Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Breakthrough Portends Cure For the Common Cold

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the also-portends-breathless-headlines dept.

Medicine 180

breadboy21 writes with this excerpt from the Independent: "Scientists have been able to show for the first time that the body's immune defenses can destroy the common cold virus after it has actually invaded the inner sanctum of a human cell, a feat that was believed until now to be impossible. The discovery opens the door to the development of a new class of antiviral drugs that work by enhancing this natural virus-killing machinery of the cell. Scientists believe the first clinical trials of new drugs based on the findings could begin within two to five years."

cancel ×

180 comments

Stunning Research by Dr. Strangelove (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099466)

But studies at the Medical Research Council's laboratory have found that the antibodies produced by the immune system, which recognise and attack invading viruses, actually ride piggyback into the inside of a cell with the invading virus.

Yes but these 'Slim Pickens' antibodies are often regarded as clinically insane by the others that watch in confusion as the suicidal antibody hoots and hollers, waiving its antibody cowboy hat around as the virus blasts them both into the cell.

Re:Stunning Research by Dr. Strangelove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34099588)

I think I saw the movie, isn't this one where it evolves into something deadly turning 95% of the population into zombies? Thank God for the world crisis, I can get bullets a lot cheaper now. Oh, and thanks for the forewarning! Oh, and canned food, can't forget that ...

Re:Stunning Research by Dr. Strangelove (3, Funny)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099652)

don't worry. in real life, we have both will smith and bruce willis to save humanity. unless chuck norris gets angry with them being more famous or something.

Cold calling (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100302)

This is just marketing to upgrade my free common cold to uncommon colds. Then fees for gold level colds and platinum level colds.

Article seems to be marketing baloney (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100412)

Perhaps there is some research going on there but a description of it was not found in the article. The article makes no sense. It calls antibodies "war machines". Antibodies just bind proteins. They don't even destroy proteins though often they bind them in ways that inhibits their action until they can be degraded by other proteins. If an anti-body is binding to the coat protein of a virus then it is possible that it can inhibit the viral penetration of the cell. But once the virus dumps it's payload into then the coat protein gets shed. Even if the antibody were still clinging to the coat, the payload is already inside. An antibody that made it inside the cell would have nothing to do! TO be able to do something the antibody would need to be able to bind a DNA or RNA from the virus payload. But antibodies are specialists: an antibody that bound to the coat protein would be very unlikely to also bind DNA or RNA, though it's not beyond possibility. The antibody, assuming the cell did not simply destroy it, could possibly bind to a coat protein produced in the cell by the action of the virus but there are going to be many of those proteins produced so binding to one would do nothing much.

this is indeed marketing. I wonder what the actual science was.

Re:Article seems to be marketing baloney (2, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100962)

The article makes no sense. It calls antibodies "war machines". Antibodies just bind proteins

But you see, "war" is such a successful human activity, solving all kinds of problems that couldn't be solved any other way far more easily and at less human cost than any other method, that it is now used as a metaphor for any enterprise that people expect to be easily successful.

Thus, the "War on Poverty"--which eliminated poverty--and the "War on Drugs"--which eliminated recreational drug use--and the "War on Terror"--which eliminated terrorism.

As you can see, "war" is such a great metaphor for wildly successful enterprises that everyone wants to use it!

Re:Stunning Research by Dr. Strangelove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100358)

Wait, the common cold is a virus? I'm already immune then since I use a mac.

Atschoo (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34099478)

Nature will find a way to give us another sneeze.

Re:Atschoo (1)

c0mpliant (1516433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099490)

Ian Malcolm is that you?

Two to five YEARS??? (5, Funny)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099484)

My cold will be over by then.

Re:Two to five YEARS??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34099528)

it'll take that long to get FDA approval for the trials as well as completing pre clinical and analysing the results.

Re:Two to five YEARS??? (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099690)

Given they are in Cambridge, England, they are probably less concerned about FDA approval.

Can't say I know how long approval in the UK will take either, and I agree that if anything does come of this it will be at the long end of their estimate at the soonest.

