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Joined: 03/28/2020
Groups: Go Science


I just recently found foldit and I am amazed to find out that it may be possible for private persons like me to contribute something to finding cures. Thanks for foldit and the effort that you put in it - it seems to me like a very attractive approach! Since I am a beginner with this program I will still need time to "get into it".

But I do have some other thoughts on the corona-topic which I wanted to put here (please ignore them if they are too naive or if they were posed already). These thoughts go into the direction of treatment of "severe" corona-sickness-cases and not in the direction of finding an antidote or so.

My line of thinking is this:
-It is known that desinfectants or temperatures above 60° kill (corona) viruses.
-So shouldn't it be possible to find some way to expose these viruses (when they are already close to or in the human body) to desinfectant-particles or high temperatures or similar?
-Maybe it is possible by inhaling desinfectant&air-mixtures or by finding particles which attach themselves especially to corona-viruses and then "heat up" by some chemical or biological reaction?
-Even in the case that this procedure would not be very effective, maybe the reproduction of "new" virus-cells could be haltered or limited so that the immune-system would have sufficient time to react and build up anti-viruses or so.

Again, please ignore this if it is rubbish.

Joined: 03/26/2020
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Yes, but you first kill your self then the virus....
The disinfectants cause major damage to sensitive mucosal cells and make the body susceptible to even new viruses..
60°C kills cells as well, in case of fever your body goes up to 42C and at this temperature you'll start to become unconscious...

Joined: 03/28/2020
Groups: Go Science
So let's bury that idea. But

So let's bury that idea. But nevertheless thanks for the clarification and explanation.

Joined: 03/29/2020
Groups: None
Your Quests


Proteine denaturieren bei 42 Grad. Eine Erhitzung des Körpers über diese Temperatur wäre tödlich, selbst wenn nur kurzfristig. Du würdest innenausschauen wie ein gekochtes Ei. :)

Das inhalieren von Desinfektionsmitteln ist etwas zu unspezifisch und kann zu Vergiftungenund anderen unerwünschten Nbn.-wirkg. führen.

Proteinfaltung dagegen sind schon recht wirkspezifisch.

Joined: 03/28/2020
Groups: Go Science
Ich werde das sicherlich

Ich werde das sicherlich nicht ausprobieren ;o)
Für mich ist das mit der Proteinfaltung neu und sehr interessant auch wenn ich für mich da wenig Hoffnung sehe da nennenswert was zu erreichen. Aber mal so mit rumspielen ist schon interessant und man lernt ja auch einiges. Aber diese Proteinketten sind schon garstige, widerborstige Biester. Hoffe nur dass jemand die richtige Strategie oder einfach auch Glück hat damit daraus eine gangbare Lösung resultiert.

Joined: 09/24/2012
Groups: Go Science
Another naïve question

What happens if a labo produces only the spike protein and injects it into an animal ? Does the animal produce an antibody or would the protein just be destroyed by white blood cells ?

Joined: 03/28/2020
Groups: Go Science
Do you think that the spike

Do you think that the spike can be made stand-alone? As far as I know these are attached to the ends of the Corona-Virus. But if stand-alone would be possible then it should be interesting to see how an organism would react to this.

Joined: 09/21/2011
Groups: Gargleblasters
Probably even naïver answer

I don't think that the protein by itself would do anything except bond with the ACE2 in the lungs, until it is broken down. That also seems less than ideal, taking up spaces that should be (as I understand it) bonded with donor proteins to control vasoconstriction... Maybe...?

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Teams working on something similar

There are teams at the Institute for Protein Design (foldit's mother ship) that make round balls (icosahedrons) out of harmless proteins with disease proteins sticking out all over the outside (like the coronavirus has spike proteins sticking out). These are intended for use as vaccines - the immune system learns to recognize and attack them. I expect some of these scientists are looking at the coronavirus proteins to see if any of them could be put on these spiky balls for a vaccine.

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Not so naive

@ ichwilldiesennamen,

These ideas are not rubbish, so don't be discouraged. Our organs (and skin is an organ) contain mostly water, and water can transfer heat reasonably well. A skin cell can handle high temperature for a while as thermal energy (heat) diffuses from the application site. The circulatory system helps out somewhat as well by carrying thermal energy from skin and distributing it. I think important questions are the rate of heat application and the size of the heated skin area. Sixty degrees C applied to a large area of skin cells in a bath would cause burns because heat would not be transported away fast enough. But you can withstand a bath of 60 deg C air for a little while, and you can immerse your finger in a cup of 60 C water and and remove quickly before getting burned.

The disinfectant idea is also good. Nozin is a nasal hygiene product that decolonizes bacteria in the nasal cavity. Or why not just wipe the inside of nostrils with an isopropyl alcohol swab? (You can buy a packet of 50 for about a dollar at the grocery store pharmacy). And people actually pay to inhale a safe mixture of ethyl alcohol and air at vaping bars.

Are these ideas any more effective than hand-washing or showering? Testing them against various viral loads would be needed to gather enough data to find out. To quote W. Edwards Deming: “Without data, you're just another person with an opinion.”

I think I'll go get some alcohol swabs a Kroger if there are any left.

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Joined: 04/20/2012
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Local heating using ultrasound?

Another way to heat up parts of the body is to use ultrasound.
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultrasound#Ultrasonic_disintegration
and the section below it called "Sonochemistry".

Joined: 03/28/2020
Groups: Go Science
Directed energy distribution would be needed

Thanks for the encouraging comments! I have only dealt with this topic of biochemistry for a week now and still have quite a leraning-curve ahead of me. But it really is interesting and especially foldit is very similar to tools I use in my RF-engineering work. In this direction the ultrasonic approach would also somewhat fit in. If it would be possible to stimulate the mechanical self-resonance-frequency of a target protein or whatever (e.g. Spike) then the absorbed energy by this component and therefore heat would rise up in it. So there would for sure be the need for somewhat directed energy-absorption.

Your explanation with the (the surround) water makes sense to me. This could indeed protect surrounding cells if another one heats up.
And I agree with you that in-depth testing would be required so see if any of this is feasible or would have a positive effect.

Joined: 03/29/2020
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was thinking if it could be possible to create a molecule using computer resources from the government or universities to replicate the virus membrane receptor ACE2 that the virus uses to attach on the human cell (if I am not mistaken) that way we could block a percentage of those viruses from attaching to the cell.

Also since we are creating the molecule, we could through modification make it several times more specific so it will attach more efficiently with Glycoprotein S, better than the real receptor on the human cell and compete with the membrane receptor on the human cell for the attachment to the viral Glycoprotein S molecule, that way lowering the percentage of viruses attaching to the cells.

Or another approach will be to use the genome code to identify which DNA genes code for the ACE2 receptor on the human cell membrane so we can create an artificial receptor through Recombinant DNA technology, that will compete with the membrane receptor on the human cell for the attachment of the virus molecule and that way lower the amount of viruses attaching to cells. We can also slightly modify it so it will be more specific than the real receptor on the cell membrane and that way attaching more efficiently than the real receptor.

I was also thinking the other way around to create a molecule to attach to the membrane receptor, but I think that could cause more side effects or affect cell function.


Developed by: UW Center for Game Science, UW Institute for Protein Design, Northeastern University, Vanderbilt University Meiler Lab, UC Davis
Supported by: DARPA, NSF, NIH, HHMI, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, RosettaCommons