Nicotine-Chomping Bacteria May Hold Key To Anti-Smoking Therapy

Nicotine Chomping BacteriaA study from scientists at The Scripps Research Institute explores an enzyme that may be used to help people quit smoking. The research, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, offers a possible alternative to current smoking cessation aids which are shown to fail in 80 to 90 percent of smokers. The idea behind an enzyme therapy would be to seek out and destroy nicotine before it reaches the brain—depriving a person of the “reward” of nicotine that can trigger relapse into smoking.

Kim Janda, member of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at TSRI, said, “The bacterium is like a little Pac-Man. It goes along and eats nicotine.”

View the full research at the Journal of the American Chemical Society

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Photo credit The Scripps Research Institute

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