USF Health researchers use firefly glow enzyme to better understand COVID

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Researchers at USF Health are lighting up their study in the hope to learn more about COVID-19 and how it could affect different people.

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Dr. Tom McDonald, a USF Health professor of Medicine in Cardiology and Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology, explains rather than handling the live virus in the study, researchers are using a safer, COVID-19 pseudotype, which also holds the same enzyme that gives fireflies their glow, called luciferase.

‘I like to think of it as a sheep in wolf’s clothing,’ said McDonald. ‘It’s a good surrogate for whether or not the virus can get into a particular cell type, and you can actually quantify it. You say it gets in more, it gets in less, that type of comparison is easily made with the firefly luciferase.’

Publisher: WFTS
Date: 2020-07-22T21:47:20.199
Author: Author link
Twitter: @abcactionnews
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