Scientist Wants to Cure the Common Cold
David Proud, a professor in the faculty of medicine at the University of Calgary in Canada, is optimistic that his gene response research may lead to preventative or curative treatments against the common cold.
Most studies isolate specific symptoms of the common cold, but Proud's research utilized gene chip technology to take a comprehensive look at how an infected body responds to rhinovirus as a whole.
"People have looked piecemeal at this thing before, looking at perhaps one thing here and one thing there. But with the advent of this super, new gene chip technology that lets us look at the gene assessment from every gene, we were able to do a really comprehensive look," said Proud.
"We really understand much more about how the virus might be triggering all these effects, and that I think that gives us a road map."
A recently discovered antiviral protein called viperin plays a natural role in our body's fight against the common cold, said Proud. Strengthening these types of proteins could lead to new ways in the future of treating the underlying cause of colds.
The study was done in collaboration with scientists at the University of Virginia and the Procter & Gamble Company.
"Advances in our understanding of the biology of the common cold may eventually lead to improvements in treatment or methods for prevention of colds," said Ron Turner of the University of Virginia, one of the study's authors, in a statement.
Identifying effective preventative measures against the common cold will not only provide relief for basic infections, but may help prevent more complex chest/lung conditions such as bronchitis and emphysema.
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