Friday, February 13, 2009

Cold Mapped

Researchers from the University of Maryland and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have mapped the genome of the common cold virus. This doesn't mean that a cure is just around the corner, but it gives scientists a clearer idea of how to begin planning a cure. The cold virus has at least 99 different strains, so part of the problem in treating it is knowing which strain a patient has. But with a map of its genome, we'll be better able to classify and identify these strains, which could lead to more effective antiviral treatments if not a vaccine. The bad news is that those of us who use the ubiquitous virus as a regular excuse to skip our soul-crushing jobs and stay at home playing Xbox all day may have to find another line of reasoning in the future. If only we could all have hundreds of grandmothers that die all the time... More details here.

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