DRACO keeps the bad guys away!

VIRAL INFECTIONS: It's common knowledge that a cold or flu brings with it coughing, sneezing, headaches and more. Viral infections can happen in many places spread throughout the body. Viral infections aren't usually serious but can progress into something severe if treatment options aren't taken. General guidelines state that you should see a doctor if the symptoms persist for more than seven days and should contact a doctor immediately if you develop a red rash or feel pain in your upper chest. Unlike a bacterial infection, antibiotics can't help with viral infections and should not be taken. (Source: http://www.earlydoc.com/en/diseases/viral_infection)

CAUSES: If a virus makes it past the body's immune system, it will make its way into the body's cells and begins reproducing and multiplying. Eventually it spreads to cells throughout the body and leads to a viral infection. There are different ways to come in contact with a virus including being bitten by an insect or animal with the virus, touching surfaces containing the virus and eating food or drinking something contaminated with the virus. Doctors agree that the best defense against virus infections is to avoid getting a virus in the first place by constantly washing your hands with warm water and anti-bacterial soap. (Source: http://www.healthgrades.com/conditions/viral-diseases--causes)

NEW TECHNOLOGY: There may finally be a way to fight off the common cold and other viruses for good. DRACO (Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizer) is a compound created by researchers that utilizes a self-destruct protein to get virus-infected cells to commit suicide, while keeping healthy cells unharmed. In early tests on lab-grown cells, DRACO was found to cure 15 different viruses. The compound has also been used in the cells of lab mice for H1N1 and produced successful results. Researchers at the Draper Laboratory hope to receive more funding so they can begin testing in larger animals and eventually progress to human trials. (Source: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/BiodefenseRelated/Biodefense/Pages/DRACO.aspx)


Jeremy Singer
Media Relations Manager
Draper Laboratory

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