Re:Two to five YEARS??? (2, Interesting)

ruffled (1176397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099784)

Can't say I know how long approval in the UK will take either, and I agree that if anything does come of this it will be at the long end of their estimate at the soonest.

at the soonest:
lab prototype design and lead modification (now) - 2-5yrs
clinical trials - +5yrs
regulatory approval and marketing - +2yrs

and given at any stage the project could just break down with delays.. hope you'll be holding onto that cold for a while

Re:Two to five YEARS??? (3, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099808)

hope you'll be holding onto that cold for a while

Actually, I'll be out exercising. [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Two to five YEARS??? (2, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099868)

Sometimes I am caught thinking that reducing these delays (by keeping the whole process safe of course) may be one of the most important things to do in our society.

Does anyone know whether these procedure are optimised to reduce the number of casualties or to reduce the number of potential lawsuits.

In other words, is the main problem legal/political rather than technical ?

Re:Two to five YEARS??? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100432)

Does anyone know whether these procedure are optimised to reduce the number of casualties or to reduce the number of potential lawsuits.

Reducing the number of casualties is reducing the number of potential lawsuits. It also happens to be quite ethical and sensible.

Seriously though, I think the only people who will be wanting to push cures for the common cold are our employers. I can deal with a slight runny nose every so often. Besides, as Albanach points out above - and my own experience confirms - you get less frequent/severe colds when you have an active lifestyle and feel healthy.

Re:Two to five YEARS??? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100616)

you get less frequent/severe colds when you have an active lifestyle and feel healthy.

Remember this is /. -- that won't be a significant factor here.

Re:Two to five YEARS??? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100908)

Reducing the number of casualties is reducing the number of potential lawsuits. It also happens to be quite ethical and sensible.

Sure, but reducing the number of lawsuits does not reduce the number of casualties. Depending on what the core objective is, some delays may be useless (or even detrimental) to saving lives. If you have a cure to a disease that kills 1000 people a year but that your cure will maybe cause 10 death per year due to side effects, you can save 1000 lives that would not die because of you but would cause more or less directly 10 deaths that you become legally responsible of.

I think some of the procedures are more useful to shield some people from blame than to increase a product safety.

Seriously though, I think the only people who will be wanting to push cures for the common cold are our employers. I can deal with a slight runny nose every so often.

Sure, but I hijacked this discussion to talk about the more general subject of medicine testing.

Re:Two to five YEARS??? (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101168)

...you get less frequent/severe colds when you have an active lifestyle and feel healthy.

So... lots of parties and sex with lots of anonymous partners?

Sweet!

Oh, wait, this is Slashdot.

Re:Two to five YEARS??? (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100556)

Probably a little of both. realistically I think that a "staggered" system of testing and approval would make a lot of sense. Rate patients on a 1-5 scale of:

1) You gonna die: The disease you is invariably fatal, or has reached a phase where the chance of stopping it is remote at best. If these people want to make themselves human experimental subjects on the off chance something works, let them. Nothing is likely to make matters worse at any rate. Drugs for diseases in this category require the least testing and you sign waivers before using most of them.

2) You're quite likely to die, but there's stuff we can try: Similar to one, but includes diseased with 10-20% survival rates. Drug for diseases in this category can be rushed to market, but require some additional testing. These people's chances still aren't good though, so if they want to take chances with risky treatment, it's probably not hurting much. Waivers again required for the more cutting edge treatments.

3) The disease you have is often fatal, but we have lots of treatments options: These people have the various cancers, heart, and nerve related diseases that the bulk of medical research is focused on. There's a number of main line treatments for what they have, but these treatments aren't 100%. New drugs in this field should undergo the normal level of rigorous testing that we expect. The testing should be sped up as much as possible, but it should be done. Of course people in this category (if not cured or stabilized) often move into category 2 or 1. When this happens they can reevaluate their options. Letting someone die of an untested treatment for a disease which has tested treatments would be tragedy.

4) The disease you have is potentially fatal, but very rarely is for normal people, or is debilitating but not fatal: Things like severe Flu, or Pneumonia would fit the first criteria, things like MS or Parkinson's the second. These are the drugs that should get the testing process that we typically see now. They're important. People die of them or have their lives permanently damaged by them, but in relative terms they don't kill very many people, or they are controllable to one degree or another by existing medication.

