Scientists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham claim to have found a molecule that prevents the formation of tooth cavities
Sadanandan Velu and Hui Wu claim to have created a molecule that prevents the development of tooth cavities. According to the scientists, their molecule compound inhibits the bacteria Streptococcus mutans from creating an environment on teeth that leads to rotting. Streptococcus mutans is allegedly the primary culprit behind dental cavities.
Streptococcus mutans create a biofilm on the surface of our teeth, under which it produces lactic acid. This lactic acid builds tooth decay. Velu and Wu believe that their molecule compound stops this biofilm from forming in the first place.
The researchers explained how they started with hypothetical testing of approximately 500,000 drug-like compounds via a computer simulation
Consequently, they ascertained that 90 of those showed promise. The researchers then tested 90 in vitro, at which point Velu and We were able to narrow the compounds down to seven. The most effective being one called #G43.
Unfortunately, the researchers then tested the compound upon innocent rats. It was with these tests on rats that the scientists found that #G43 prevented cavities forming. Consequently, it is still unknown if #G43 will work with humans, especially considering that more than 90% of tests on animals never translate to cures for humans. Essentially, these tests cause pointless suffering to the animals these scientists exploit.
Should humans feel hopeful that this will cure their cavities?
What the study did not reveal, is if there is any potential harm to humans from this compound. What effect would this molecule have on the rest of the human body? No part of the human body is an island; our bloodstream carries anything we place into our bodies around our entire body. And of course, we have vastly different bodies to rats.
More often than not, when the media declares that scientists are onto a miracle cure, this is the last we hear of it
In truth, only 90% of the time, supposed hopeful cures fail when they reach the human testing stage. According to the former secretary for the US Department of Health and Human Services, Michael O Leavitt: “Currently, nine out of ten experimental drugs fail in clinical studies because we cannot accurately predict how they will behave in people based on laboratory and animal studies.”
Consequently, we know that Wu and Velu appear to have found a cure for dental cavities in rats. Despite the fact that we do not know what the long-term effects of the molecule will have on a rat’s entire body. Therefore, we only know that there is a tiny chance that this supposed cure for rotting teeth will translate to humans.
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