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Medical silver bullet: New drug cures most viral infections

Researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Lab have developed technology that may someday cure the common cold, influenza, and other ailments; the researchers tested their drug against fifteen viruses, and found it was effective against all of them — including rhinoviruses that cause the common cold, H1N1 influenza, a stomach virus, a polio virus, dengue fever, and several other types of hemorrhagic fever. Most bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, discovered decades ago. Such drugs, however, are useless against viral infections, including influenza, the common cold and deadly hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola. 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,” says Todd Rider, a senior staff scientist in Lincoln Laboratory’s Chemical, Biological, and Nanoscale Technologies Group who invented the new technology. 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 said.  Source

 Medical silver bullet: New drug cures most viral infections