Monitor lizard’s blood to combat Covid-19
Monitor lizards are a unique species that are able to withstand polluted waters. The reptiles are native to Southeast Asian countries like Thailand. Many people think they’re pests because of their carnivorous nature of feeding on small pets.
However, researchers from Mahidol University see them in another light. Their resilience to harsh conditions may just hold the key to combating viruses like Covid-19.
Scientists have already discovered unique proteins in their blood samples. So, what makes their blood so special?
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Blood can slow down the growth of cancer cells
The research team at Mahidol University has extracted some blood samples from a species of monitor lizards named the Varanus Salavator. They discovered that the reptile’s blood sample contains proteins that restrain cancer cell growth and that of some bacteria.
According to their hypothesis, these properties may stifle the progression of viruses in the body, such as Covid-19.
Further research is still required in order to confirm that monitor lizard’s blood components don’t have any effects on healthy cells and can successfully constrain specific types of cancer cells, reported The Nation Thailand.
The species is close to extinction
If their blood samples show positive effects in combating these diseases, the research team will continue to use them in future projects. Of course, sustainability is key.
Monitor lizards are now an endangered species because they’re being hunted, shared Dr. Jitakamol Thanasak, Associate Professor at Mahidol University’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
Due to their depiction as malicious animals, efforts are scarce in protecting monitor lizards in the wild.
Image credit: Nation TV
Currently, a law is being drafted in order to protect monitor lizards, and breed them for economic purposes.
The species will be separated into two different habitats for healthier conservation methods. For instance, farm-bred and wild versions of the breed, according to Nation TV.
Medical science has come a long way
Today, our scientists continue to make breakthroughs and new discoveries in the realm of medical science.
It’s incredible to see innovative people pursuing research for the betterment of society.
However, we’re also glad that measures are being taken to ensure that our native monitor lizard species is preserved.
Would you use proteins from monitor lizards’ blood as treatment for viruses? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Cover images adapted from: Nation TV