Computer compatibility tests might help flu-fighting drugs find their groove.
A pandemic of the H1N1 swine flu virus has health officials worried that the virus could develop resistance to drugs such as Tamiflu used to treat
infected people. A new computerized screening method could help find new or already existing drugs that find a flu virus’ weak spot, researchers
from the University of California, San Diego reported December 6 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology.
Among those fragments, the team found 15 novel compounds that could wedge into the protein’s pocket and block its action better than Tamiflu or
other antiviral drugs would. A closer examination revealed that those 15 compounds share a common structure. What's more, the compounds lodge into a
part of the protein that doesn't allow changes easily, meaning that those areas are less likely to mutate and develop drug resistance than the parts
of the protein that come into contact with Tamiflu and other current flu treatments, Dadon says.
Pretty cool stuff. People actually using science
to discover new drugs that the flu virus can not be resistant to.
[edit on 9-12-2009 by Aggie Man]