Scientific American: Chewing Gum with GMO Could Reduce the Spread of COVID

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A recent study discovered a new low-cost way to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) protein that is present on the surface of many human cells can trap the COVID-19 virus by binding to its spike protein, preventing the virus from infecting other cells. This protein can also bind to cell-surface receptors, also blocking sites where the virus typically infects an individual. This type of protein can be mixed into chewing gum, and since the mouth is one of the locations with the largest reservoir of the COVID-19 virus in an infected person, the ACE2 protein can do its job and prevent infection. Moreover, new studies have shown that by inactivating the virus in the saliva and mucous membranes, infections at the nasopharyngeal area could be reduced as well. By chewing the gum, the protein will be released within 10 minutes; simulations with machines show that the protection could last up to four hours. One concern with the chewing-gum idea is that the main entry for COVID-19 is the nose, and the gum may have little effect at stopping the virus in that route. Despite this concern, the chewing gum may still reduce spread by decreasing the amount of viral matter present in an infected person’s mouth. The gum is still waiting on FDA approval for human testing. For more information on this chewing gum, click here for the original article. For more information and articles on vaccines and COVID-19, click here.

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