UofL researchers may have discovered how to block coronavirus from infecting human cells

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Researcher at the University of Louisville say they have developed a technology that might be able to block the novel coronavirus from infecting human cells.

According to a recent article published by the university, the technology is based on a piece of synthetic DNA called an “aptamer,” which targets and binds with a human protein called nucleolin. Researchers say early tests show the aptamer may stop viruses, including novel coronavirus, from “hijacking” nucleolin to replicate inside the body.  

UofL is seeking to fast-track development, including applying to the Food and Drug Administration for approval to start treating patients seriously affected by COVID-19.

Credit for the discovery of the aptamer goes to UofL’s Paula Bates, John Trent and Don Miller.The three researchers have applied it in a variety of ways, most notably as a potential therapeutic drug against multiple types of cancer, according to the article.

You can read the full article here.

UofL say they are providing financial support for COVID-19 research, but additional funds are needed to continue the work over time. Donations specifically for the research can be made online here.

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