MIT researchers working on universal anti-viral drugs
The drugs, which are still a long way away from human testing, let alone the market, work by latching onto a form of RNA only generated by viruses inside living cells and signalling those cells to kill themselves, MIT reports:
"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.
Cell suicide stops viruses because the organisms reproduce by reprogramming cells to become virus factories. Human cells have their own natural self-destruct systems, but many viruses have evolved mechanisms to short circuit them.
MIT researchers call their new drugs Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizers, or DRACO, which could make them a hit among older James Bond fans and younger Harry Potter fans, not to mention people with colds or far more severe infections.
Via Tinker Ready.