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Marc-Michael Blum

Marc-Michael Blum
Blum - Scientific Services

Dr.phil.-nat. (Ph.D.), Dipl.-Chem. (M.Sc.), M.A.

About

44
Publications
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Introduction
Biochemist who tries to help people to save the world from the bad guys messing around with chemical and biological weapons. Former Head of the OPCW Laboratory. Now at Blum - Scientific Services.
Additional affiliations
July 2017 - September 2019
Organisation For The Prohibition Of Chemical Weapons
Position
  • Head of Department
September 2012 - July 2017
Organisation For The Prohibition Of Chemical Weapons
Position
  • Senior Analytical Chemist
October 2010 - September 2012
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Position
  • Managing Director

Publications

Publications (44)
Article
Full-text available
Apart from the well-known sulfur mustard (SM), additional sulfur-containing blistering chemical warfare agents exist. Sesquimustard (Q) is one of them and five times more blistering than SM. It is a common impurity in mustard mixtures and regularly found in old munitions but can also be used in pure form. Compared to the extensive literature on SM,...
Article
Im Jahr 2018 führte der Anschlag mit einem Nowitschok‐Kampfstoff auf den früheren Agenten Sergej Skripal zu diplomatischen Verwerfungen. Nun haben die Vertragsstaaten des Chemiewaffenübereinkommens zum ersten Mal, seit es in Kraft ist, den Chemikalienanhang erweitert: um die Nervengifte aus der Nowitschok‐Gruppe.
Article
The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has provided advice on the long-term storage and stability of samples collected in the context of chemical weapons investigations. The information they compiled and reviewed is beneficial to all laboratories that carry out analysis of samples rela...
Article
Chemistry is an extremely important field of science, one that contributes to applications across the broad range of sectors that intersect with our everyday lives. There are clear examples in law enforcement (forensics) and public health; less clear, but equally important uses of chemicals might include automobile manufacture, electronics, packagi...
Article
Full-text available
Ob ein Staat seine Giftgasgranaten vernichtet, eine Kriegspartei Nervengifte einsetzt oder ein Betrieb Vorläufersubstanzen produziert, überwacht die Organisation für das Verbot Chemischer Waffen. Eines ihrer Instrumente sind Probennahme und instrumentelle Analytik.
Article
Toxic organophosphorus compounds (e.g., pesticides and nerve agents) are known to react with nucleophilic side chains of different amino acids (phosphylation), thus forming adducts with endogenous proteins. Most often binding to serine, tyrosine, or threonine residues is described as being of relevance for toxicological effects (e.g., acetylcholine...
Article
The present contribution presents a microemulsion system containing cosmetic oil and sugar surfactant and the enzyme diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase) as active agent for the decontamination of human skin. The bicontinuous structure and the physical properties of the microemulsion are characterized by dynamic light scattering and small angle n...
Chapter
Throughout human history there have been many threats to the security of nations. When these threats become reality they are not only responsible for widespread illness, injury, and large-scale losses of life but also for the destruction of property and devastating economic losses. Over recent decades we have seen new technological advances, econom...
Article
Pralidoxime (2-PAM) belongs to the class of monopyridinium oximes with reactivating potency on cholinesterases inhibited by phosphylating organophosphorus compounds (OPC), for example, pesticides and nerve agents. 2-PAM represents an established antidote for the therapy of anticholinesterase poisoning since the late 1950s. Quite high therapeutic co...
Article
Vibrational spectroscopy has a long history as an important spectroscopic method in chemical and pharmaceutical analysis. Instrumentation for infrared (IR) spectroscopy was revolutionized by the introduction of Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometers. In addition, easier sampling combined with better sample-to-sample reproducibility and use...
Article
Highly toxic organophosphorus compounds that irreversibly inhibit the enzyme acetycholinesterase (AChE), including nerve agents like tabun, sarin, or soman, still pose a credible threat to civilian populations and military personnel. New therapeutics that can be used as a pretreatment or after poisoning with these compounds, complementing existing...
Article
The enzyme diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase) from the squid Loligo vulgaris is of great interest because of its ability to catalyze the hydrolysis of highly toxic organophosphates. In this work, the enzyme structure in solution (native state) was studied by use of different scattering methods. The results are compared with those from hydrodyna...
Article
Full-text available
Diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase) is a calcium-dependent phosphotriesterase that acts on a variety of highly toxic organophosphorus compounds that act as inhibitors of acetylcholinesterase. The mechanism of DFPase has been probed using a variety of methods, including isotopic labelling, which demonstrated the presence of a phosphoenzyme interm...
Article
Full-text available
The signal-to-noise ratio is one of the limiting factors in neutron macromolecular crystallography. Protein perdeuteration, which replaces all H atoms with deuterium, is a method of improving the signal-to-noise ratio of neutron crystallography experiments by reducing the incoherent scattering of the hydrogen isotope. Detailed analyses of perdeuter...
Article
