Working with Singapore researchers, IBM has engineered a chemical that blocks viruses like Zika, Ebola, dengue, influenza, herpes, and more.
Soon your bathroom might have antimicrobial soap that doesn’t just kill bacteria, but also wipes out Ebola, Zika, dengue, or herpes. That’s the promise of a new chemical just announced by IBM and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) in Singapore. Such a soap is just one of the potential uses of this “macromolecule,” says James Hedrick, one of the lead researchers on the project at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, CA. If taken as a medication, the macromolecule would also have two ways to protect cells from any virus that does get past the first defense.