Synthetic plastic antibodies successfully protected mice from lethal bee venom.

Scientists are reporting the first evidence that a plastic antibody -- an artificial version of the proteins produced by the body's immune system to recognize and fight infections and foreign substances -- works in the bloodstream of a living animal.

Kenneth Shea, Yu Hosino, and colleagues developed a method for making plastic nanoparticles that mimic natural antibodies in their ability to latch onto an antigen.

Their new research, together with Naoto Oku's group of the University Shizuoka Japan, established that plastic melittin antibodies worked like natural antibodies.

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