In a video from C&EN, Georgetown University’s Dr. Michael Zasloff talks about how squalamine, a steroid found in sharks in the dogfish family (Squalidae), could help to fight viruses in humans. While searching for animals with exceptional immune systems, Dr. Zasloff happened upone dogfish sharks due to their ability to fight off infection.
Dr. Zasloff points early on that they “do not kill sharks” to get the squalamine used in human studies, because the squalamine molecule can be synthesized from a soybean steroid. While clinical trials are still in the early stages, Dr. Zasloff says that he is “quite optimistic” about squalamine’s potential to treat certain diseases in humans.
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