Russian narcologist Yevgeny Kovalev commented on the method of finding Novichok poison  in Aleksei Navalny’s samples. The head of the Institute of Toxicology at the Helmholtz Center in Munich, Martin Goettlicher, explained to t-online.de how Bundeswehr experts found Novichok poison in the samples of Russian opposition activist Aleksei Navalny. According to him, “this is difficult, but possible.”Novichok suppresses an important enzyme known as cholinesterase. This enzyme can be isolated from the body, and one can use a highly sensitive mass spectrometer to determine if there are any remnants of the active ingredient on it. This is a common and accurate method, and it may have proved to be successful now, Goettlicher said.According to him, chemical warfare agents, such as Novichok, are designed in a way that they enter the body very easily: through skin, air or gastrointestinal tract.Navalny, as it appears received the poison a few hours, maybe even a few minutes before he lost consciousness, the toxicologist said.
Novichok identification technology failed to be validated Russian narcologist Yevgeny Kovalyov told Pravda.Ru that the techniques to detect chemicals have become supersensitive nowadays. For example, if one stays on the Moscow Ring Road for 5-6 hours, one can find both polonium and thallium in the samples afterwards. In addition, the method of determination and the sensitivity of methods are of great importance, the expert continued. He explained that the technique for detecting Novichok through the link with cholinesterase is not publicly available, therefore it is not considered either approved or validated. “Somewhere in Cyprus, in an ordinary laboratory, with the presence of certain instruments, I could reproduce this method. I have a spectrometer, I have basic reagents. I should be able to reproduce this method in Brazil, and in Russia, and anywhere – identically,” said Evgeny Kovalev. Continue reading

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