Nicotine 'eating' bacteria may be new treatment for smoking, study shows B> Bacteria that eat nicotine may be new treatment to stop smoking. See the new discovery that can help you quit smoking.
The Scripps Research Institute
(TSRI), located in California, United States . After more than 30 years of studies, they were able to develop a bacterial enzyme capable of "eating" nicotine. Scientists have even compared their performance with Pac Man, a character in video games who eat their enemies. The bacterium is called Pseudomonas putida
and has been found on the soil of tobacco plantations and is accustomed to consuming nicotine as its only source of energy. To absorb the substance it uses a specific enzyme called NicA2, which can be replicated in the laboratory. In the TSRI group studies published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, it is able to reduce the half-life, the time required to halve the amount of a substance in the body. To reach this conclusion, they did tests on rats: they first gave them a quantity of nicotine equivalent to a cigarette, and they realized that it had 2 to 3 hours of half life. However, when the same amount was given to mice with the enzyme NicA2, the half-life fell to between 9 and 15 minutes. In addition, the enzyme products during this breakdown are non-toxic, according to the researchers. According to experts, this time would be enough to prevent nicotine from reaching the brain, avoiding the reward mechanism and ending with Pleasure to smoke. The idea is to evolve this enzyme so that it becomes a drug capable of helping to stop smoking. However, the studies are still very preliminary: it is necessary to eliminate the traces of bacteria of this enzyme, so that it is not considered an antigen by the immune system, among other issues. But the first step was given!
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