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article imageWhy is there no cure for the common cold?

By Tim Sandle     Nov 7, 2013 in Health
Through a series of genetic studies, scientists have explained why, despite all of the other advances in medical science, there is still no cure for the common cold.
The cold virus (rhinovirus C) is the most common virus in the world, affecting almost everyone at least once during a 12-month period. The term rhinovirus comes from the Greek word ''rhin''- which means "nose". Rhinovira are among the smallest vira, with diameters of about only 30 nanometers (other vira such as smallpox and vaccinia vira are 10 times larger at about 300 nanometers).
Despite the annoyance to people and the obvious profit that could come from a cold cure, science has been unable to develop a cure. The reason for this has been explained through some recent studies. For the studies, scientists constructed a three-dimensional model of the pathogen.
The new imaging allowed the outer capsid or protein shell of the cold virus to be revealed. What the research found was that the protein shell of the virus varies between different strains of the virus. This means that inventing a universal medicine to tackle all forms of the cold virus will be extremely difficult.
Antiviral drugs work by attaching to and modifying surface features of the virus. To be effective, a drug, like the right piece of a jigsaw puzzle, must fit and lock into the virus. With the cold virus, this jigsaw is proving difficult to fathom.
The research was carried out by scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The findings have been published in the journal Virology, in a paper titled “Modeling of the human rhinovirus C capsid suggests a novel topography with insights on receptor preference and immunogenicity.”
More about Cold, Virus, Common cold, rhinovirus
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