27 October 2020

Posting the latest science and tech news

Llamas Can Help Us in the Fight Against COVID-19

Belgian scientists have discovered the antibodies to combat COVID-19 in llamas’ blood.

Belgian scientists have discovered the antibodies to combat COVID-19 in llamas’ blood.

Antibodies found in llama blood can help unlock new treatments for COVID-19, shown by this scientific study. This study is due to be published on the 5th of May.

The COVID-19 virus contains a protein called the spike protein which allows the virus to break into host cells. These special antibodies have shown to bind to the spike protein, blocking this protein completely. COVID-19 would have a hard time trying to break into host cells with the spike protein blocked.

“This is one of the first antibodies known to neutralise SARS-CoV-2,”

said Jason McLellan, associate professor of molecular biosciences at UT Austin and co-senior author.

The group of the scientist responsible for these incredible findings is now preparing to conduct preclinical studies in animals such as hamsters or nonhuman primates, with the hopes of next testing in humans.

Meet Winter the Llama

Picture of Winter the llama
Winter the 4 year old llama, who helped a group of scientists discover a treatment against COVID-19

Winter the llama, is partly responsible for this discovery, as she received injections of active spike proteins over the course of weeks

Scientists were able to identify antibodies bound to the spike proteins and isolate the ones that showed to neutralise the virus, all due to Winter’s testing.

If these pre-clinical trials go well, testing will start on humans with the clinical trials. This research has definitely brought us a step towards ending this pandemic.

It really is great to see how far technology has come. Hopefully, this COVID-19 pandemic will be a thing of the past due to these exponential technological leaps.

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