Skip to Content

Germ-Killer Cosmetics

Imagine fending off the flu with a quick nasal spray. That may one day be possible, according to researcher James Baker at the University of Michigan Medical School. Baker found that a mild, milky liquid called BCTP killed the influenza virus in cell cultures and in the nasal passages of lab mice. Craig Wright, chief research scientist at Columbia, Md.-based Novavax-the company that developed BCTP-explains that the liquid destroys viruses and bacteria by selectively disrupting their membranes without harming human cells. Wright says substances like BCTP-a nanoemulsion of lipids-are much like skin moisturizers: “I like to call them killer cosmetics.”

Baker found that a mild, milky liquid called BCTP killed the influenza virus in cell cultures and in the nasal passages of lab mice. Craig Wright, chief research scientist a Columbia, Md.-based Novavax-the company that developed BCTP-explains that the liquid destroys viruses and bacteria by selectively disrupting their membranes without harming human cells. Wright says substances like BCTP-a nanoemulsion of lipids-are much like skin moisturizers: “I like to call them killer cosmetics.”

Baker says his team hopes to begin clinical trials of the anti-microbial agent “in a couple of years,”and they’re investigating the use of BCTP to neutralize biological weapons such as anthrax.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting

With plans to create realistic synthetic embryos, grown in jars, Renewal Bio is on a journey to the horizon of science and ethics.

VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence

On key metrics, a VR experience elicited a response indistinguishable from subjects who took medium doses of LSD or magic mushrooms.

This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine

Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.