Louisville woman greeted with surprise after finishing radiation treatment Thursday, Apr 2 2020 

Tarah Decker's friends and family made signs and cheered as she walked out of her final radiation session.


Pop-up COVID-19 test sites run by known fraudsters in Louisville Thursday, Apr 2 2020 

The group has been seen selling cell-phones and DNA testing to low-income populations in the past.


Beshear: Louisville fairgrounds to be converted into field hospital Thursday, Apr 2 2020 

Beshear said they want to be ready if cases surpass Kentucky hospitals' current capacity.


Public toilets and hand-washing stations placed throughout Louisville to protect homeless from COVID-19 Thursday, Apr 2 2020 

"Our homeless population is not fully aware that we even have a pandemic."


Attorney General Cameron joins amicus briefs supporting four states banning elective abortions during COVID-19 crisis Thursday, Apr 2 2020 

The amicus briefs require abortion providers to follow the same mandates as all other medical providers and stop elective procedures during COVID-19 crisis.


U of L researches treatment for COVID-19 using protein grown in tobacco Thursday, Apr 2 2020 

By Eli Hughes —

Researchers at the University of Louisville are working on a possible treatment for COVID-19 that uses a protein grown in tobacco.

This treatment is being designed as a preventative nasal spray that researchers are hoping will reach human clinical trials by the end of the year.

Kenneth Palmer, director of U of L’s Center for Predictive Medicine for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, said that the protein active in the treatment was first studied by his team for its usefulness in preventing HIV.

“We knew that this protein had very good activity against HIV and we wondered some years ago whether it would have activity against other viruses,” Palmer said. “One group of viruses that we were interested in were SARS-Coronavirus.”

Palmer’s group found that this protein was successful in inhibiting many different strains of the coronavirus. Now, almost 15 years later, they wondered if this protein would be successful in preventing the newest strain of the coronavirus, COVID-19.

“We got the virus into our labs,” Palmer said, “And tested to see if the protein would also inhibit the new coronavirus, SARS-coronavirus II, and indeed it does.”

“So, now we are using our tobacco produced product to inhibit the new coronavirus.”

The protein works by binding to the sugar structures that many viruses have on their surfaces. This prevents the virus from replicating.

Palmer says that his team chose to use a lab rat relative of tobacco to grow this protein because tobacco produces the protein well and it is easy to extract.

Palmer has 15 years of experience working with proteins in tobacco plants. He says that Kentucky’s experience with growing tobacco and the enviroment suitable for growing the plant in Kentucky makes it a good choice.

The researchers are now applying for funding to get their treatment into a human clinical trial. Palmer says that their nasal spray could be available before a vaccine becomes available.

Even if this treatment comes out after a vaccine it could still be valuable to public health by combatting other types of the coronavirus.

“Over the last 15 years or so we’ve had three serious public health concerns from the coronavirus,” said Palmer. “And our product is active against all coronaviruses while a vaccine will tend to be more specific to a single coronavirus strain.”

Research is currently being conducted in U of L’s Regional Biocontainment Laboratory and strict safety measures are being upheld to ensure the safety of the researchers.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

The post U of L researches treatment for COVID-19 using protein grown in tobacco appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

Salvation Army on food frontline as demand surge in Indiana during coronavirus crisis Thursday, Apr 2 2020 

The organization is delivering food to hundreds of people every week.


Gov. Beshear recommends all Kentucky schools remain closed through May 1 Thursday, Apr 2 2020 

The recommendation would mean the earliest schools could return is Monday, May 4.


The best times to apply for Unemployment to limit your frustrations Thursday, Apr 2 2020 

Record numbers of people are filing for unemployment. This means a lot of waiting on hold or slow computer processing. Here are some easy ways to navigate it.


Dr. Fauci’s face will soon be on a bobblehead Thursday, Apr 2 2020 

The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum picked the plain-speaking expert on the coronavirus as many see him as a hero right now.


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