Comments:New drug may treat virtually all viral infections

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Thread titleRepliesLast modified
Comments from feedback form - "Cancer?"019:50, 29 July 2012
A Curse in Disguise?1308:59, 26 February 2012
viral killer drug021:19, 25 February 2012
Comments from feedback form - "Interesting but short - just t..."014:04, 21 October 2011
Comments from feedback form - "bg"014:46, 13 October 2011
big test022:33, 4 September 2011
zombie-apocalypse603:47, 1 September 2011
DRACO012:51, 16 August 2011
Comments from feedback form - "Maybe the article is that shor..."020:14, 15 August 2011
Great job MIT.205:55, 15 August 2011
Wow212:01, 14 August 2011

Comments from feedback form - "Cancer?"

Cancer? (talk)19:50, 29 July 2012

A Curse in Disguise?

While this is a potentially amazing breakthrough for medicine etc. the other knock on effects could be potentially problematic. For example if the drug works with no side effects, doesn't create super viruses and is made available to the masses at a reasonable price this means everyone with access to it will live considerably longer lives. Can society and the planet cope with this massive increase in population?

Miller495 (talk)00:03, 16 August 2011

How many people die from viruses, a lot of times they either stay with you and make you miserable but dont kill you (aids, cold, stds), or kill you very quickly and burn out (ebola). I honestly can't think of anything that has a high death rate but doesnt burn itself out before it can spread to a large amount of people, other than the flu viruses. And even then the flu is usually only fatal to the old, young, or already weak. A large portion of people die from just failings of the body, heart disease, brain diseases, cancer, things like that, that are not directly caused by viruses. So all in all this is a godsend. (talk)05:23, 16 August 2011

To expand on that, a virus is actually considered unsuccessful if it kills you. While a bacterium will feed on living or dead material without really caring what harm it does, a virus needs living tissue in order to reproduce, so they usually do whatever they can to avoid killing the animals (including humans) that they infect. The flu manages to spread itself very effectively in sneezes and things, but a normal healthy adult human won't die from it - they will be miserable for a while, spread the virus to the people around them, and then recover when their body manages to kill the virus.

So this isn't so much a life-saving drug as a drug that will make people happier.

The one exception I can think of would be HIV, which does kill people if it turns into AIDS. As a whole, that is actually a very unsuccessful virus. It is spread by sexual contact, which means that most people will only pass it on to one or two other people (unless someone like Sarkozy gets it), and it can often kill the people it infects. But that is, as I said, an exception.

DENDODGE 20:42, 19 August 2011

I'd say HIV is very successful. The virus's selfish interest lies in keeping the host alive long enough to spread the virus to others. It does that, and even better, the host may remain unaware of the virus for some time while spreading it; that stealth is important because once the host becomes aware of hosting the virus, the host may behave in ways that don't spread the virus as much. When the host's behavior changes so, it makes that host less valuable to the virus — so it then doesn't matter so much (to the virus) whether the host dies.

Pi zero (talk)21:03, 19 August 2011

Yes, but it can only be spread to one or two other people, and very slowly. If someone were born with HIV, it won't be passed on to anybody else for at least 16 years (assuming they do it all legally), and perhaps a lot more. Once the host does start having unprotected sex, it is likely that they will be in a long-term committed relationship (and trying for a baby), so the only person they can pass it on to would be their partner, and they hopefully aren't sleeping around. In a person's lifetime, they probably won't spread it to more than ten people, even assuming they were born with it. Add to that the chance that the host could quite easily find out about it from a doctor or die from it, and the virus doesn't really stand very good odds.

DENDODGE 21:38, 19 August 2011

Re: Cancer: is cancer not a virus? it can be killed by heat, but if there is a way to tell the body to kill it then it would seem a good way to kill cancer.

Lorenz (talk)17:32, 2 December 2011

No, cancer is not a virus...

DENDODGE 17:08, 23 December 2011

I very seriously ask all those who oppose technical and medical progress on the base that there would be, in their opinion, "too much people" living in this world, please make a list of those people you would like not to be allowed to stay alive "too long" or that should be prohibited to have offspring of their own, and publish it.

I guess I won't guess wrong that I would be on top of your list? (talk) 18:36, 19 August 2011 (UTC) (talk)18:36, 19 August 2011

I flippantly reply: All occupants of both houses of parliament in the UK, plus Boris the Mayor.

