Bangladeshi scientist finds cure to dangerous viruses

Fazlul Kabir | Update:

Hemayet UllahImagine if we could find a drug or vaccine that could cure any viral diseases. What a matter of great relief that would be!

Bangladeshi scientist Hemayet Ullah recently discovered such a remedy to any viral disease, including dengue.

A graduate from the University of Dhaka, Hemayet Ullah, is now an associate professor of the biology department at Howard University in the United States.

He invented the remedy while researching on a plant protein that can be used to make medicines to treat viral diseases including dengue.

Hemayet Ullah’s discovery has created quite a buzz among researchers. The bio-medical journal Oncotarget published an article on the research findings as the cover story of its 14 May issue. A number of research journals and magazines are covering the discovery significantly.

Hemayet Ullah was also recently interviewed by the US TV channel Fox Five recently.

The scientist talked to Prothom Alo about the drug too.

“We were working on a plant protein. We found that many virus in human body feed on the same protein for reproduction. We thought, if we could prevent the operations of the protein, then the virus cannot spread. We were successful in the first phase of the research,” said Hemayet Ullah.

The basic drawback of the existing drugs is those cannot fight for long in the host body. As humans study a virus for cure or prevention, the virus also observes the way the medicine works. The virus then adapts with the condition and retaliates against the medication. Therefore we see the medicine working well in beginning but stops working eventually after a certain period of time.

Hemayet Ullah’s discovery is unique. His remedy will not fight the virus, but prevent the protein that boosts it.

The research was conducted by a team headed by Hemayet Ullah and includes two other researchers of Howard University School of Medicine- Qiyi Tang and Sergei Nekhai.

They found the protein called Receptor for Activated C Kinase 1 that helps a number of virus to increase in human body. Such viruses are Hepatitis C, Polio, Drosophila C, Dengue, Cricket Paralysis, Harpies Simplex Virus-1 and so on. The researchers are working on this RACK-1 protein to reduce its activity.

Scientists believe that the Hemayet Ullah and his team’s finding is very important for medical science. Howard University provost and chief education officer Anthony Wutoh said, “Hemayet Ullah and his team came up with a major development in creating anti-inflammatory drugs. We hope it will be useful in treating many diseases.”

Expecting the method to be able to cure many viruses, Hemayet Ullah said, “The research is still in the primary phase. Its effectiveness can be understood well after applying in to any animal body. We are hopeful that it will be possible to bring out a successful anti-inflammatory drug within the next 2-3 years.”

*The piece, originally, published in Prothom Alo online has been rewritten in English by Farjana Liakat

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