hiv-virus-deletedYou might have a bar of antibacterial soap at home and for the most part you know that it is supposed to kill of bacteria. However the bacteria that it kills tends to be of the common variety that might cause odor, skin infections, or food poisoning. Basically stuff that isn’t particularly life-threatening.

However in the future it is possible that your soap could be a “magic bullet” that will not only get rid of regular bacteria, but even viruses that are potentially deadly, like Zika, Ebola, dengue, herpes, influenza, and more. This is thanks to the folks at IBM and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) in Singapore who have developed a new chemical that can do all of that.

The researchers have developed a polymer that can adhere itself to the virus, which in turn is supposed to prevent said virus from hooking onto the cells in the person’s body. Alternatively the chemical can also stick to immune cells such as macrophages which in turn would block the area that the virus would stick to.

According to James Hedrick, one of the lead researchers on the project at IBM, “We began to think, how can we move forward and kind of attack the virus in a very different way. Instead of going after its RNA or DNA, we looked at the glycoproteins that surround…the virus. […] The way we look at it, it’s kind of like honey, right. It’s kind of sticky. We can now competitively go after this cell faster than the virus can go after your immune cell. And once we block those receptors, we prevent infection.”

That being said, it might be a while before we see it commercialized as a soap or some kind of wipe for keyboards.

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