Frog Slime Slaughters Flu

first_img Scientists have discovered what me be one of the next great tools for fighting the yearly flu — frog slime. A new paper published in the journal Immunity suggests that a species of South Indian frogs packs some powerful antimicrobial compounds.Researchers from Emory University School of Medicine studying Hydrophylax bahuvistara synthesized a compound called “urumin” found in the frogs’ skin. In tests, the chemical effectively destroyed the viruses, specifically H1 strains the culprits behind many flu pandemics.Right now, the chemical doesn’t last long in the body. It breaks down quickly once administered, meaning that it could offer only very short term protection at best. Scientists are currently working on slight variants that may be more biologically stable. Plus, the team believes that if we could make these types of compounds stable, we could also be able to adapt the formula to combat a variety of others viruses like Zika. Not to mention the value of having a drug that could stop an influenza outbreak before it ever takes roots.Scientists believe that the frog produces urumin to combat viruses and bacteria native in their own environment since they aren’t susceptible to the flu-like pigs, birds, and humans. A frog’s skin is also its most important organ. It not only protects the amphibian, but it’s also part of their respiratory system. And their skin has to be covered in a special layer of mucous, so the little critters don’t dry out when they’re out of water. Because of that, the skin is critical to protection, and many frogs have adapted powerful antimicrobial chemicals as well as an array of other molecules to help protect themselves.But killing the flu on its own isn’t special. After all, bleach and other cleaning chemicals can make quick work of the virus — provided it’s not already inside you. Because bleach is… well… toxic, we need other ways to fight the virus when it’s starting to infect someone. And that’s where the frogs come in. Urumin doesn’t just destroy viruses, it’s also totally safe, at least in mice. Later tests will examine safety in humans and look for ways to make it stable in our blood.Perhaps the best bit of news is that while frogs have lots of these anti-microbe weapons, most animals have some of their own. Because these substances are often easy to synthesize and even easier to find in any given animal, scientists are hopeful that we could discover entire lines of new mega-drugs that could stomp out many of our worst diseases. But, as always, we’ll need lots more research between now and then. Stay on target World’s Last Loa Water Frogs Found Malnourished, Rescued in ChileThese Giant Goliath Frogs Are Excellent Parents last_img

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