The calcium-dependent phosphotriesterase diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase) from the squid Loligo vulgaris efficiently hydrolyzes a wide range of organophosphorus nerve agents. The two calcium ions within DFPase play essential roles for its function. The lower affinity calcium ion located at the bottom of the active site participates in the rea...
Article
Buffering compounds like TRIS are frequently used in chemical, biochemical and biomedical applications to control pH in solution. One of the prerequisites of a buffer compound, in addition to sufficient buffering capacity and pH stability over time, is its non-reactivity with other constituents of the solution. This is especially important in the f...
Article
Diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase) from Loligo vulgaris is an efficient and robust biocatalyst for the hydrolysis of a range of highly toxic organophosphorus compounds including the nerve agents sarin, soman, and cyclosarin. In contrast to the substrate diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP) the nerve agents possess an asymmetric phosphorus atom, wh...
Article
The enzyme diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase, EC 3.1.8.2) from the squid Loligo vulgaris effectively catalyzes the hydrolysis of diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP) and a number of organophosphorus nerve agents, including sarin, soman, cyclosarin, and tabun. Until now, determination of kinetic data has been achieved by use of techniques such as p...
Article
Full-text available
Hydrogen atoms constitute about half of all atoms in proteins and play a critical role in enzyme mechanisms and macromolecular and solvent structure. Hydrogen atom positions can readily be determined by neutron diffraction, and as such, neutron diffraction is an invaluable tool for elucidating molecular mechanisms. Joint refinement of neutron and X...
Article
The enzyme diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase) from the squid Loligo vulgaris effectively catalyzes the hydrolysis of diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP) and a number of organophosphorus nerve agents, including sarin, soman, cyclosarin, and tabun. Up to now, the determination of kinetic data has been achieved by techniques such as pH-stat titratio...
Article
Full-text available
Water is an indispensable medium for life. Proteins fold and display their biological functions only in aqueous environments. Thus, to understand why water is necessary for life at nano-scale, the interaction modes between proteins and water molecules, so-called hydration structures, should be investigated. One of the techniques to study the hydrat...
Article
A wide range of toxic organophosphorus pesticides and nerve agents is effectively hydrolyzed by the structurally related phosphotriesterase enzymes paraoxonase (PON1) from human plasma and diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase) from the squid Loligo vulgaris. Both enzymes have potential use as medical countermeasures and decontaminants. Enhanced en...
Chapter
IntroductionThermodynamic Equilibrium, Reaction Velocities and the Need for CatalysisProteins and Structure–A Prerequisite for Enzyme FunctionFrom Ligand Binding to Enzyme ActivityEnzyme ClassificationKinetics of Enzyme ReactionsEnzymes for Industrial Applications
Chapter
IntroductionChemical Warfare Agents and Chemical Weapons: A DifferentiationClassification Nerve AgentsVesicantsPulmonary AgentsBlood AgentsRiot Control AgentsPsycho AgentsSummary Nerve AgentsVesicantsPulmonary AgentsBlood AgentsRiot Control AgentsPsycho Agents
Chapter
IntroductionBiological Warfare Agents and Biological Weapons: A DivisionTypes of Biological Warfare AgentsThe “Dirty Dozen” Bacteria AnthraxPlagueTularemiaGlanders and MeliodosisBrucellosisQ FeverViruses SmallpoxViral EncephalitidesViral Hemorrhagic Fevers (VHF Agents)Toxins Ricin ToxinBotulinum ToxinsStaphylococcal Enterotoxin B (SEB) Bacteria Ant...
Chapter
Problematic Warfare Agents and Pathways for DetoxificationHydrolysis of Warfare AgentsEarly Examples of Enzymatic DecontaminationCurrent Hydrolytic Enzyme SystemsSquid DFPaseParaoxonase (PON)Organophosphorus Hydrolase (OPH) from Pseudomonas diminutaOrganophosphorus Acid Anhydrolase (OPAA) from AlteromonasHaloalkane Dehalogenase from LinB from Sphin...
Article
Full-text available
The enzyme diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase) from Loligo vulgaris is capable of decontaminating a wide variety of toxic organophosphorus nerve agents. DFPase is structurally related to a number of enzymes, such as the medically important paraoxonase (PON). In order to investigate the reaction mechanism of this phosphotriesterase and to elucida...
Article
A wide range of organophosphorus nerve agents, including Soman, Sarin, and Tabun is efficiently hydrolyzed by the phosphotriesterase enzyme diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase) from Loligo vulgaris. To date, the lack of available inhibitors of DFPase has limited studies on its mechanism. The de novo design, synthesis, and characterization of subs...
Article
Die Dekontamination ist neben der Detektion und der Bereitstellung geeigneter Schutzausrüstung die dritte wichtige Säule in der ABC-Abwehr und im ABC-Schutz. Auf der Suche nach neuen und umweltschonenden Dekontaminationsmitteln spielen Enzyme eine wichtige Rolle. Als erstes wurde 1946 von organophosphatspaltenden Enzymen berichtet; in den nächsten...
Article
Full-text available
Protein dynamics plays an important role in protein function. Many functionally important motions occur on the microsecond and low millisecond time scale and can be characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance relaxation experiments. We describe the different states of a peptidyl carrier protein (PCP) that play a crucial role in its function as a pe...