Yvonne Carts-Powell

Sex and drugs, but no rock-and-roll (yet)

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2009 at 11:20 am



It’s not what you think.

What it is: the medicine of the future

No really, what it is: A treatment for Herpes simplex virus type 2, a sexually transmitted diseases that is remarkably difficult to treat or avoid. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 536 million people worldwide are infected with it. Even better: you smear it on midweek, and it’ll be effective over a dirty weekend.

How it do that voodoo that it do so well: a treatment that you smear on interferes with the cell’s ability to make certain proteins. Which means that if the virus gets into the cell, it can’t reproduce. This “RNAi” or RNA interference, is a biological process that was identified barely a decade ago that earned the Nobel Prize in 2006.

The current work was overseen by that doctor in the photo:
Judy Lieberman, a professor of pediatrics and a senior investigator at the Immune Disease Institute at Harvard Medical School.

What it isn’t — yet: a therapy for humans. This week’s report is about tests on mice.

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