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Covid-19: Seaweed extract may be more effective than remdesivir

Covid-19: Seaweed extract may be more effective than remdesivir

NEW research concludes that extracts from seaweed could be more effective than remdesivir, the current leading SARS-CoV-2 antiviral drug.
The authors research lays the groundwork for future studies to corroborate the findings in humans.
SARS-CoV-2, like all viruses, reproduces by attaching to a host cell’s membrane, inserting its genetic material and using the cell’s resources to create replica viruses. In this way, it can spread throughout a person’s body.
One way to inhibit the spread of this virus between people is through hand washing. While it removes contaminated material, soap can also damage the outer envelope of a SARS-CoV-2 particle, which stops it from latching on to other cells.
Antiviral drugs that target SARS-CoV-2 often work differently. Rather than damaging the virus’s outer membrane, they bind with the component that attaches to the host’s cells. When this occurs, the virus is disarmed and cannot infect cells to replicate itself. This is how the current leading SARS-CoV-2 antiviral drug remdesivir works.
However, this manner of combating viruses leaves room for improvement. “We’re learning how to block viral infection, and that is knowledge we will need if we want to confront pandemics rapidly.”
Heparin is a common blood thinner that can be extracted from seaweed. The present study looked at three variants of heparin and two related fucoidans — a substance that can be obtained from brown seaweed to see how effective they would be as decoys for SARS-CoV-2 in a laboratory setting.
The researchers applied the extracts to mammalian cells and measured enough for each one to reduce the effectiveness of the virus by 50%.
The researchers found that one of the fucoidans and two of the heparin extracts required a significantly lower concentration than remdesivir to reduce the virus’s effectiveness to 50%.
INCREASED ATTENTION TO SAD FACES PREDICTS DEPRESSION RISK IN TEENAGERS: Teenagers who tend to pay more attention to sad faces are more likely to develop depression, but specifically within the context of stress.
Researchers aimed to examine whether attentional biases to emotional stimuli, assessed via eye tracking, serve as a marker of risk for depression for teenagers.
Biased attention to sad faces is associated with depression in adults and is hypothesized to increase depression risk specifically in the presence, but not absence, of stress by modulating stress reactivity.


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