A cure for the flu could come from frog slime

19 April, 2017, 11:37 | Author: Eloise Marshall
  • A cure for the flu could come from frog slime

What they found could treat a relentless scourge of humankind that kills as many as half a million people around the world each year.

Frogs have received a lot of attention, because it is easy to isolate peptides from the slimy layer of mucus on their skin.

The researchers believe that the compound has the potential to contribute to first-line anti-viral treatments during influenza outbreaks. Other antiviral medications attack different parts of the virus. However, the protection was only specific to some strains of flu. "The peptide does not kill other flu viruses because they lack this conserved piece in hemagglutinin". Known as "urumin", it also appeared to protect mice from lethal flu infections.

Fighting the flu has become more hard as new strains keep turning up.

Jacob's named it urumin, after an Indian sword.

Hydrophylax bahuvistara frog in its native environment in southern India.

The discovery is a reminder of the value of preserving biodiversity as a source of inspiration for new human drugs. Because flu viruses from humans can not infect frogs, producing urumin probably confers on frogs an advantage in fighting some other pathogen, he says. Those peptides have led to the discovery of many antibiotic agents, which is why researchers from the Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology in Kerala, India, have been swabbing the skins of local frogs and screening these samples. One of these "host defense peptides", courtesy of a colorful tennis-ball-sized frog species (Hydrophylax bahuvistara) from southern India, can destroy many strains of human flu and protect mice against flu infection, researchers report April 18 in the journal Immunity. "And here we did 32 peptides, and we had 4 hits".

To his astonishment, the team immediately found four peptides that attacked influenza.

Since flu viruses from human beings can not infect frogs, these urumin-producing frogs have an advantage that we humans do not have as regards fending off the flu virus.

"It's just a matter of searching and finding them", he said. Then they chemically synthesized it. This is a less variable region of the flu virus that is also pinpointed by various vaccines.

Jacob said, "In this paper we screened 32 peptides, and the surprise was that four out of 32 had activity against the virus". The researchers hope to conduct further research in an attempt to create a version of urumin that can withstand our bodies' defenses, in addition to widening their search to include other species and other peptides that may be effective against different diseases. The one that was not was the urumin, which was able to "dismantle" several strains of flu viruses.

"This peptide works against all influenza viruses of the H1 hemagglutinin subtype because it binds specifically to a conserved piece in this protein", explained Jacob to Gizmodo. But these drugs - including zanamivir, oseltamivir, peramivir and laninamivir - are quickly thwarted when neuraminidase mutates.


  • Snapchat embraces AR with New World lenses

    Other companies have also introduced lenses and filters to their products, allowing you to alter your appearance Snapchat-style. The feature is similar to its already popular filters, with one key differentiator-augmented reality (AR).
    Japan protests N. Korean missile test attempt

    Japan protests N. Korean missile test attempt

    More directly on North Korea, the president returned to a theme of placing much onus on China for reining in the North. South Korea, which hosts 28,500 USA troops, warned of punitive action if the Sunday launch led to further provocation.

    Pentagon didn't need Donald Trump's permission to drop massive bomb in Afghanistan

    White House spokesman Sean Spicer said IS fighters had used the tunnels and caves in Achin to maneuver freely. The bomb was dropped by an MC-130 aircraft, operated by Air Force Special Operations Command.
  • Delta tries to 'normalize' as flight cancellations continue

    The flight chaos followed a ground stop at Atlanta on Wednesday as a series of severe thunderstorms passed through the area. On Twitter, Delta told people who were expecting to fly Friday to check their flight's status before going to the airport.
    United Kingdom  scientists find sarin gas samples from Khan Sheikhoun attack

    United Kingdom scientists find sarin gas samples from Khan Sheikhoun attack

    The U.S. blamed the Syrian government for the attack and fired 59 missiles at an air base in central Syria killing nine people. The OPCW mission will determine whether chemical weapons were used, but is not mandated to assign blame.
    Business booms for Ivanka after Kellyanne Conway plug

    Business booms for Ivanka after Kellyanne Conway plug

    And there's clearly efforts that - to undermine that name based on her father's positions on particular policies, that he's taken. But according to Eric , the Trump Organization hasn't felt the same unfettered Trump bump that his sister's brand has enjoyed.
  • Stronger defence key to Palace revival - Allardyce

    The forward is under contract at Palace until 2020 but Allardyce wants to remove any uncertainty after Zaha's impressive season. Palace have won five out of their last six games, keeping four clean sheets in the process.

    Hear the chilling 911 calls made after Facebook killing

    Lane said the last time she talked to Stephens was Saturday night and he told her he had quit his job and was moving out of state. Once a piece of content is reported by users as inappropriate, it is typically reviewed "within 24 hours".

    So what that Alonso is racing the Indy 500?

    McLaren later confirmed that it was a water pressure issue that wrecked all chance of Vandoorne starting on Sunday. Vandoorne took to Twitter to make his feelings clear... "Let's hope for a better race in Russian Federation ".
  • Audi to expand Q range with two all-new SUVs

    Audi to expand Q range with two all-new SUVs

    As for power, it is provided courtesy of three electric motors - two that power each rear wheel, and one for the front axle. On similar lines, it has connected LED tail lamps, which will be first seen in the all- new production-spec A8 this year.
    Wall Street's 'Charging Bull' Artist Wants The 'Fearless Girl' Gone

    Wall Street's 'Charging Bull' Artist Wants The 'Fearless Girl' Gone

    Siegel said a lawsuit has not been filed, but left the door open to the possibility, according to The Guardian . A spokeswoman for State Street Global Advisors did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Patch.
    EPL: Manchester United defeat Chelsea 2-0, revive fight for title

    EPL: Manchester United defeat Chelsea 2-0, revive fight for title

    United travel to Burnley after the Anderlecht game before the Manchester derby on April 27. Meanwhile, Liverpool is up to third after a 1-0 win at West Brom.


Pence warns North Korea of United States resolve shown in Syria, Afghan strikes
The holiday is a commemoration of the birth of Kim Il-Sung, the North Korean state's first leader. USA officials believe that this factor also complicates the shoot-down strategy.

Rihanna sets new rules for festival fashion at Coachella
It should be noted that Rihanna isn't performing at Coachella and yet she's still the center of attention. The Umbrella hitmaker wasn't the only famous face flaunting her wealth at the festival though.

He's how tall? Birth stats out for April the giraffe's calf
Mother, April, has also been described by the park's owner Jordan Patch as being "very protective and encouraging" of her calf . Share with Us - We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article, and smart, constructive criticism.

War sacrifice of Canadian soldiers praised
They represented every region of Canada and fought for the values we hold so dear-freedom, democracy and peace. The cemetery is the final resting place for thousands of soldiers from the Great War, including 700 Canadians.

National Equal Pay Day highlights gender pay gap
Timmons, financial behaviorist and author of "Financial Intimacy" says Black women need to speak up to get what they want. States with a wider pay gap may have a dominant industry that is largely filled by men.