5) You have an annoying disease: The common cold is definitely in this batch. These drugs should have the lowest testing priority. There should be controls in place to make sure that they aren't totally forgotten about, but if it takes an extra year or two, who cares? There should also be more thorough testing of these drugs. It would be pretty annoying to take something for your extremely non-fatal cold and wind up dying of it.

biochemistry (0, Troll)

nido (102070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100990)

In other words, is the main problem legal/political rather than technical ?

Yes, but it's not the sort of problem you think. The politics of the situation is that bicarbonate [wikipedia.org] can't be patented, so the drug companies have to hunt for something that can be.

The best thing a person can do to prevent the common cold is to keep their body's acid/alkaline levels in balance. This is best done through diet (plenty of vegetables and fruits) and exercise (which burns off acids). If you don't want to eat right or exercise, you can consume bicarbonate directly, on an empty stomach.

A box of baking soda is $0.46 at Wal-Mart, but that's likely to throw a body's sodium/potassium levels out of balance because most people get lots of sodium and not enough potassium in their diets. Potassium Bicarbonate [easycart.net] is a good option if you don't want to eat lots of vegetables or exercise.

This is basic biochemistry - there's no need to wait a decade for some wonder-drug.

Re:Two to five YEARS??? (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101042)

I'm fairly certain that the legal problem only arises if there's technical issues. For example, you have no suit against a drug manufacturer unless you get a side effect that's not mentioned by the manufacturer, which is decidedly a technical issue.

Re:Two to five YEARS??? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100602)

I expect they will be plenty concerned about FDA approval, wherever they are. The USA is a large and lucrative market.

Re:Two to five YEARS??? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34099650)

My cold will be over by then.

thank you
seks shop [erotikmagaza.com]

Re:Two to five YEARS??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34099904)

My cold will be over by then.

Sniffle. Udfortudately, mide wod't.

Side effects (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34099494)

Includes sudden death. If you or a loved one has died after taking this drug. WE CAN GET YOU MONEY!

This is fantastic news! (5, Insightful)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099496)

I look forward to seeing how this annoyance will evolve into a serious threat

Re:This is fantastic news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34099536)

There are over 200 viruses under the "cold" category. Don't hold your breath expecting a quick, simple and over the counter cure. Being rather cynical myself, I predict nothing will come to market either. Billions are spent each year old cold remedies that alleviate some of the symptoms (or so they claim), and there's no way big-pharma will give up that cashcow, even if there was a cure.

Re:This is fantastic news! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099566)

There are over 200 viruses under the "cold" category.

That's irrelevant if a drug of this type could improve your body's ability to ward off any virus in the category. None of them are going to cure you in a finger-snap. I wonder however how many flu symptoms are the effect of your body's defenses, and whether any of them will be worsened by such a drug.

Re:This is fantastic news! (5, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099598)

I wonder however how many flu symptoms are the effect of your body's defenses, and whether any of them will be worsened by such a drug

The cytokine storm that causes fatalities with some influenza variants is due (roughly speaking) to the body breaking down the virus too quickly, swamping its ability to dispose of the byproducts. This looks like it would cause your body to break down the virus faster, which could be problematic.

Re:This is fantastic news! (4, Funny)

PseudonymousBraveguy (1857734) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099670)

None of them are going to cure you in a finger-snap.

"The average cold lasts seven days, but if you take this drug it will be over in a week"

Re:This is fantastic news! (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100982)

Personally, my average cold is about 1-3 days. Wife gets cold, I don't care and I drink from same cups/etc. I get sniffles next day, followed by dry throat. By the evening of the next day, my nose is stuffed. Wake up the next day and I feel good as new.

Similar thing with the Flu. Entire family gets flu. About 2 days after everyone else gets it, I finally get it. I feel like crap for 1-2 days, then I start clearing up. Usually fewer than 5 days to get over the flu. rest of my family takes about 1-2 weeks.

When I get sick on my own, I stay away from everyone else because I assume I got something bad. When someone else gets sick, I don't care. I figure the extra anti-bodies is good for me.

I've only missed school twice in my life to being sick. Once was chicken pox, the other time I accidentally swallowed a bit of mouthwash. Man that stuff does a number on your stomach.

Re:This is fantastic news! (3, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099604)

Don't hold your breath expecting a quick, simple and over the counter cure.

Holding your breath is a quick, simple cure, as long as you can do it long enough.

