Countering effects of dirty bomb
focus of Berkeley grant
By Emmett Berg, Bay City News Service
September 26, 2006
BERKELEY (BCN) - A University of California at Berkeley
team has received a grant of almost $1 million to help develop
treatments designed to better counter the effects of a radiological,
or dirty bomb, attack.
The $998,325 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases was issued as part of the federal government's
Project Bioshield, which seeks to prepare for or prevent widespread
nuclear or radiological contamination.
The research team is developing agents for decontaminating people
who may have been exposed to plutonium or similar radioactive
substances, according to Kenneth Raymond, principal investigator
of the program.
The chemical agents under development are designed to bind with
poisonous metal ions that enter the human body upon radiological
contamination. The dangerous ions could then leave the body through
The research could also one day help to clean up the treatment
of radioactive waste in the environment.
Menlo Park-based SRI International will test the agents in development
on animals. Within 18 months officials at NIAID hope to begin
The research team includes Raymond, Pat Durbin-Heavey and David
Shuh, all members of the Chemical Sciences Division at the Department
of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Others working
on the program include Eleanor Blakely of the Berkeley Lab's Life
Sciences Division and Polly Chang of SRI.
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