It’s name is DRACO (double-stranded RNA activated caspase oligomerizers). I wonder if the person who named it wanted it to forever be associated with the bad kid in Harry Potter? Is it an indication of what might happen to this new wonder drug?
So what does it do?
Basically, scientists at MIT are on their way to creating a treatment that will be as effective with viruses as penicillin is with bacteria. Trials have shown that it is helped annihilate the common cold, H1N1 influenza, dengue fever, a polio virus, a stomach virus and several types of hemorrhagic fever.
How far away is this cure-all?
Scientists are testing on lab rats at the moment, so an actual drug that can be purchased, is still a long way off. The next step in the testing road is to now license the treatment to use in larger animal trials, and then human trials. So anyone who is suffering the flu right now, don’t go holding your breath, since it may be a decade before we see any drug in a form that may be beneficial to humans.
Science vs Science-Fiction
In my book, Emeline and the Mutants, a miracle AIDS cure is found – with disastrous results. Anyone who has read Mira Grant’s Feed, will find a similar tale, but this time woven around a cold wonder-drug that turns everyone into zombies.
Is this even possible?
Well, probably not, but then again, who’s to say what sorts of complications will arise from taking the body’s own living cells defensive proteins and making them commit suicide (this is scientifically known as ‘apoptosis’) in a bid to kill the virus?
Want more info?
Try these websites:
- MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Time Healthland – MIT Scientists Develop a Drug to Fight Any Viral Infection
- US News Health – ‘Superdrug’ Against Range of Viruses Shows Promise in Animal Trial
- Feed – by author Mira Grant
- Emeline and the Mutants – Purchase through Amazon