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New protein neutralizes COVID in tiny human kidney

Northwestern Medicine scientists have developed a new protein that acts as a trickster to neutralize the COVID-19 infection in a human kidney organoid, a miniature organ made from stem cells in the lab. The protein is a variant of ACE2 〈angiotensin converting enzyme-2〉, the receptor the coronavirus uses to enter and infect human cells. The modified protein intercepts the S spike of the coronavirus and fools it into binding to it rather than the real ACE2 receptor in cell membranes.