realcleverscience:
I had to reblog this in case you missed it from the Science feed. Why? Because this. is. AWESOME! (And, of course, DARPA has their hands in it, which is like having a ‘mad-science seal of approval’.) RCS Highlights: Most bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, discovered decades ago. However, such drugs are useless against viral infections, including influenza, the common cold, and deadly hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola. Now, in a development that could transform how viral infections are treated, a team of researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory has designed a drug [dubbed DRACO] that can identify cells that have been infected by any type of virus, then kill those cells to terminate the infection… The drug works by targeting a type of RNA produced only in cells that have been infected by viruses. “In theory, it should work against all viruses,”… Because the technology is so broad-spectrum, it could potentially also be used to combat outbreaks of new viruses, such as the 2003 SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak, Rider says… Combining those two elements [one to target infected cells; one to initiate cell death] is a “great idea” and a very novel approach, says Karla Kirkegaard, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University. “Viruses are pretty good at developing resistance to things we try against them, but in this case, it’s hard to think of a simple pathway to drug resistance,” she says… The researchers are now testing DRACO against more viruses in mice and beginning to get promising results. Rider says he hopes to license the technology for trials in larger animals and for eventual human clinical trials. bittertwee:

New Drug Could Cure Nearly Any Viral Infection!!

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