Molecule of the Week: Tamiflu

9 May
Tamiflu, also known as oseltamivir (courtesy of wikipedia)

Tamiflu, also known as oseltamivir (courtesy of wikipedia)

Okay, so I’m officially geeking out with a new idea for a regular blog feature. But here it is, Molecule of the Week!

What you see before you is a ball and stick model of oseltamivir, the drug Tamiflu, your friendly neighborhood antiviral drug for influenza, including H1N1.

How does this bad boy work? Flu viruses need humans or other animals solely to hijack the machinery of our cells to make many new copies of the virus. Tamiflu shuts the process down in the body by blocking  the release of the new viruses from those infected cells. Basically it puts the viruses in chemical lockdown so they can’t infect new cells.

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4 Responses to “Molecule of the Week: Tamiflu”

  1. Joe Bonner May 9, 2009 at 1:13 pm #

    I think this is a great idea, and an excellent choice for the inaugural MotW 😉

  2. Jennifer Fink May 9, 2009 at 5:56 pm #

    OK, I’m a science geek too, ’cause I think the Molecule of the Week idea is pretty cool.

    Which reminds me — you can build some pretty cool molecules (and DNA replicas) with toothpicks and candy. Just ask my boys.

    • webbofscience May 9, 2009 at 6:08 pm #

      Awesome– I love fun (and edible) chemistry projects.

  3. webbofscience May 9, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    Oh, good, so I haven’t completely gone over the edge of geekdom. I love the twitteresque abbreviation– MotW, fantastic!

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