In the news today is a report that scientists at Cambridge University feel that they have made a medical breakthrough that may see a cure for the common cold.
Scientists have discovered that antibodies attack viruses inside cells. While some antibodies fight in the way it was always understood, some other antibodies will follow a virus into a cell and fight it from within.
“Doctors have plenty of antibiotics to fight bacterial infections but few antiviral drugs. Although these are early days, and we don’t yet know whether all viruses are cleared by this mechanism, we are excited that our discoveries may open multiple avenues for developing new antiviral drugs,” Dr Leo James, Laboratory for Molecular Biology in Cambridge.
However, we have to ask – why do we need a cure for the common cold anyway? When was the last time somebody actually died of a cold? A cure for all forms of influenza would be worthwhile, but colds are usually just some sniffles. Do we need a cure? Surely the budgets for researching colds could be used elsewhere?
Well, actually this discovery may lead to a greater understanding of other viruses, so it could potentially lead to more cures for more dangerous viruses such as gastroenteritus. Viruses are still one of the biggest killers on the planet and are responsible for smallpox, chickenpox, shingles, herpes, polio, rabies, Ebola, hanta fever, Aids, influenza, colds, and various forms of cancer.