One day this could save your life.

A Possible Antidote for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

This winter, as sure as death and taxes, you will read more than one story of people or entire families perishing from malfunctioning or misused heating equipment.  Carbon Monoxide will be the culprit.  So this is important and (I think) quite interesting.

Perhaps the best example of this property is carbon monoxide (CO). The reason that the colorless, odorless gas is so dangerous is that its binding affinity to hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the blood throughout the body, is so strong (about 1,000-times that of oxygen) that it easily displaces oxygen from hemoglobin, which causes asphyxiation very quickly.  In other words, oxygen doesn’t have a chance when CO is around.

The Pittsburg School of Medicine were researching CO in the body and discovered a protein, ‘H64Q’.

They found that CO binds 500-times more strongly to modified H64Q than it does to hemoglobin. Also, H64Q displaced CO from red blood cells 1200-times faster than regular air, which is consistent with its strong binding affinity. So, at least in theory, an injection of H64Q should suck the CO out of hemoglobin in red blood cells, and allow oxygen to take its rightful place.

A lot of work needs to be done, the synthesis of the protein outside the body, how to preserve it and package it for ready use.  Is it safe?  But someday when a lifeless child is pulled out of a building, they may be restored to life by a scientific miracle.   As Glen Reynolds says; Faster Please!

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About On the North River

Forty years toiled in the Tel-com industry, married for 36 years widowed at sixty-one. Tea Party supporter. Do like to kayak, cook, take photos, bike, watch old movies and read. 66 years old and have a new girlfriend!
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2 Responses to One day this could save your life.

  1. Doug Hanley says:

    Interesting coincidence, I just finished reading the ACSH article and gave Diane a synopsis. Ah….Great minds…… SF D >

  2. Christmas and your birthday are coming up, what did you ask Santa for?
    John

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