Scientists are researching a new compound that could wipe out the common cold, influenza and many other viral infections.
The researcher behind it says the discovery could be bigger than penicillin with far less resistance.
Doctor Todd Rider is working on a way to cure viruses by getting virus-infected cells to commit suicide while keeping a person's healthy cells intact. He calls it DRACO.
Dr. Rider, Lead Scientist at Draper Lab says, "DRACO is looking for this particular type of RNA that is only made by viruses, made by a very, very broad spectrum of viruses and it finds that and knows that the cell is infected."
He created DRACO by combining three molecules. One invades cells in the body. Another detects viral RNA, and a third causes the infected cells to self- destruct. Without the infected cells, the virus cannot replicate.
"Think about a burglar alarm inside every house, DRACO works by rewiring certain parts of that burglar alarm to make them more effective," Dr. Rider says.
Once the DRACO treatment is produced, it is added to cells infected with viruses and tested.
Suba Narayanan, a Scientist at Draper lab, says, "We find that the DRACO does help um eliminate the virus and keep the healthy cells normal."
DRACO has worked against 15 viruses so far in Dr. Rider's experiments.
Dr. Rider says he hopes to get more funding so he can do further testing.
The treatment has been shown to be non-toxic to the entire cell types tested thus far including those from humans.
TOPIC: DRACO keeps the bad guys away!
VIRAL INFECTIONS: It's common knowledge that a cold or flu brings with it coughing, sneezing, headaches and more. Viral infections can happen in many places spread throughout the body. Viral infections aren't usually serious but can progress into something severe if treatment options aren't taken. General guidelines state that you should see a doctor if the symptoms persist for more than seven days and should contact a doctor immediately if you develop a red rash or feel pain in your upper chest. Unlike a bacterial infection, antibiotics can't help with viral infections and should not be taken. (Source: http://www.earlydoc.com/en/diseases/viral_infection)
CAUSES: If a virus makes it past the body's immune system, it will make its way into the body's cells and begins reproducing and multiplying. Eventually it spreads to cells throughout the body and leads to a viral infection. There are different ways to come in contact with a virus including being bitten by an insect or animal with the virus, touching surfaces containing the virus and eating food or drinking something contaminated with the virus. Doctors agree that the best defense against virus infections is to avoid getting a virus in the first place by constantly washing your hands with warm water and anti-bacterial soap. (Source: http://www.healthgrades.com/conditions/viral-diseases--causes)
NEW TECHNOLOGY: There may finally be a way to fight off the common cold and other viruses for good. DRACO (Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizer) is a compound created by researchers that utilizes a self-destruct protein to get virus-infected cells to commit suicide, while keeping healthy cells unharmed. In early tests on lab-grown cells, DRACO was found to cure 15 different viruses. The compound has also been used in the cells of lab mice for H1N1 and produced successful results. Researchers at the Draper Laboratory hope to receive more funding so they can begin testing in larger animals and eventually progress to human trials. (Source: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/BiodefenseRelated/Biodefense/Pages/DRACO.aspx)