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Medical Smart new antiviral concept-DRACO at MIT Lincoln Lab-Todd Rider

  1. Aug 21, 2011 #1

    marcus

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    Smart new antiviral concept--DRACO at MIT Lincoln Lab--Todd Rider

    http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/antiviral-0810.html

    Have to see if the concept can actually work in vivo. There could be some catch. One catch could arise if there are "good" viruses we actually need to be active, or some pervasive harmless type. Because the treatment concept seems to go after all active viruses indiscriminately. It causes the host cell to self-destruct wherever double-stranded RNA is being produced (dsRNA is produced during viral replication).

    Looks good in vitro and preliminary trials in mice but has not been tried in larger animals. Here's a link to some PR about Todd Rider and Lincoln Lab.
    http://www.ll.mit.edu/60thAnniversary/rider.html

    "Rider had the idea to combine a dsRNA-binding protein with another protein that induces cells to undergo apoptosis (programmed cell suicide) — launched, for example, when a cell determines it is en route to becoming cancerous. Therefore, when one end of the DRACO binds to dsRNA, it signals the other end of the DRACO to initiate cell suicide..."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
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  3. Aug 21, 2011 #2

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: Smart new antiviral concept--DRACO at MIT Lincoln Lab--Todd Rider

    When I read this research it really raised an eyebrow. But it's a neat idea, targeting the longer RNA found in viruses. It would be great if this could be the next (but better) interferon but I worry that without other research in conjunction one day this will fail as evolution takes it's course.
     
  4. Aug 21, 2011 #3

    marcus

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    Re: Smart new antiviral concept--DRACO at MIT Lincoln Lab--Todd Rider

    Yes! Evolution does invariably take its course. Sooner or later nature circumvents you or you discover unintended consequences of your bright idea. But it seems like a bold attempt so I'll be rooting for them.

    They published in a free online journal, which was nice of them. Here is the PLoS link:
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0022572
     
  5. Aug 21, 2011 #4

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: Smart new antiviral concept--DRACO at MIT Lincoln Lab--Todd Rider

    Indeed, this is why http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Delhi_metallo-beta-lactamase_1" [Broken] scares me. Specifically the disturbing lack of political will to address the danger of antibiotic resistance (especially the danger of sudden mass adoption through horizontal transfer).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  6. Aug 21, 2011 #5

    Ygggdrasil

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    Re: Smart new antiviral concept--DRACO at MIT Lincoln Lab--Todd Rider

    We've discussed this paper in the Biology subforum as well. See the following thread for my thoughts on the DRACO approach:

    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=521168
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  7. Aug 22, 2011 #6

    Ygggdrasil

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    Re: Smart new antiviral concept--DRACO at MIT Lincoln Lab--Todd Rider

    Here's another nice analysis about the paper (http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2011/08/22/dracos_new_antivirals_against_pretty_much_everything.php [Broken]) that brings up a few new points:
    Because these agents work by killing infected host cells, applying these agents to someone who has already been infected may produce unacceptable levels of cell death and may not actually be effective in helping the patient.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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