The key to curing the common cold could lurk within our own cells | Popular Science
The team raised mice with inhibited SETD3 genes, and they were able to reach adulthood with no apparent problems—and with a resistance to the common cold.
Sniffle season is here, but so is a potential solution—and we don’t mean chicken soup. Researchers at Stanford University and the University of California San Francisco have identified a specific protein inside human cells that, when disabled, can stop some of the peskiest viruses in their tracks. The researchers hope that their results, published this week in Nature, may pave the way for a new era in the fight against rhinoviruses (collectively known as “the common cold”) and more serious enteroviruses like polio and those that cause brain inflammation or encephalitis.
“Our approach is a little bit different than the regular antiviral approach where you directly target viral proteins,” says study senior author Jan E. Carette, a Stanford University microbiologist. Conventional therapies try to destroy viruses by targeting their proteins, which they need to live. But the pathogens need our proteins, too: they proliferate by injecting their DNA into host cells. Different viruses need different proteins to complete this process.