A Cure for the Common Cold?
British scientists say they have made a discovery that could defeat the common cold. Up to now they thought that antibodies could only fight viral infections outside of cells. Now they have proof that antibodies can destroy viruses even after they have invaded human cells. Antibodies can hang on to viruses as they enter cells.
Normally the virus would copy itself many times and take over control of the cell. The antibody in the cell however can trigger an action that causes a protein to get rid of bad substances, before the virus is able to cause damage.
The Cambridge scientists who made the discovery said it would possibly take years to find the right drugs to treat viral infections and that it may not work on all viruses.
Viruses are the world’s biggest killers. They are very hard to treat and kill more people than cancer. There are about 200 viruses that can cause a normal cold.
- antibody = a substance produced by your body to fight off a disease
- cancer =very serious disease in which cells in one part of the body starts to grow in a way that is not normal
- cause = lead to
- common cold = an illness in which your throat hurts and you have problems breathing
- copy = duplicate
- damage = destruction
- defeat = to win against
- destroy = wipe out, kill
- discovery = to find out something that nobody has known about before
- drugs = medicine
- hang on to = go in together with
- infection = a disease that affects a part of your body and is caused by bacteria or a virus
- invade = enter, attack
- proof = facts that show that something is true
- protein = one of the natural substances that exist in food and which your body needs to grow and stay healthy
- scientist = a person who is trained in science and works in a laboratory
- substance = material
- treat = to try to cure an illness
- trigger = cause, set off
- viral = from a virus