Brian McNeil / talk18:42, 19 August 2011

I flippantly reply: Any plans yet? And probably on those who elected them, too? Burning a few homes randomly like what people of your likeness have already done won't make any differences, on a global scale. Be honest, once in your live, post it here. (talk) 19:05, 19 August 2011 (UTC) (talk)19:05, 19 August 2011

Grow some, Muppet. I post with my real name. And, wishes don't make plans Mr Anonymous Coward.

Brian McNeil / talk05:27, 20 August 2011

it is an interesting idea however i fear the destruction of the immune system if we have a super virus killer how would we defend ourselves (talk)09:56, 10 December 2011

Only if we do the right things with the resources we can muster.

Less than 10% of the planet is "built-up". Currently in America, we have a poor habit of building suburbs on top of the most fertile land, just because it's also the most comfortable in terms of humidity and temperature.

Energy will not be a problem.

[You're sitting on a crusty ball of Yellow to white hot lava, right? ] (talk)08:59, 26 February 2012

viral killer drug

wow, i trust this virus killing drug gets thru to be another weapon in mankinds war against disease. Now someone must come up with an effective way to get us to reduce population and mankind may yet realise our full potential. (talk)21:19, 25 February 2012

Comments from feedback form - "Interesting but short - just t..."

Interesting but short - just the tip of a potentially interesting iceberg. (talk)14:04, 21 October 2011

Comments from feedback form - "bg"

bg (talk)14:46, 13 October 2011

I have always felt that any drug that will cure the common cold will also cure aids, so why we are testing on the flu, lset test it on the big boy, AIDS. (talk)22:33, 4 September 2011


Sounds like the beginning of every zombie sci-fi horror flick... (talk)11:46, 15 August 2011

The important part of "sci-fi" is the "fi", short for fiction. I doubt this drug will be making any zombies ^_^

DENDODGE 16:54, 15 August 2011

Didn't they say that in all the movies?

Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs)17:32, 15 August 2011

Not to worry. If this were a zombie movie, the drug would have an ominous name foreshadowing that it will go horribly wrong. You know, some obvious mythological or literary allusion that the characters in the story are all strangely oblivious to, like DRACO, or — wait...

Pi zero (alt acct) (alt talk)19:51, 15 August 2011

Hear, hear! (talk)19:07, 16 August 2011

I agree, and even if an apocalypse were to happen the average citizen would not stand a chance

Arashius (talk)03:47, 1 September 2011

I can see that this drug will help human kind when it's already developed. The drug will only be successful if the researchers and distributors will not put their individual interests, but they should develop it for the welfare of the entire world. Considering the drug's effects, it will take a long time in manufacturing. It will be expensive if it will take may procedures. I hope that it will be affordable and highly effective.

-Luna, A.L. from the Philippines. (talk)12:51, 16 August 2011

Comments from feedback form - "Maybe the article is that shor..."

Maybe the article is that short because of copyright or because of lack of information. Further readings are as short as this article, so you get nowhere. (talk)20:14, 15 August 2011

Great job MIT.

This is pretty awesome news... and if it really is a successful treatment without side effects in humans, it could be one of the biggest breakthroughs in medicine since the mass production of penicillin. But watch, it'll either be outrageously expensive or made illegal thanks to lobbyists. The US is in the business of keeping its people sick. (talk)14:03, 14 August 2011

I agree; it will be very expensive and it is already illegal. But let's face it - all these scientific discoveries are incorporated in modern medicine. And let's not blame America for all wrongful activities. (talk)22:40, 14 August 2011

It's already illegal? (talk)05:55, 15 August 2011

Coupled with the recent leukemia gene therapy, we may be on the verge of curing every disease known to man. (talk)06:44, 14 August 2011

Well, don't forget about antibiotic resistant bacteria, and the tons of mental afflictions that seem to affect everyone, Parkinsons, Alzheimers, things like that. Although this is great news, pleased me to all get out.

EDIT: and heart disease, high chloresterol, obesity, diabetes, there are a lot of diseases and disorders out there that are killing more people than bacteria, viruses, and cancer. Yes, some of them are more preventable than others, but it would still be nice to not have any of them anymore in the world. (talk)07:55, 14 August 2011

Well, artificial hearts seem to be becoming more and more viable, too.

But that's true - especially the various neurological and mental diseases we're getting.

Still, though, it's nice to see we're moving forward, despite the protests of Luddites. (talk)12:01, 14 August 2011