Re:This is fantastic news! (0, Troll)

PseudonymousBraveguy (1857734) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099838)

cure

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:This is fantastic news! (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100120)

Shh! If I can convince enough stupid people this actually works I could make the world a better place.

Re:This is fantastic news! (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100716)

Well, the cold would not be the worst of your problems anymore.

Re:This is fantastic news! (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100720)

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

You have used that phrase at least once. I don't think it means what you think it means.

Re:This is fantastic news! (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100594)

It's impossible. You'll start breathing again once you pass out. You could use artificial means to prevent that perhaps, but you wouldn't really be "holding your breath" at that point.

Re:This is fantastic news! (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101108)

Well, if someone can "walk" with an artificial leg...

Re:This is fantastic news! (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099666)

And after you have had one you are immune to it for life*(well until your immune system goes down the shitter anyway). Thats why I try to get as many cold viruses as I can right now so I can get it over with while I'm young*

*Do not actually try this, almost certainly by the time the virus gets back to you it will have mutated to the point where your body is no longer immune

Re:This is fantastic news! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099700)

Like with flu vaccines, right? Those have been a disaster of epic proportions.

Re:This is fantastic news! (4, Interesting)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099990)

This isn't like antibiotics though. This is a naturally occurring chemical that your body produces. The human body has been fighting colds for ages and they haven't evolved into a serious threat, nor will it. It's key to survival is the fact that it doesn't kill you. That way it can spread and infect more people, thus insuring its survival. However, that said, what effects throwing in an excess of antibodies that your body would normally produce does to the immune response over time is another question entirely. Could the body come to assume there was a magical load of antibodies going to come on its own (the drug) and decide not to waste the resources to make any of its own anymore? That's more my worry. (sort of like how a certain type of diabetes is induced rather than genetic)

Re:This is fantastic news! (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100278)

The think is that it is produced in response to the presence of a virus.

What happens to a cell that sees TRIM21 when not infected? I suspect bad things, there's a reason that mechanism isn't always active.

Drawback to curing the common cold (3, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099504)

We reduce the number of ways we can defend against Martian war machines.

Flash game (2, Interesting)

SpinningCone (1278698) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099532)

while reading the article i couldn't help thinking that the immune system would make a cool Flash game.

Re:Flash game (1, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099580)

My lady is always after me to make a game like that (as if I were a programmer) because of the benefits of visualization vis-a-vis healing. I remember there was a shooter game like that for Apple 2... Plasmania? Yes, that's it. I bet you can get it from the Newton Apple archive and play it in emulation if you care :)

Re:Flash game (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34099860)

your lady is actually a man, because you are a fag.

Re:Flash game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34099714)

There was a really nice edutainment game based around exactly this. Well, partially at least.

It was called Cellcraft.
Cellcraft on Kongregate [kongregate.com]
Don't blame me if the link doesn't work, blame the inability to paste on here now because SOME people are too lazy to make a filter entry for spam sites.

Re:Flash game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100222)

If you're 8 years old:

http://pbskids.org/fetch/games/germinator/ [pbskids.org]

NO! (2, Insightful)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099552)

Unless you have a depressed immune system, I for one would NOT want this. I think part of the problem we have today with "people getting sick" is that at the first sniffle, we are off to the doctor, "demanding" an antibiotic or something to make us feel better. Doctors are partly to blame because they use to just give in and give it to us, even though most of the time, it wasn't a bacteria problem, but a virus problem. Now, a lot of antibiotics don't work, because the little bugs have gotten use to the stuff and don't work at all. Along with that, we don't eat enough raw food...everything these days is preprocessed. We don't eat raw cooked veggies, everything comes out of a can. We don't eat home-made bread, it comes from the store. We don't get enough "natural" products to protect us against invaders. And, as much of a pain in the butt as it is, we don't let ourselves "be sick". Sometimes letting the body fight off a cold, or small virus is better than trying to beat it. It helps our immune system "buck up" and keep us healthy the next time a little invader hits us. The other thing that just gets me ticked is people NOT WASHING THEIR HANDS when they use the restroom. I see it daily...people walk in, do their business, and walk out. H*ll, didn't your momma tell you to wash up after you do your business? Nice to see that some research has found those alcohol based hand cleaners are kind of worthless. Just use a little soap and warm water. Soapbox (no pun) mode off.... I'm an outside contractor who works around a large hospital...I see a LOT of garbage that people do daily...and scary...sometimes from the medical staff!

