Monday, February 4, 2008

When you give a mouse a cold...

Researcher-professor Sebastian Johnson at London’s Imperial College has created GMM (genetically modified mice) that can get colds! They modified a receptor on a mouse epithelial cell to be susceptible to respiratory infection. One of the (many) reasons we don’t have a silver bullet for the common cold is because most viruses that attack respiratory tracts have a narrow host range… of only humans. Rhinoviruses are the biggest culprit for the non-serious cold, but it can also cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, aka chronic bronchitis and emphysema. There are currently no good treatments for COPD, and having a good animal model will be the first step in finding a cure for COPD, virus-induced asthma attacks… and rhinovirus-associated colds! (This is what the BBC article would like you to believe J at least.)

The work was published in Nature magazine, but I couldn’t find the article. I’m guessing it just came out…

read about it here for now.


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