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The Ebola virus is able to turn off the body’s natural immune response. But researchers at Auburn University believe they’ve developed an “on-switch.”Simply known by its lab identification number, WY3161 is a relatively small molecule. The compound appears to reverse the immune-blocking effects of certain viruses, including Ebola, when tested on cells from green monkeys.“In the future, what we learn from how viruses turn off the immune system is going to open up these other 10 or 12 categories of viruses,” said Stewart Schneller, the Auburn chemistry professor leading the study. “There may be leads there.”The Auburn team is working in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and plans to publish details of its findings later this month in the journal Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry.Because WY3161 is in a relatively early phase of testing and development, Schneller said it will not be ready for use on current Ebola patients. However, the compound is among a series of potential treatments for future outbreaks.