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Scientists from three countries identify specific inhibitor of SARS-COV-2-related gene in bats called carolacton: South China Morning Post

2020-04-01

(image courtesy of pixabay.com and Ri_Ya)

The SCMP (South China Morning Post) reported that scientists from Singapore, China, and the United States have identified a specific inhibitor of a bat gene that SARS-COV-2 requires for replication: carolacton.  The paper was originally published on Biorxiv.  The gene involved is key to the production of purine, a precursor to one of the RNA bases that the virus requires for its genome (its genetic blueprint).  Apparently mammalian cells (like bats and humans, for example) are far more tolerant of purine synthesis inhibitors (drugs that stop the production of purine) than viruses.

If you have a yen for abstruse biology, visit Biorxiv.org; otherwise, I suggest you re-watch “Red Beard” or “Seven Samurai”, now featured on TMC as part of a retrospective of the famous Japanese actor (and swordsman) Toshiro Mifune.

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