University of Iowa researchers are working to turn one of the world’s most deadly viral diseases into a vehicle to help cure people who suffer from the lung disease cystic fibrosis. In a study being published next month, U-of-I pediatrics fellow Dr. Patrick Sinn says the evil ebola virus is being dismantled and used for good. Dr. Sinn, the paper’s lead author, says a small bit of the ebola virus is being used in a hybrid with a type of medicine that will make use of the resourcefullness of ebola to penetrate the damaged lung cells, which normally put up a strong defense.Ebola kills between 50 and 90-percent of those who contract it. It spreads through bodily fluids and attacks internal organs, causing bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Victims usually die within two weeks of contracting the disease. Sinn says ebola kills quickly because it can move so rapidly through the body and U-of-I researchers are learning to harness that power for healing.The findings will appear in issue the May 10 issue of the Journal of Virology.
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