Researchers out of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) are getting a better understanding of a bacterial enzyme called NicA2 from Pseudomonas putida as a potential source of addiction therapy. While the research is still in early phases, the publication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society offers insight into how the enzyme may be used as a candidate for the cessation of smoking. NicA2 in nature actually consumes nicotine, and the idea is that enzyme therapy using this specific enzyme would find and destroy nicotine in the body before it had the chance to reach the brain. Like Pac-Man, the bacterium would move along, seek out nicotine, and chomp it away before it made its way to the brain receptors.

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