Re:NO! (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099608)

Nice rant. No, actually, completely irrelevant rant. This research shows how your body breaks down viruses and provides a potential means of stimulating this response. If anything, it makes it harder for viruses to adapt, because they're faced with exactly the same defence mechanism as without this boost, it's just more powerful so they are destroyed faster and have less time to adapt.

Re:NO! (2, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099786)

It's possible that there is a good reason why that mechanism is not already more powerful.

Re:NO! (3, Insightful)

atdt1991 (1069776) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099882)

It's possible that there is a good reason why that mechanism is not already more powerful.

This is completely blind speculation. It's also possible, using similar blind speculation, that this pathway is the virus panacea we've been waiting for, and that it will ultimately prove to be the death of all human-susceptible viruses ever. Take THAT, HIV!

Re:NO! (5, Insightful)

Jayemji (1054886) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100464)

That reason could be that the metabolic expense is too high for someone who lives off 1000 Calories a day. Not really a problem for most 1st world folks nowadays...

Re:NO! (5, Insightful)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099886)

Nice rant. No, actually, completely irrelevant rant. This research shows how your body breaks down viruses and provides a potential means of stimulating this response. If anything, it makes it harder for viruses to adapt, because they're faced with exactly the same defence mechanism as without this boost, it's just more powerful so they are destroyed faster and have less time to adapt.

You tried to label a comment as "completely irrelevant" but still you demonstrate you fail to understand the basic aspects pertaining to evolution. The thing is, "making it harder to adapt" does not, nor it can ever mean "making it impossible to adapt". They will adapt. It will only take a single virus to survive a stimulated response for it to replicate and propagate. With all the other unadapted virus out of the picture, the replicas of the adapted virus will in essence have an entire ecosystem at their disposal, where they will freely propagate, infect and replicate. Your poor understanding of this subject is what lead incompetent health officials and irresponsible patients to contribute to the development of the so called superbugs [wikipedia.org] , which are no laughing matter.

But hey, keep spewing uneducated drivel and accuse those who demonstrate a better understanding of the subject as making "completely irrelevant rants". Meanwhile nature does work in spite of your lack of understanding.

Re:NO! (3, Interesting)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100530)

Nice rant. No, actually, completely irrelevant rant. This research shows how your body breaks down viruses and provides a potential means of stimulating this response. If anything, it makes it harder for viruses to adapt, because they're faced with exactly the same defence mechanism as without this boost, it's just more powerful so they are destroyed faster and have less time to adapt.

You tried to label a comment as "completely irrelevant" but still you demonstrate you fail to understand the basic aspects pertaining to evolution. The thing is, "making it harder to adapt" does not, nor it can ever mean "making it impossible to adapt". They will adapt. It will only take a single virus to survive a stimulated response for it to replicate and propagate. With all the other unadapted virus out of the picture, the replicas of the adapted virus will in essence have an entire ecosystem at their disposal, where they will freely propagate, infect and replicate. Your poor understanding of this subject is what lead incompetent health officials and irresponsible patients to contribute to the development of the so called superbugs [wikipedia.org] , which are no laughing matter.

But hey, keep spewing uneducated drivel and accuse those who demonstrate a better understanding of the subject as making "completely irrelevant rants". Meanwhile nature does work in spite of your lack of understanding.

Actually, in this case, the person you're replying to is right. If the stimulated response is causing your body to use the exact same method of attack against the viruses, but just cause it to act faster, than it is lowering the chance for the virus to adapt. After all, the ones who are susceptible to the immune system response are already being killed by this response, and are getting a greater number of generations in which to develop a mutation that might make them more resistant to it. If you can make the immune system kill them faster using the same method, then yes, they could still adapt, but now you're giving them less time to do it. Assuming it's even possible for them to develop a mutation that can stop it, which is not necessarily a given.

Re:NO! (1)

Whatsisname (891214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100542)

And that's why we've had epidemics of super-powered vaccine resistant smallpox, polio, and whooping cough sweep through and destroy huge populations.........or not.

Re:NO! (1)

atdt1991 (1069776) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100562)

A virus that is not competing with fellows of its own variety do not have an entire ecosystem at their disposal unless they're in a body entirely clean of other organisms with a completely compromised immune system.

