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article imageOp-Ed: New DRACO genetic discovery can beat nastiest viruses

By Paul Wallis     Aug 27, 2011 in Health
Every so often, inspired science makes a real breakthrough. DRACO is still at the early stages of research, but a new technique has shown surprisingly effective results against some of the world’s most dangerous diseases.
DRACOs (Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizers) are potential game changers for medicine across a huge range of diseases. This statement from Science Daily’s report can stand on its merits:
…Now, in a development that could transform how viral infections are treated, a team of researchers at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory has designed a drug that can identify cells that have been infected by any type of virus, then kill those cells to terminate the infection.
Don't expect to see statements like that every day. That’s a big improvement on the present situation, in which viruses have been on the rampage around the world because of lack of effective treatments. Viruses are highly adaptable, but this time they may not even have a way of developing resistance.
The new approach was tested on some very nasty major diseases, including:
Dengue fever
Ebola
The common cold
Polio
This is great science- Being able to identify infected cells means the ability to accurately target them. Lincoln’s researchers may have hit an all-time principle for treatment of disease. This is bigger than penicillin, if the new line of attack works as well as it seems.
Viruses survive because they can trick the immune system but there’s a weak point- They have to create special double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)to operate the cell for reproduction. The new approach turns those tricks into liabilities, identifying the tell-tale signs of infection. DRACOs are developed from a type of natural DNA which binds to cells and sets off a process called “cell suicide” which prevents the viruses from replicating. DRACOs doesn’t attack cells unless they show the tell-tale signs of infection.
The possibilities are limitless. DRACOs could become a sort of single treatment for maintaining health and reducing the risks of cellular malfunctions which are linked to many major diseases. It may be adaptable to identify a whole range of serious diseases linked to genetic issues. DRACOs may even be able to be used as a broad spectrum “fire and forget” preventative medicine, a sort of universal vaccine.
A couple of points here:
Everyone on Earth spends a lot of time being sick. Sickness of any kind is a form of physical and mental impairment. Sick people are more likely to have accidents or cause accidents. Thanks to the general insanity of expecting people who are sick as dogs to come in to work and think straight, diseases are spread throughout the world and billions of dollars’ worth of mistakes are made every day. Life on Earth could become a lot cheaper and a lot safer if DRACOs can do what it looks like it can do.
Can’t help wondering if something like DRACOs would work on hormonally based diseases, too, like targeting signature chemistry and correcting hormonal issues related to the various medical conditions? That’d clear up a lot of major health problems in another area which has been very hard to manage for a long time now.
One way or another, DRACOs has already proven it can beat some of humanity’s worst enemies. The future of this idea isn’t likely to get dull.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Dracos, MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, virus replication, dsrna, immune system functions against viruses
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