August 15

The Los Angeles Times reports that MIT scientists have created a drug that “…takes advantage of a molecule called double-stranded RNA, which is produced by many, many viruses when they infect mammalian cells. Uninfected, our cells usually don’t make this double-stranded RNA, and to some extent our cells have evolved to recognize this structure and respond. Just not potently enough. The drug created by the MIT team can enter mammalian cells and is engineered to induce the cells to commit suicide if — and only if — they contain double-stranded RNA.”

The scientists’ preliminary studies were effective against 15 virus types, including Dengue fever and H1N1.  It will be interesting to see if the next phase of research can replicate this significant level of success.

For the full LA Times article, visit http://lat.ms/q077Jb

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