Re:NO! - apparently against preventative medicine (1)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099634)

Everyone else is clamoring for preventative medicine saying health care costs will go down, but you say let them get sick. Interesting

Re:NO! (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099716)

to summarize... store bought bread and shitty hands = bad.. got it

Re:NO! (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100678)

And, as much of a pain in the butt as it is, we don't let ourselves "be sick". Sometimes letting the body fight off a cold, or small virus is better than trying to beat it. It helps our immune system "buck up" and keep us healthy the next time a little invader hits us.

Then:

I see it daily...people walk in, do their business, and walk out. H*ll, didn't your momma tell you to wash up after you do your business?

Given your theory that more exposure to minor pathogens let's your immune system exercise and get buff, shouldn't you *not* wash your hands? I mean, you're not likely to get HIV from touching your own willy. The worst you're likely to find down there is some minor stomach bug. Seems to me, given the rest of your rant, that we should just calk this one up to "more exposure to minor pathogens" and call it a day.

Totally wrong (4, Funny)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099630)

No, no, no, no, no. This is just silly.

I have seen several Star Trek episodes where they emphatically pointed out that they had never found a cure for the common cold. So how could there be one in the mere 21st century? Idiots.

Transporters that can reverse the aging process? Sure. (Though somehow they repeatedly forget this and continue to die of old age.) A cure for most every disease except the common cold? Sure! But a cure for the common cold itself? Impossible!

Re:Totally wrong (2, Interesting)

DarthBender (1071972) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099712)

ah, but there was a Next Gen episode where Data was practicing sneezing (to more emulate humans) and Wes asks him if he has a cold. Data responds "a cold what?", and Wes says something to the effect that it's a disease people used to get.

Why oh why do I remember this?

Re:Totally wrong (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100100)

Why oh why do I remember this?

There must be a high concentration of gamma rays in your parents' basement that gives you superhuman powers. Either that or you're a cyborg sent back in time from the future. Obviously one of those options is just ridiculous...

Two to five years??? (0)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099644)

How about 28 days later? Oh please... someone find a way to mod this as "lame."

To paraphrase Homer Simpson... (1)

trurl7 (663880) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099682)

Two to five years?! But I'm sick now!

Somebody call Will Smith (1)

athlon02 (201713) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099684)

Somebody call Will Smith. This sounds like a good post-apocalyptic future type of movie... you know maybe with some drug whose side effect is to turn people into flesh eating zombies. And Will Smith could be an unlikely hero who captures one of the zombies and finds a cure just in time. That sounds just up his alley. Wait! What?! He's already done one of those? Oh, never mind.

completely wrong way to think about colds (5, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099744)

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/opinion/05ackerman.html [nytimes.com]

i just read this last month

the common cold is an immune system overreaction. the virus does not cause the cold, our own bodies overreact to the cold, and that causes ALL symptoms. which explains why cold medicines work: they modulate the immune response, they don't actually fight the virus

But, as medical science has realized over the past few decades, the most prevalent cold viruses in fact do little direct harm to our cells. In one experiment in 1984, researchers at the University of Copenhagen performed biopsies on nasal tissue taken from people suffering severe colds, then did the same after the subjects had recovered. To the scientists’ surprise, none of the samples showed any sign of damage to the nasal tissue. Further vindicating the viruses themselves was another study around the same time showing that rhinoviruses infect only a small number of cells lining the nasal passages.

so the virus comes in, borrows some cellular machinery for a few days, makes a few copies, and then leaves. our body's response is to call out the entirety of the navy, the marines, the army, the air force, the cavalry, mortar batteries, drone predators, and tactical nuclear strikes. for a crime which amounts to a homeless guy squatting in an unused home for a day or two

Re:completely wrong way to think about colds (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099876)

Yup! Actually, there already is a great cure for the common cold, it's called Prednisolone. Unfortunately there's far too many side-effects to long-term steroid use to advocate it for relatively minor symptoms. Once when I was working in A&E (ER) I was sneezing all day with a cold; a colleague gave me a low dose Prednisolone tablet and I felt on top of the world. Many children who are labelled with 'asthma' actually only wheeze when they have a cold, and giving a short course of steroids usually totally relieved the symptoms.

