Navy Looks to Sharks for Warfighter Protection

By Yolanda R. Arrington
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

Sharks may soon provide increased protection for service members. In new research funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Joint Science and Technology Office and carried out by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, shark antibodies are being used as alternatives to chemical and biological threat detection and treatment tools.

Ribbon structure of a shark-derived single-domain antibody showing the binding loops (red and blue) as well as the hyper variable region 2 (green). Positions mutated are displayed as ball and stick format. (Illustration by Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Chemical and Biological Technologies Department)

Ribbon structure of a shark-derived single-domain antibody showing the binding loops (red and blue) as well as the hyper variable region 2 (green). Positions mutated are displayed as ball and stick format. (Illustration by Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Chemical and Biological Technologies Department)

Shark antibodies are smaller and more stable than the mammal antibodies which are currently used. The antibodies can be used to determine if warfighters have been exposed to chemical or biological agents. Their high melting temperatures also cut the cost of shipping and storing since refrigeration would not be needed.

Video by Airman 1st Class Jose Gonzalez

Find out more about this research here.

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Technology Helps Military Prepare for Chemical & Radiological Threats

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