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Shark Molecule Kills Human Viruses, Too

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posted on Sep, 25 2011 @ 08:12 PM
A molecule found in sharks appears to be able to wipe out human liver viruses, such as hepatitis, new research has found.

"Sharks are remarkably resistant to viruses," study researcher Michael Zasloff, of the Georgetown University Medical Center, told LiveScience. Zasloff discovered the molecule, squalamine, in 1993 in the dogfish shark, a small- to medium-size shark found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.

"It looked like no other compound that had been described in any animal or plant before. It was something completely unique," Zasloff said. The compound is a potent antibacterial and has shown efficacy in treating human cancers and an eye condition known as macular degeneration, which causes blindness.

Zasloff's new research shows it can also kill many human liver viruses, though a few researchers who weren't involved in the study do have concerns that in order to see an effect, you'd need toxic levels of the molecule.

The researchers decided to test the compound on several different live viruses that infect liver cells, including hepatitis B, dengue virus and yellow fever. They saw high efficacy across the board.

The researchers were unable to test the compound against hepatitis C, a virus that infects the livers of about 1.5 percent of the U.S. population and can cause liver cancer, because hepatitis C doesn't grow well in lab models like rats. Yellow fever virus is often used as a surrogate lab test to show possible efficacy against hepatitis C, and the researchers were able to cure yellow fever in hamsters with squalamine.

Shark Molecule Kills Human Viruses, Too

Although some researchers have pointed out that the concentrations of squalamine needed to kill the viruses are very high, high enough to be toxic to humans, the use of squalamine as an antiviral agent is showing promise.

They hope to begin clinical trials soon.

Squalamine was synthesized in 1995.

I have a friend whose father is Hep C positive and is not responding to treatments... he's hoping to participate in the clinical trials.

posted on Sep, 25 2011 @ 09:52 PM
Wow thanks for the post! Really cool that other organisms continually have an effect on us. All goes back to the circle of life...

Hey, good luck with your friend's father as well bud.
edit on 25-9-2011 by MikeZutch because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 12:31 AM
As stated in the article though, You would need toxic levels of the antibacterial agent in order to wipe out Liver Cancers and Hepatitus...

Whats the point of having a clean liver on a dead body
, If they can create a cure without the death i'm all for it though


posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 12:44 AM
5 years too late for a dear soul, Hope it works for the future patients.
This could turn the tide for hundreds of thousands world wide.
Almost as sweet as Orange Peel Fuzz


posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 12:57 AM
reply to post by FoxStriker

That is something the researchers involved are going to have to figure out... at what concentration can they effectively kill the virus, while ensuring the toxicity levels remain low for the patients. Or, maybe, combine squalamine with something to combat the toxicity.

Thank you

@Gradius Maximus
I'm sorry to hear that. But you're right... this has the potential to change many lives.

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