On March 21st, 2014 the first case of the Ebola virus was reported, it spread and killed an estimated 11,315 people, according to the World Health Organization. When viruses break out its often difficult to stop them, let alone cure. Though recently it has been announced that IBM in partnership with the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, in Singapore, have developed a new chemical that may be able to kill Ebola, Zika, Dengue, Herpes, and bacteria, and they’re making it in an antimicrobial soap.
In 2011, researchers from IBM and Singapore showed a biodegradable nano particle that could be used to attack bacteria cells, many that are resistant to antibiotics. In 2013 they introduced “nanomedicine” that could fend off viruses and bacteria. The medicine came in the form of cream or gel that is placed on top of wounds and worked differently from traditional antibacterials. Instead of killing off bad and good cells it would identify bacteria cells and destroy them without destroying good cells.
This new new chemical works by intercepting a virus before it increases infection. Viruses spread by attaching to cells and this new chemical has the potential to attach to immune cells and prevent the virus from doing infecting those cells. It also has the potential to destroy a cell if the virus gets pas the chemical, decreasing the number of cells the virus can use to replicate itself.
While the chemical is not available as of yet in the commercial market it may soon be. The company is working on the best delivery method in order to get to the public. With the world still feeling the effects of the Ebola virus this new chemical may get the approval of many from around the world. It could also help us in combating life threatening viruses in the near future.