Menstrual blood can help scientists understand virulent coronaviruses that cause Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and SARS. These capsular plasmacytoma viruses were discovered in the 1960s and remain one of the most difficult pandemic diseases to handle in the future. Until recently, researchers could only study the menstrual blood of the influenza A H1N1 subtypes and depend on microscopes to see its excretion.
This week, a University of Washington team discovered a way to distinguish between intrauterine and postnasal drip blood by using a process called positron emission tomography (PET), which compares changes in the proteins in the blood’s plasma and protein markers that build up during a cycle. The researchers also found that capsular plasmacytoma viruses can be killed by a human protein called Q7, which can be found in droplets of liquid as thin as a single-cell DNA molecule. However, this process is very sensitive to changes in fat tissue, so scientists are still investigating whether the technique can be used to kill other deadly viruses, such as the recent Zika virus.
Read the full story at The Washington Post.
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