Thursday, August 11, 2011

DRACO Greatest discovery since penicillin?: A cure for everything - from colds to HIV - 11th Aug 2011

Image: The bottom row of images show viruses killing untreated human cells, but in the top pictures the drug used means there is no infection and cells are clear.

Scientists may have found a cure for the common cold, flu, HIV – and almost any other virus you can think of.

A drug that homes in on infected cells and makes them self-destruct has been created in the laboratory.

Its hit list includes human rhinoviruses – the bugs behind half of colds in adults and almost all colds in children – flu, polio, a stomach bug and deadly dengue fever.

But the drug, known by the acronym DRACO, is also expected to zap measles and German measles, cold sores, rabies and even HIV – and could be on pharmacy shelves in a decade.

Researcher Mike Rider said: ‘It’s certainly possible that there’s some virus that we aren’t able to treat but we haven’t found it yet.

'The discovery of antibiotics revolutionised the treatment of bacterial infections and we hope that this will revolutionise the treatment of viral infections.

‘There aren’t very many anti-viral drugs out there at the moment.’

Dr Rider, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S., has exploited cells’ natural defences against infection. Read More