Magazine article Newsweek

Health: A WIN-Ning Formula?

Magazine article Newsweek

Health: A WIN-Ning Formula?

Article excerpt

Byline: Mary Carmichael

For a type of germ most often described as "common," the rhinovirus is a thing of ingenious design, a bug with a thousand ever-mutating faces. If you're unlucky enough to have a rhinovirus in your body, you might have a few more choice descriptions, too: it's the cause of most colds. Rhinoviruses, like several other nasty bugs including polio and coxsackievirus, are capable of changing the shape of their outer walls ever so subtly, disguising themselves from antibodies. Once inside a cell, the virus morphs again, opening flaps in its membrane and letting loose genetic material. Scientists have been stymied as to how to stop the process. But researchers at Purdue University have recently figured out one trick: since the virus is so versatile, why not target it with a drug that's equally flexible? WIN compounds, which Purdue's Carol Post describes as "long, greasy molecules," can contort themselves to fit through a tiny hole in the virus's shape-shifting shell, and then tangle themselves up in the membrane's machinery. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.