Scientists are also measuring how the membrane reacts when it is exposed to either melatonin or azithromycin which are being investigated as possible treatments of Coronavirus.Even as a couple of Coronavirus vaccine candidates have claimed over 90 percent efficacy in preventing the spread of Coronavirus, scientists are exploring other treatment and preventive care options against the spread of novel Coronavirus. One such pathway being explored by the scientists is related to the human cell membrane. According to scientists, the novel Coronavirus first binds with the cell membrane using its spike protein and hence the cell membrane is the outermost and foremost defence against the spread of Coronavirus. Researchers are now looking for ways to strengthen the cell membrane and make it more resistant to the virus, the Indian Express reported.
Scientists and researchers from the Virginia Institute of Technology and the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) are relying on neutron scattering to probe how the cell membrane and the novel Coronavirus impact one another. The scientists are in fact trying to analyse the manner in which the virus penetrates the cell membrane of the human cell in order to develop treatments that can hinder the process of virus entering the human cell. Many research projects are also aiming at targeting the spike protein of the novel Coronavirus but this research is one of the few researches that is studying the site where the infection process begins- the cell membrane.
The scientists in the process are using the ORNL’s liquids reflectometer (LIQREF) to understand the process of how the cell membrane conforms to the virus spike protein as well as to analyse the effects of certain therapeutic candidates. With the help of LIQREF, scientists would also be able to measure the path taken by neutrons while they are interacting with different biological materials.
For conducting this analysis, the researchers have got hold of a membrane model that closely resembles the shape and composition of the human cell membrane in the lungs. Scientists are also measuring how the membrane reacts when it is exposed to either melatonin or azithromycin which are being investigated as possible treatments of Coronavirus.
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