The recent news of the team led by Yasuhiro Tsukamoto, Veterinarian, Scientist, and President of Kyoto Prefectural University, and his team on the development of what could potentially become a simple in-home test kit for COVID-19 is opening a new path for much-needed alternatives for testing and therapeutics in fighting this pandemic. (Scientists develop a face mask that GLOWS in the dark when it detects Covid-19 in your breath)
What is fascinating is the story behind this discovery going back to Dr. Tsukamoto’s childhood fascination with dinosaurs and choosing to study ostriches as the closest species to dinosaurs alive today.
The research goes back 20 years when he observed the remarkable resilience against many infectious diseases that harm humans.
Dr. Tsukamoto then started injecting these birds with inactive germs and then collecting superbly potent antibodies produced from unfertilized ostrich eggs for therapeutics and now for germ detection.
Dr. Tsukamoto has developed other applications for using the antibodies, including hair loss, acne, and dengue treatment. However, a glowing SARS-CoV2 mask filter in the presence of UV light received broad press coverage. Whether or not the antibodies are suitable for a vaccine or other therapeutics remains to be seen; however, unlike many vaccines requiring super-low temperatures, ostrich antibodies are heat resistant.