I’ll be in P-Town Thursday to Monday and will not have internet access. 🙂
The common cold was long thought to be invincible to treatment because of it’s many variations but scientists have now decoded the genome of all 99 variations and discovered commonalities among them that may be their Achilles’ heel:
“By comparing the 99 genomes with one another, […] it is evident that some regions of the rhinovirus genome are changing all the time but others don’t change at all. The fact that the unchanging regions are so conserved over the course of evolutionary time means that they perform vital roles and that the virus cannot let them change without perishing. They are therefore ideal targets for drugs since, in principle, any of the 99 strains would succumb to the same drug.”
On the down side, the cost for developing a new drug these days is about $700 million and pharmaceutical companies tend to invest in drugs for more serious illnesses that people will pay a premium for. (It still seems like this would be profitable, though, right?!)
While I love my Zicam, I, for one, would totally by this drug if it could make a cold go away, especially those ‘this-is-a-really-bad-week-to-have-a-cold’ colds.
Read the full article (NYT).
Related: A recent feature in the Times reported evidence showing that blowing your nose during a cold can create tremendous pressure in the nasal cavity and possibly even spread the infection. Best way to blow your nose? One nostril at a time, accompanied by decongestants to prevent a buildup of excess pressure.
(Um, I think I’ve always done one nostril at a time…)
The Times has an intriguing article about strides being made in using bionic limbs, specifically arms. The above graphic explains much of it but most amazing is that “the process requires no more conscious effort than it would for a person who has a natural arm.”
Not only that but subjects also have more types of movement than previously capable: “I’m able to move my hand, wrist and elbow all at the same time.”
Of course, there’s the standard medical “there’s a long way to go” caveat but I bet there are a lot of Iraq veterans and others who are encouraged by this progress.
Read the full article.
I absolutely love Graham Norton and if you ever come across his show on BBC-America (NYC Time Warner channel 106), you should totally check it out. Here he surprises a woman at a Speed Dating Meeting and serves as a chaperone of sorts:
“Less than two hours after Gov. Rod Blagojevich today made his first appearance at the Capitol since his arrest last month on federal corruption charges, the Illinois House once again voted to impeach him.” – Chicago Tribue.
If Blago is, comedically, our new Sarah Palin, when is he going back to the wilderness?