Scientists find way to ‘jam’ the genetic code
The common cold could be a thing of the past, as scientists have found a way to “jam” the genetic code.
The breakthrough means in the future, it could be possible to stop virus molecules replicating, by stopping them conveying the instructions needed to copy themselves.
Researchers at the Universities of Leeds and York used computers to investigate the ribonucleic acid (RNA) structure of a virus molecule, and found a code hidden within its sequence.
But before the discovery saves us from the misery of a cold, it must be trialled on animal viruses. This could mean the development of a drug which acts on the signals in the genetic code, and could even stop serious illnesses spreading.
Scientists said the research could mean “stopping the virus in its tracks”.
Peter Stockley, Professor of Biological Chemistry in the University of Leeds’ Faculty of Biological Sciences, who led the study, said the new information was like an “enigma machine” which gave an insight into how viruses work.