Re:completely wrong way to think about colds (2, Interesting)

Exsam (768226) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099992)

All the steroids are doing is suppressing your immune system. This is not a cure you are simply treating the symptoms and depending on how severe the infection is, may be the worst possible thing you can do.

Re:completely wrong way to think about colds (3, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100138)

All the steroids are doing is suppressing your immune system. This is not a cure you are simply treating the symptoms and depending on how severe the infection is, may be the worst possible thing you can do.

You might want to notice or respond to your GP, which argued fairly clearly that the only things worth treating in a cold are the symptoms.

Re:completely wrong way to think about colds (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100246)

Ummm, go read the GP.

You're not actually infected. A cold doesn't do any actual damage to the body. The body just massively over-reacts, which are your symptoms. Thus, the steroids treat the reaction to a non-infection. Thus it is a cure - the reaction is the only thing to treat, so suppress the reaction.

Re:completely wrong way to think about colds (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101146)

But steroids don't just suppress the immune response to the cold. They just generally suppress the immune system. Thus you may cure your cold symptoms at the price of allowing an infection that otherwise would been stopped cold to progress.

Re:completely wrong way to think about colds (2, Insightful)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099958)

for a crime which amounts to a homeless guy squatting in an unused home for a day or two

You don't understand - his cell membrane is a different COLOR. They're TERRORISTS.

Re:completely wrong way to think about colds (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100166)

much of antiterrorism activity is an overreaction yes

but antiterrorism is not racism

you can't defeat the abuses you see in your world by completely misidentifying what they actually are

Re:completely wrong way to think about colds (1)

qwertyatwork (668720) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100218)

This is called shack and awe. If you aint for us, your against us!

Re:completely wrong way to think about colds (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101218)

...so you're saying they're Republican?

Ironic (3, Funny)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099760)

...So now we'll be able to cure the common cold, but can't put a man on the Moon (anymore)?

wash your hands well with hot water & do it of (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099788)

This is proven to help prevent colds. I'll skip the experimental drugs with unknown side-effects.

Re:wash your hands well with hot water & do it (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099888)

I think you'll find the majority of cold viruses are caught by airborne droplets from sneezing and coughing, so I don't think washing your hands will help that much. It will work well with infections that are caught by the faeco-oral route, e.g. many vomiting and diarrhoea bugs.

Re:wash your hands well with hot water & do it (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100168)

keeping the air humid works better for preventing an airborne cold.. the virus sticks to your snot, you the blow it away or swallow it and let the stomach acid take care of business.. its why we are so susceptible in winter, when the air is dry, our primary defence (mucus) us akk dried up and sticky, which gives the virus a place to take hold..

Misleading in Title and Content (3, Informative)

littlewink (996298) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099792)

They're not promising a cure for the common cold and they are only speaking of the possibility of some future antiviral drugs.

Medical researchers should be required to keep their yap shut until they produce something that works in humans. For decades I've read thousands (probably tens of thousands) of science articles that promised medical cures. Yet in that time only a handful were produced. Medical science today is little more than a money machine for researchers. I doubt that the investment is worthwhile.

Where's a cure for cancer, for diabetes, for heart disease? Nowhere to be found in the USA.

Re:Misleading in Title and Content (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34099954)

Blame the system really. By creating all the hype, they are making it possible to get funding and get paid to work.

Re:Misleading in Title and Content (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100742)

Medical science is one of the worst offenders for variety of reasons. There is an excellent critique of the modern science "system":

http://www.amazon.com/Betrayers-truth-William-Broad/dp/0671447696 [amazon.com]

It's out of print, being almost 30 years old, but it's as relevant today as ever.

Re:Misleading in Title and Content (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100184)

yah,.. keep it all a secret, don't puch for funding, save our money for more import thangs.. who needs medical and health research when we spend it on anti-terrorism and climate research

How about other viruses? (2, Insightful)

mAineAc (580334) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099806)

Will this help in the effectiveness of antivirals for things like herpes, hepatitis and aids?

