Frog slime protein fights off the flu | Science News

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Frog slime protein fights off the flu

9:00am, April 19, 2017

Slime produced by Hydrophylax bahuvistara contains a newly identified flu-fighting protein called urumin, named for a type of sword used in the region of India where the frog resides. 

The next flu drug could come from frog mucus. It’s not as crazy as it sounds: For decades, scientists have searched for new antiviral drugs by mining proteins that animals produce to protect themselves from microbes. In lab tests, proteins found in amphibian secretions can defend against HIV, herpes and now the flu.

David Holthausen of Emory University in Atlanta and colleagues sampled slime from the skin of Hydrophylax bahuvistara, a recently discovered frog species from southern India. They tested the influenza-fighting ability of 32 slime peptides. Four showed promise, but three proved toxic to mammals.

The fourth peptide, however, was safe and showed a propensity

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