This new drug can work against viruses like antibiotics work against bacterial infections, according to the whizzes at MIT. Again, whoa.
You know why there’s no cure for the common cold? Because it’s a virus. AIDS? Mono? Viruses. A cold you can ride out, but AIDS eventually catches up with you.
The drug, called a DRACO (Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizers), works by targeting double-stranded RNA only found in viruses. It was tested against 15 viral infections and worked against all of them, including the common cold, the flu, H1N1 and polio — freakin’ polo!
“In theory, it should work against all viruses,” says Todd Rider, a senior staff scientist in Lincoln Laboratory’s Chemical, Biological, and Nanoscale Technologies Group who invented the new technology. (Quote taken from MIT).
One more time, WHOA!
I like science.
If anyone is interested in reading the published paper that corresponds to this research, it’s open-access here. Reassuringly, this looks like it was funded entirely through public funding, and the institute itself owns all the patents on previous work on the subject. So that’s about as close as you can get to a guarantee that if this actually turns out to be feasible as a drug for humans it’s relatively likely to end up being used as such. Good work, MIT.
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