All-Purpose Anti-Viral Actually Seems Like a Bad Idea

The holy grail of drugs right now is an “all purpose anti-viral”: one drug that can be used against multiple viral infections. Any anti-virals that currently exist are designed to kill one virus, not any virus it comes across. This is why the common cold is so hard to kill. One scientists at MIT is claiming to have pulled it off, but we have some concerns.

Dear Todd Rider:

Hi, how are you? We’re big fans of your work, and finding an all-purpose anti-viral is a noble goal. We’re just a little sketchy on how it works.

Don’t get us wrong, your research is definitely interesting: that you’ve wired together two proteins, one as an alarm, and the other to kill an infected cell, is a pretty clever solution. It’s that whole “kill the infected cell” thing that kind of catches our attention, though.

Uh, there are a lot of viruses in the cells, dude. We’re concerned that your drug, while well-meaning, will be introduced to the populace and start killing their cells, meaning they’ll roam the streets, moaning, and attacking anything they see.

While we enjoy the idea of a zombie apocalypse in theory, in reality, it’d really suck, especially that whole “no Internet” thing. So, please rule out the possibility of unleashing a zombie apocalypse before continuing your research.

Thank you,

Gamma Squad Staff

[ via the uncreative types at the BBC ]