British scientists say they have found a way to “jam” the genetic code of the common cold and stop the virus from being able to replicate inside the body.
If true, it could mean almost immediate cures to the common cold.
Scientists with the Universities of Leeds and York say they used a computer model to identify the viral genome that causes rhinoviruses. The molecules can be blocked at the genetic level and essentially stop the disease before it starts.
The breakthrough’s news was tempered by the fact the scientists would have to conduct animal testing before they can develop the drug that could deliver the necessary items to block the genetic code.
“We have understood for decades that the RNA carries the genetic messages that create viral proteins, but we didn’t know that, hidden within the stream of letters we use to denote the genetic information, is a second code governing virus assembly,” Dr Roman Tuma, Reader in Biophysics at the University of Leeds, told the London Daily Telegraph.
“It is like finding a secret message within an ordinary news report and then being able to crack the whole coding system behind it.”