All Your Virus Are Belong To Us

Thursday, August 11, 2011 

There’s an article in PLoS one (cited from /.) by some MIT Lincoln Lab researchers (Go Beavers!) published under the title “Broad-Spectrum Antiviral Therapeutics.” Typically the media reports of such articles vastly overstate the claims in the paper to make exciting headlines, but in this case the reports seem fair to modest.

If the approach they are describing, Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) Activated Caspase Oligomerizer (DRACO), works as well as in vitro tests and mouse tests indicate so far, viral infections could be as easy to manage as bacterial infections have been since antibiotics. Basically DRACO is a compound that can be introduced into a mouse (and very likely a person) infected with a virus or prophylactically in advance of risk of viral infection. Any infected cells will die within 24 hours. DRACO remains active for about 8 days and has prophylactic value when administered up to 6 days in advance of infection.

Posted at 01:34:02 GMT-0700

Category: Technology