from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A broad-spectrum antibiotic derived from the livers of dogfish
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A complex compound produced by sharks, called squalamine, was discovered in 1993 but a new study is exploring its potential use against human viruses.
Zasloff discovered the molecule, squalamine, in 1993 in the dogfish shark, a small- to medium-size shark found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
Yellow fever virus is often used as a surrogate lab test to show possible efficacy against hepatitis C, and the researchers were able to cure yellow fever in hamsters with squalamine.
Zasloff holds several patents for the use of squalamine and related compounds for the treatment of
The project began when lead investigator Michael Zasloff, professor of surgery and paediatrics at Georgetown University Medical Centre, sent samples of squalamine to a series of labs around the United States for testing.
Researchers tested squalamine - manufactured from the liver of the dogfish shark - in lab dishes and in animal subjects and found it could inhibit or control viral infections, and in some cases appeared to cure animals of their ills.
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