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Media Promises Cure for the Common Cold. Again.

By / 11.04.10

Flu season’s coming, so cue up the barrage of stories about how they’ve cured the common cold, for real this time.  The newest research that I’ll be cursing under my breath between vomiting jags comes from the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.  They found, contrary to accepted wisdom, that the body can kill a virus even after it’s entered a cell. Our own antibodies can attach to a virus and follow it when it enters a cell, at which point a protein called TRIM21 detects the antibody and kickstarts a previously-unknown process that can kill the virus in two hours or less. It was previously thought that antibodies only worked outside the cell.

The discovery opens the door to the development of a new class of antiviral drugs that work by enhancing this natural virus-killing machinery of the cell. Scientists believe the first clinical trials of new drugs based on the findings could begin within two to five years. [TheIndependent]

The theoretical drug would likely be delivered as a nasal spray or inhaler targeting the rhinovirus (common cold), the norovirus (vomiting), and the rotavirus (diarrhea cha cha cha). But if they cure the common cold, what will be kitty’s excuse for buying the codeine cough syrup from behind the counter?  Kitty needs it real bad.

[Banner pic via ICHC]


TAGSENGLANDNOROVIRUSRHINOVIRUSROTAVIRUSscienceUKUNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

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