COVID-19 fattens our body’s cells to help fuel its viral takeover, study finds | Scientific and technical news | Breaking News Updates

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COVID-19 is fattening our body’s cells to help fuel its viral takeover, with some fats increasing up to 64 times their normal levels, according to new research.

Scientists say the virus that causes COVID-19[feminine] undertakes a massive takeover of the body’s fat processing system, creating cellular stores of fat that allow it to hijack the body’s molecular machinery and cause disease.

With that in mind, they tried using weight-loss drugs and other fat-targeting compounds to try and stop the virus in cell culture.

Cut off from its fatty fuel, the virus stopped replicating within 48 hours, according to a study published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

The new study comes as infections have risen in all four UK countrieswith around 1.7 million having the virus last week.

“It’s exciting work, but it’s the start of a very long journey,” said Fikadu Tafesse, the study’s corresponding author and assistant professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Oregon Health & Science. University.

“We have an interesting observation, but we have a lot more to learn about the mechanisms of this disease.”

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Scientists involved in the study cautioned that the results with the weight-loss drugs were in cell culture, not in humans.

The team embarked on the study based on observations that people with a high body mass index (BMI) and conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes are more susceptible to COVID-19.

They studied the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on more than 400 lipids (fats are a subgroup of lipids) in two different human cell lines.

Scientists found a massive change in lipid levels, with some fats increasing up to 64 times.

In one cell line, almost 80% of the fats were altered by the virus; in the other, slightly more than half levels have been changed.

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