Well I diagnosed myself with an URI (upper respiratory infection I finished the initial 3 day first phase and am in the second phase). Meaning I have a virus. Most likely it is a Rhinovirus. So, I was thinking about how to remove it… I first thought of changing the cells so that they have some sort of “firewall.” Probably implemented as a white list for the cell so that they wouldn’t be able to accept anything other than the things on the list into itself. Then I was thinking about a honeypot cell that would attract the virus and would then destroy it. All of this of course I am taking from computer security, so probably I will find that doctors have already tried these things.
Well my honeypot idea was implemented and published in 2011 at NIST! http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110302121842.htm. The paper http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0016874. Also more in 2012 but you need Science Direct access http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167779912000327.
However, my whitelist idea doesn’t seem feasible because the cell would have to be wrapped in this “firewall” which essentially acts as the decoy and this “atrium” per say can discard the virus if it determines that it is a virus. So, can we stick natural cells inside the artificial cells and everything work ok? I doubt it.
So, it seems like all we are doing is tricking the virus. It is theorized by the 2011 paper that even though the virus can evolve to not try and go after the particular decoy that this also means it will reduce its ability to invade natural cells. This is an interesting theory. It would be neat to get funding to try and see if this is true. I wonder how do you get viruses to evolve? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viral_evolution) It seems like its not too hard. They do a good job of it already.
This made me think. Could the cell accept it and just produce duds? So essentially during the replication process the cell would incorrectly replicate the virus so that it was useless? I think this would have to be a reaction mechanism of the cell to being attacked. Essentially the virus kills the cell such that it won’t be able to replicate anything correctly? Sort of like an all or nothing sort of thing? If cells were like this we could attack cancer this way! We would just send a bunch of viruses in and destroy the cancerous cells.
Now this I need to think about… (I have noticed I become very single minded and focused on random things for intermittent periods when I am sick…) Well I looked it up and this seems to also have been an area of research in 2010 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20433575). They looked at cell death as a way to stop viruses it seems. A “genetically controlled cell death programme” as they call it. So, that is cool. They even mentioned my idea about it stopping cancer. Cool.
Another thing, it would seem to me that if the cells are the ones who are doing all the work of replicating the virus that they would learn and augment themselves and communicate that info to the other cells. I mean they are the ones that have all of the information about the virus right. The cell that creates the virus is privy to detailed information about the mutation and change of the virus. So, why not adapt itself accordingly? Meaning why doesn’t the cell augment its DNA to protect itself from the viruses that it has replicated. And then create a new cell that has that info and in the process leave the original cell to die?
Some viruses can prevent programmed cell death (apoptosis) (http://pathmicro.med.sc.edu/mhunt/replicat.htm). Now that is interesting.
So, now I need a virus that can infect other viruses. I googled that and found the virophage!
Hopefully my business takes off and I can have a bioengineering research department.