IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


9th December, 2021 Science and Technology

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  • Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a chewing gum that can potentially reduce transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.


Covid transmission

  • When a person infected with SARS-CoV-2 sneezes, coughs or speaks, some of the viruses can be expelled and reach others.
  • This virus then enters the human body, usually through nose and mouth cavities, by inhaling or swallowing the virus-laden fluid or saliva.
  • ACE2 is a protein on the surface of body cells. It is present in many cell types and tissues including the lungs and the gastrointestinal tract.
  • When SARS-CoV-2 comes in contact with this ACE2 protein, it uses the spike-like protrusions on its surface to bind itself with the host cell.
  • Hence, ACE2 effectively acts like a cellular doorway through which the virus gains entry into the cell.


Role of Chewing Gum

  • The chewing gum is laced with a plant-grown protein that reduces the viral load in saliva and potentially lowers transmission.
  • The gum does this by blocking the ACE2 receptor on the cells or binding directly to the spike protein, effectively preventing the viral particles from entering cells.