Re:How about other viruses? (2, Informative)

hallucinogen (1263152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100350)

Probably not. Different viruses have different protein coats, and antibodies are very specific on what they attach themselves onto. Should we manage to find a way around this problem (creating specific antibodies for other virions), the next problem would be an even bigger one. Common cold is a positive sense ssRNA virus meaning that its genome is a single stranded piece (or pieces, can't remember) of RNA that functions directly as mRNA for making proteins. Herpes viruses are dsDNA viruses meaning that their genomes consist of a piece of dual stranded DNA. This "virus-crushing machinery (TFA used this word)" that the antibody activates would probably be of no use towards this kind of molecules. It might be of useful for the +ssRNA hepatitis viruses (but HVB is dsDNA virus) and HIV (AIDS IS NOT A VIRUS, BUT A STATE) which genome is also +ssRNA molecule, but I doubt this very much. It all depends on the mode of action of this "virus-crushing machinery". I'm guessing it means RNAse (stuff that breaks RNA molecules). At least HIV would probably be safe, because it becomes dsDNA (and part of your genome) very quickly once it has entered a cell.

D20 (2, Funny)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099944)

Virus rollls self for initiative.

Great. (1, Insightful)

Morky (577776) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099972)

I can't wait for super-colds to arrive, thanks to this breakthrough. The common cold is innocuous enough, so why force it to evolve?

Re:Great. (1)

Goldenhawk (242867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101098)

Better have another look at your biology textbook.

The common cold is so hard to eradicate precisely because it mutates (evolves) all the time. Each cold you get is another variant, some from the hundreds that have been around a long time, others that appear via mutation.

http://www.worsleyschool.net/science/files/virus/page.html [worsleyschool.net]
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,311854,00.html [foxnews.com]
http://www.scienceclarified.com/Ti-Vi/Virus.html [scienceclarified.com] ...and more...

A bit sensationalist... (1)

Godskitchen (1017786) | more than 3 years ago | (#34099998)

Until this has been shown to work in-vivo, I wouldn't get your hopes up.

this life-enhancing technology brought to you by.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100154)

Umbrella Corporation.

Original paper? (2, Insightful)

SlashBugs (1339813) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100506)

Can anyone find the original journal article? From a fairly quick PubMed search, James' group last published on TRIM21 back in 2008 [nih.gov] . There have been a few papers on TRIM21 in 2010, but they're not from James' institution and they don't share any authors with James' 2008 paper.

Or is this being reported before the paper has been published? Do we know that it has even been properly reviewed?

This is really cool if it's true and it's relevant to my research, so I'd love to see the original paper.

Try vitamin D and eating whole foods... (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34100816)

Vitamin D is needed by the immune system: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7379094/Vitamin-D-triggers-and-arms-the-immune-system.html [telegraph.co.uk]
http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/treatment.shtml [vitamindcouncil.org]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--NqqB2nhBE [youtube.com]

And whole foods (especially vegetables, fruits, and legumes) help you have a disease resistant body:
http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/diet-myths-the-food-pyramid-of-the-insane.html [diseaseproof.com]
http://www.seriouseats.com/2007/11/the-subsidized-food-pyramid.html [seriouseats.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPiR9VcuVWw [youtube.com]
http://www.healthpromoting.com/Articles/articles/PleasureTrap.htm [healthpromoting.com]

Though a good mental attitude, exercise, infrastructure, good sleep, thankfulness, meditating on the great mystery, etc. can help with general wellness, too.
http://books.google.com/books?id=bCuC2H-6k_8C [google.com]
http://books.google.com/books?id=RKZreNYKNHQC [google.com]
http://www.bluezones.com/makeover-about [bluezones.com]
http://www.marcinequenzer.com/creation.htm#The%20Field%20of%20Plenty [marcinequenzer.com]
http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/important-sleep-habits [webmd.com]

rhinoviruses shed their coats...so this won't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34100966)

as far as I'm aware, rhinoviruses shed their coats on entry, so I don't think that this will work for the common cold. Maybe on flu or something. And they don't go so far as suggesting how this pathway will be up-regulated...no drugs developed..perhaps transgenic people? Perhaps we all take interferon all the time? I think they're overstating it a little...

Um, yeah (1)

BobSutan (467781) | more than 3 years ago | (#34101166)

"...the first clinical trials of new drugs based on the findings could begin within two to five years." Am I the only one that wouldn't mind a moratorium on this sort of reporting. Let us know when the clinical trials are starting, or perhaps when it's hitting the market. Otherwise it's a bunch of false hope with little in the way of practical application in any meaningful timeframe.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...