Researchers use frog mucus to fight the flu


Summary: The frog species Hydrophylax  bhuvistaraa secretes slime that contains a peptide that targets human H1 flu virus. Urumin, the peptide targets viruses without being toxic and harmful to human cells. This could present new ways to fight influenza in humans. Urumin targets  hemagglutinin, completely denaturing the virus after exposure.

Connections: We learned about the antibiotic penicillin in class. Penicillin is made by a fungi in order to kill bacteria it might be in competition with for nutrients. Urumin, which is secreted by the frogs, is also for the frogs own benefit. Just in the way that we sued penicillin, a naturally produced antibiotic to our advantage, we hope to use Urumin to treat influenza.

Critical Analysis:  This article seems very scientifically accurate. However, I do think mainstream media tends to sensationalize these kinds of discoveries. They had quotes from experts backing up their claims, but it would likely be a long time before Urumin would ever be able to actually be used in humans.

Question: What exactly is  hemagglutinin in the H1 virus, what makes it unique to the virus?