Cold day in hell

Miracle cures abound in these days of ultra-modern medicine, but we’re still knocked flat by the common cold — for now, anyway:

UK scientists believe they may have found a way to combat the common cold.

Rather than attacking the virus itself, which comes in hundreds of versions, the treatment targets the human host. It blocks a key protein in the body’s cells that cold viruses normally hijack to self-replicate and spread.

This should stop any cold virus in its tracks if given early enough, lab studies suggest. Safety trials in people could start within two years.

How’s that again?

The Imperial College London researchers are working on making a form of the drug that can be inhaled, to reduce the chance of side-effects.

In the lab, it worked within minutes of being applied to human lung cells, targeting a human protein called NMT… All strains of cold virus need this human protein to make new copies of themselves.

In the US, availability will presumably be contingent upon whether the drug can be used to manufacture other drugs; were there a way to make meth out of meatballs, American drug warriors would ban spaghetti.

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