IBM Develops Macromolecule To Kill Ebola, Influenza And All Other Viruses

Posted: May 16 2016, 11:42am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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IBM Develops Macromolecule to Kill Ebola, Influenza and All Other Viruses
IBM Research Flickr
  • Researchers discover Novel Technology to ward off Viruses

Researchers have discovered a novel form of technology to ward off viruses that cause nasty diseases. Humanity will be all the healthier thanks to this new find.

Viral infections pose a dilemma for science and scientists. They have strains that mutate and undergo drug resistance this escaping the prophylactic measures instituted by doctors.

Such viral agents as Zika, Ebola and Dengue tend to have grown rapidly into pandemics on a global level. The result is human suffering and mortality not to mention an economically dismal picture which emerges from the lack of any control at the government’s end.

Today, the experts have managed to discover a macromolecule that could serve well in the prevention of deadly viruses. This special large molecule can play a triple role in the viral vanquishing equation.

Supermolecular chemistry is the name of the game. Large molecules with many features help to fight hardy viral strains. The research is fresh and it tends to use new forms of treatment in its repertoire.

The macromolecule responsible for this viral-warding technique has several features that make it unique and singular in its action.

The macromolecule works in a complex triple motion of events that transpire one after the other. First comes the attraction phase. The macromolecule has strong hydrogen bonds with electrostatic interactions attracting the proteins on the viral surface.

This automatically disables the virus’s infecting agency. Then comes the prevention stage. Mannose which is a type of sugar binds to healthy immune cells in order to repel the viral agents and allow these helpful cells to multiply.

Finally, we have the third stage which is one of neutralization. This involves the basic amine group in the macromolecule neutralizing the PH inside the viral cell thus stopping reproduction dead in its tracks.

The macromolecule which was designed to accomplish the task was very versatile. A number of viral strains could be fought off using this scheme of things.

Already, the scientists have seen no resistance on the part of the viruses. This prophylactic measure will come in handy to fight off the Zika and Ebola epidemics which are currently rampant in the global village. The possibilities are limitless.

"With the recent outbreak of viruses such as Zika and Ebola, achieving anti-viral breakthroughs becomes even more important," said Dr. James Hedrick, lead researcher, advanced organic materials, IBM Research – Almaden, San Jose, Calif.

"We are excited about the possibilities that this novel approach represents, and are looking to collaborate with universities and other organizations to identify new applications."

"Viral diseases continue to be one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality," said Dr. Yi Yan Yang, Group Leader, Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Singapore.

"We have created an anti-viral macromolecule that can tackle wily viruses by blocking the virus from infecting the cells, regardless of mutations. It is not toxic to healthy cells and is safe for use. This promising research advance represents years of hard work and collaboration with a global community of researchers."

Viruses are the last frontier of medicine. It is their small size and nature (they lie between the living and the dead like a zombie) that has perplexed scientists up until now.

Well, such is not the case anymore. With this novel macromolecule, the stage is set for conquering the plethora of viruses that have wreaked havoc around the globe.

A paper on this research, titled Cooperative Orthogonal Macromolecular Assemblies with Broad Spectrum Antiviral Activity, High Selectivity, and Resistance Mitigation, was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Macromolecules.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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