

A common simulant for anthrax testing, Bacillus atrophaeus is a species of spore closely related to Bacillus anthracis, the spore that causes debilitating, often fatal anthrax. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), anthrax is an agent with recognized bioterrorism potential. The CDC classifies it as a Category A agent, meaning that it poses the greatest possible threat to public health, that it may spread across a large area quickly and that its pr
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Contact: Lauren Ward
wardle@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-7761
Carnegie Mellon University
10-Sep-2003


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