Siberian scientists use copper to fight infections

Siberian scientists use copper to fight infectionsScientists at Tomsk State University in Siberia have plans to develop a brand new approach to treating infectious diseases, using copper ions

Scientists at Tomsk State University (TSU) in Siberia are looking into the properties of special molecules called nanopumps which can remove heavy metals from cells; based on the results they want to develop a brand new approach towards treating infectious diseases, using copper ions, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported, citing Olga Karnachuk, the head of TSU?s chair of plants physiology and biotechnology. According to the researcher, nanopumps are proteins that are ?built? into the cell membrane to ?pump out? heavy metal ions, thus preventing cell poisoning. To fight infections, however, pathogenic bacteria that cause a disease should have their nanopumps ?malfunctioning,? thus resulting in the destruction of microbes. Using copper is one of such ?tools? to accomplish the task. ?It is important that the pathogens be stopped in their normal ability to remove heavy metals, and copper therefore kills them,? Ms. Karnachuk explained. She emphasized that copper is a natural disinfectant. The properties of ?nanopump? molecules could be used to protect the environment, too, the scientist believes...