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View Diary: MIT Lincoln Laboratory researchers develop a technique to cure a broad range of viruses (68 comments)

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  •  What if... (0+ / 0-)

    ... there are legitimate RNA processes going on within cells that rely upon a dsRNA intermediate to accomplish their task, but we have not yet discovered that these processes are going on naturally in people, -- at least in certain cells and at some phase of a person's life cycle.

    Treating a person this way would then kill all his/her cell types that are currently carrying out this, possibly important function.

    It seems to me that many years of animal studies would have to be carried out before we are absolutely sure that we are not introducing problems into the humans that we intend to treat in this manner

    Few are the number of us, who see with our own eyes and feel with our own hearts. -- Albert Einstein

    by sjbob on Mon Aug 08, 2011 at 12:31:31 AM PDT

    •  Three or four decades of virology (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jodster

      have established that the cell has a multi-pronged surveillance system targeting dsRNA. Part of that is used in DRACO. If dsRNA is formed during normal cellular life, it is not recognized by the surveillance sytem, because if it were, the cell would shut down. Either the surveillance system cannot see the "normal" dsRNA, and DRACO won't either, or there is no "normal" dsRNA.

      •  Then do you imply that if any retro virus (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jodster

        infects a normal cell, that cell will shut down?

        Ah! perhaps dsRNA appears only after the latency period is over and the virus starts to replicate. Seems to me the virus would benefit, actually, if the cell simply shuts down and leaves all that machinery available for the virus to use as it sees fit.

        Few are the number of us, who see with our own eyes and feel with our own hearts. -- Albert Einstein

        by sjbob on Mon Aug 08, 2011 at 01:54:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jodster

          Viruses have evolved ways to foil the cell's defenses. If you'll read the introduction to the paper, you'll learn about some of them.

          By shutting down, I mean, for example, shutting down protein synthesis, so the virus cannot express its genes and replicate.

        •  Retroviruses don't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pigpaste

          generate a dsRNA intermediate. I don't think hepadnaviruses like hepatitis B do either. Most other RNA viruses do produce dsRNA at some point, even the single-stranded ones.

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