Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Could this be the Cure for the Common Cold...?

Now that winter is fast approaching, the news of a possible cure for the common cold is even more welcoming... As of now this 'cure' is not readily available at your local pharmacy, but scientists believe that it could be ready to go into clinical testing in two to five years... The study will be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
It has long been assumed that the body's last chance to eliminate a virus is before it enters a cell--once it's inside, it's game over. You can kill the cell, but doing that too often is harmful to the body's health. But this new study shows that the body actually has its own in-cell defense mechanism that can attack viruses once they've entered a cell--and they're hopeful that this defense mechanism can be enhanced through external means, making the cells even stronger. Antibodies in the bloodstream attach themselves to free-floating viruses, and are taken intact with the virus once it enters into a cell. Before that virus gets a chance to hijack the cell, a naturally occurring protein called TRIM21 recognizes the antibody, and further notices that there's an interloper (the virus) attached to it--which, according to the strict bouncer-like rules of the TRIM21 protein, is not allowed. (Antibodies can't roll one-virus deep, is what I'm saying.) The TRIM21 protein then triggers the cell's defense mechanisms, which can destroy the virus in as little as one or two hours--long before the virus has a chance to take over the cell. 
Nature always has a knack of balancing the order of things... I wonder what future 'cold' or disease will take the place of the common cold once the cure goes into effect...? hhhmmmmmm...

via popsci

No comments:

Post a Comment