“Chewing Gum with GMO Could Reduce the Spread of COVID”

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The Story

“Chewing Gum with GMO Could Reduce the Spread of COVID”
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/chewing-gum-with-gmo-could-reduce-the-spread-of-covid/
by Abdullah Asad Iqbal
Scientific American, February 2022

The Pitch

Could chewing gum reduce your chances of catching COVID?

New research is showing that that chewing a special gum could decrease your chances of catching COVID.

Evidence shows people infected with Sars-CoV-2 have high levels of virus in their saliva. So researchers in the US wanted to investigate whether a specially designed chewing gum could reduce the amount of virus in the mouth, and therefore potentially reduce its spread.

Chewing gum to promote oral health is not a new idea. Studies have shown that chewing gums containing certain substances such as calcium and bicarbonate can improve oral health, reducing the incidence of dental ailments and cutting the numbers of harmful bacteria. But specifically targeting a virus in this way is a novel approach.

Sars-CoV-2 gains entry into human cells by latching onto ACE2 proteins, which are found on the surfaces of certain cells in our body. The researchers produced a gum containing high levels of ACE2 proteins, produced in plants, with the idea being that the ACE2 proteins in the chewing gum could “trap” virus particles in the mouth, minimising the opportunity they have to infect our cells and spread to other people.

I propose a 800-word article that will explore this research, its benefits and caveats.

I can call upon any esteemed individuals to talk about this research such as; Dr Henry Daniell, who was the lead researcher on this study and Professor Nicola Stonehouse who is a professor virology at the University of Leeds.

I would be able to write the article by the end of January or earlier. It depends on when the researchers can provide the information. I would be happy to provide any further information you require.

Here is a link to the research – https://www.cell.com/molecular-therapy-family/molecular-therapy/fulltext/S1525-0016(21)00579-7#%20

 

Best wishes,

Abdullah

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