Oct 12, 2007

Hi Feds...

So in my review of my neuro stuff, since I realized I was neglecting it to inhale physio (no word yet on immunology; I'm ignoring it in the hopes it will go away), I went over some old cellular neuroscience lecture notes so that now I know how sarin and tabun work (nastily). For the uninitiated or non-CNN watchers, these are nerve gases. For those who need a cheap exam pickup, they irreversibly bind acetylcholinesterase. My, that's a big word, but it's got "ase" in it, which makes it biochem relevant. If you're not being tested on it Friday, don't worry about what that implicates.

In lecture, it was mentioned that these agents cause flaccid paralysis because there's certain channels can only be open for so long before they inactivate, and then no more nerve signals get through, aka death...

Leaving me to wonder that since the neurons initially FIRE, which should produce things like seizures/convulsions, would that lead to those actions prior to the flaccid paralysis? Just trying to see how complete my understanding of this neuromuscular junction stuff is, not because I like to trade in human misery.

Leading to the title of this post, because to solve this mystery, it meant looking up "Sarin" on Wikipedia, which conveniently also provides a section on prolonging the shelf life of the stuff (gee, that's some useful information), leading me further ponder: "How many watch lists can I get myself on by wiki'ing nerve gas?"

Just please don't put me on the no-fly list. I wanna go home for Christmas.

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