WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)—Researchers at Purdue along with researchers around the world are taking a closer look at the novel Coronavirus. As cases, continue to increase, they say we need to take significant steps in which we will protect our families and ourselves.
"A lot of the viruses that we get infected with that cause an acute disease are RNA viruses,” said Virologist and Professor at Purdue University Richard Kuhn.
Professor Kuhn said the novel Coronavirus is a Ribonucleic Acid virus. Which means it causes an acute infection.
"This is a virus that we've never seen before,” said Kuhn. “And if we've never seen a virus, a pathogen then it can affect everyone."
Kuhn along with Professor Michael Rossmann was instrumental in determining what the Zika Virus looked like in 2016. Which made strides in creating antiviral compounds to provide a basis for a vaccine.
"Understanding the structure of a virus gives you insight as to what are the features of the virus that allows it to get into cells that assembles the virus itself,” said Kuhn.
He said it is too difficult to try those same methods on the coronavirus.
"COVID-19 has a very irregular type shape,” said Kuhn. “So it's certainly possible but we haven't started to do that in part because there are containment issues."
He means pinpointing the exact structure of the virus. Although he says, there are Purdue researchers working on a molecule that could potentially be an anti-viral.
He's talking about Professor Andrew Mesecar. News 18 spoke with Mesecar on his efforts to re-create proteins in the COVID-19. Mesecar works for Purdue University's Biochemistry Department.
He said a drug used to treat the SARS virus could be the answer in treating the coronavirus.
"It takes some time to move through those steps to validate whether it's truly effective,” said Kuhn. “Will it be effective in an animal will be effective in a human."
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