This book will be a valuable resource to anyone interested in biological and chemical warfare agents (B/C weapons)
Decontamination of warfare agents: enzymatic methods for the removal of B/C weapons
Andr? Richardt and Marc-Michael Blum, Eds.
Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH 2008 | 293 pp | ?90.00 (HB) ISBN 9783527317561
Reviewed by Joseph DeFrank
This book will be a valuable resource to anyone interested in biological and chemical warfare agents (B/C weapons), methods for their decontamination, and more specifically the potential applications of enzymes and other biotechnological systems in this field.
The first seven chapters deal in depth with the history of biological and chemical materials used in offensive warfare and non-enzymatic methods used for their removal and/or destruction. For a student or someone just entering the field, it will be an excellent introduction and provide considerable background information.
The centre section of the book deals with an examination of some of the catalytic enzyme systems that have potential use in the detoxification of chemical agents and the destruction of biological agents. Each of the major enzymes types are covered in detail, but to varying degrees of completeness. An exhaustive study of the field, plus associated topics (such as enzyme immobilisation) would have required vastly increasing the size of the volume. By providing numerous references, the authors lead the interested reader to much more information.
While the primary emphasis is on decontamination, there is a very good chapter on the medical effects of chemical warfare agents and potential countermeasures, both enzymatic and chemical. A chapter on a potential carrier
for decontaminants, micro-emulsions, goes into more depth than non-experts will need. However, the book as a whole is well balanced and is recommended to anyone with an interest in the field.
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