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Molecule stops MERS spread among cultured human cells

A protein fragment has been developed to block the MERS virus (yellow) from entering human cells.

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A lab-developed protein fragment has stopped the spread of the MERS virus among cultured human cells.

MERS, or Middle East respiratory syndrome, is a viral respiratory illness that has infected 180 people, killing 77.

The newly developed molecule interacts with the protein that the MERS virus uses to enter a host cell, researchers report January 28 in Nature Communications. Whether the molecule can effectively block the spread of MERS in animals and humans is not yet clear.

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