COVID-19 cure: UK-based researchers make breakthrough in finding 'druggable pocket' in coronavirus
When it comes to finding or developing a cure for the coronavirus or COVID-19, scientists are still in the midst of research and development with some already moving on to preliminary testing. As a definitive cure for the pandemic has yet to be obtained or presented to the public, some scientists managed to make a breakthrough in understanding the virus.
A group of researchers from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom made the said breakthrough. Led by the university’s Professor Christiane Schaffitzel and Max Planck Bristol Center for Minimal Biology’s Professor Imre Berger, they found that the virus has a “druggable pocket” on the surface which could be injected with antiviral drugs that would keep it from working before it enters a human cell.
They found that the virus appears to use a molecule known as linoleic acid to bind itself to human cells, after which it will start to replicate itself. They believe that the antiviral drugs could be able to stop the virus from binding itself to the human cells and it would result in stopping the virus from becoming infectious.
According to Professor Berger, “We were truly puzzled by our discovery and its implications. So here we have LA, linoleic acid, a molecule which is at the center of those functions that go haywire in COVID-19 patients, with terrible consequences. And the virus that is causing all this chaos, according to our data, grabs and holds on to exactly this molecule, basically disarming much of the body’s defenses. Our discovery provides the first direct link between LA, COVID-19 pathological manifestations, and the virus itself.”
With this discovery, the researchers are now faced with the challenge of how to use their findings against the virus itself in order to develop a cure.
Over the past several months since lockdowns began in many countries that have been infected by COVID-19, miracle cures for the virus have come up every now and then, with medical experts refuting these claims.
Among those supposed cures is industrial bleach, which was found to be sold as a cure for COVID-19 on some Amazon pages. The bleach is being touted as a miracle cure for the virus and is being sold on Amazon under the name CD Kit and NatriChlor. Local officials have since refuted this claim, first made by Donald Trump, saying that bleach is toxic and can kill.