Small molecule mimics broadly neutralizing antibodies to stop flu in mice

Medical Xpress | March 08, 2019

A team of researchers from the Netherlands, the U.S. and Belgium have found a small molecule that mimics the behavior of broadly neutralizing antibodies. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their search for the molecule and how well it worked in combating flu in mice. Currently, flu vaccines work by inciting the immune system, alerting it to the need to produce antibodies sooner than the body would otherwise—this allows the body to start fighting the infection almost right away, preventing it from becoming serious. But as most are aware, vaccines only contain a certain number of types of killed flu viruses, which means those who get shots are still at risk from other variants. Prior research has shown that the general kind of antibodies that fight flu, are only able to target one variant. But recent research has shown that there are other antibodies at play that are able to target more than one variant—they are called broadly neutralizing antibodies. Efforts to create a vaccine that incites such antibodies have thus far not met with much success. But they have led to the creation of proteins that bind to the flu virus in similar ways. In this new effort, the researchers found a small molecule that mimics the behavior of such proteins but has the advantage of being able to survive long enough in the body to find the virus and stop it.

Spotlight

Reproductive cloning and research cloning are very similar in terms of their technology up until a cloned embryo is made. But how the embryo is utilized is what determines the major difference between research and reproduction cloning. This infographic on cloning points out the different facts about cloning.

Spotlight

Reproductive cloning and research cloning are very similar in terms of their technology up until a cloned embryo is made. But how the embryo is utilized is what determines the major difference between research and reproduction cloning. This infographic on cloning points out the different facts about cloning.

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