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Will we ever cure the common cold?

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posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 06:09 PM
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The question of whether or not we will ever come up with a definitive cure for the common cold was on my mind recently as I have been struggling to rid my body of a particularly bad one for the better part of 3 weeks now. From what I've read, the difficulty lies in the fact that it can be caused by a variety of different viruses. But considering how many diseases our science has managed to conquer, I can't help but wonder why one of the most common ailments known to humans is portrayed to be 'incurable.'

Now I would certainly not presume to know what I'm talking about from a scientific standpoint. My medical knowledge is limited to my struggles to barely pass anatomy (2 tries) and physiology (3 tries) when I used to attend college for therapeutic massage. So I'm asking the more informed and educated members: is it curable, incurable, or not going to be cured for fear of damaging a multi-million dollar 'cold remedy' industry?




posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 06:47 PM
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Originally posted by greatpiino
The question of whether or not we will ever come up with a definitive cure for the common cold was on my mind recently as I have been struggling to rid my body of a particularly bad one for the better part of 3 weeks now. From what I've read, the difficulty lies in the fact that it can be caused by a variety of different viruses. But considering how many diseases our science has managed to conquer, I can't help but wonder why one of the most common ailments known to humans is portrayed to be 'incurable.'

Now I would certainly not presume to know what I'm talking about from a scientific standpoint. My medical knowledge is limited to my struggles to barely pass anatomy (2 tries) and physiology (3 tries) when I used to attend college for therapeutic massage. So I'm asking the more informed and educated members: is it curable, incurable, or not going to be cured for fear of damaging a multi-million dollar 'cold remedy' industry?


It's "incurable" because the cold is actually caused by a variety of viruses, bacteria, and fungi. The likelihood of finding or creating something that will get rid of a handful of those is unlikely. You would have to create a different treatment for each one, which would not be any more effective that just getting fluids and sleep.



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 06:55 PM
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It's "incurable" because the cold is actually caused by a variety of viruses, bacteria, and fungi. The likelihood of finding or creating something that will get rid of a handful of those is unlikely. You would have to create a different treatment for each one, which would not be any more effective that just getting fluids and sleep.


Agreed. It is my understanding that the commom cold/ flu is progressively and aggresively mutating. One step ahead if you will, of antibiotic treatments and suppressants, constantly re-developing it's resistence. What are the origins of the common cold, if it were originally animal to human eon's ago, why is there no transference nowadays ?

[edit on 1-12-2006 by _DISAVOWED_]



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 07:08 PM
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The common cold is almost like God placed a small, relatively harmless pathogen on earth to keep our immune systems 'active' but not against a really hostile agent... almost like keeping it prepped and ready for a nastier disease so the body can fight better..


Very interesting, and i for one hope they don't start issueing common cold cures.



off topic - Your eye avatar is awesome dude -



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 07:23 PM
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Originally posted by bsl4doc
It's "incurable" because the cold is actually caused by a variety of viruses, bacteria, and fungi. The likelihood of finding or creating something that will get rid of a handful of those is unlikely. You would have to create a different treatment for each one, which would not be any more effective that just getting fluids and sleep.


Thanks for replying. So have we identified all of the exact things that cause this? If we have, can't we just make a 'cocktail?' Unless...(cont. below)


Originally posted by _DISAVOWED_
Agreed. It is my understanding that the commom cold/ flu is progressively and aggresively mutating. One step ahead if you will, of antibiotic treatments and suppressants, constantly re-developing it's resistence.


That's gotta be completely frustrating for someone studying it. So is it hopeless to even try? Am I correct to assume that there's no way to stop it from mutating?


Originally posted by _DISAVOWED_
What are the origins of the common cold, if it were originally animal to human eon's ago, why is there no transference nowadays ?


I second that.



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 07:50 PM
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I got a grassroot cure last winter from a site which worked fine for me..

Based on Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2). Haven´t had a cold since but that might be just a coincidence? Mixed or pure, you can do it yourself real easy but don´t blame me for mentioning them if you still sneeze afterwards...

EDIT: added correct url to "miracle" cure.


[edit on 1-12-2006 by Truth4hire]



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 08:07 PM
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. So have we identified all of the exact things that cause this? If we have, can't we just make a 'cocktail?'


If you'd like to take a cocktail consisting of tens of pills, sure. There are tons of antibiotics/antivirals/antifungals, and they are generally very specific. Taking one won't fix the others.


Agreed. It is my understanding that the commom cold/ flu is progressively and aggresively mutating. One step ahead if you will, of antibiotic treatments and suppressants, constantly re-developing it's resistence. What are the origins of the common cold, if it were originally animal to human eon's ago, why is there no transference nowadays ?


You've missed the amrk completely here. It's not that anything is mutating, rather, that there are SO MANY pathogens which create cold-related symptoms.

Also, you cannot lump the flu in with the cold. The flu is caused by a very specific virus class.


The common cold is almost like God placed a small, relatively harmless pathogen on earth to keep our immune systems 'active' but not against a really hostile agent... almost like keeping it prepped and ready for a nastier disease so the body can fight better..


Again, the cold is not one pathogen, but hundred or thousands of pathogens which present with the same symptoms.



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 08:42 PM
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www.commoncold.org...

hey heres a great little web site thats written by two doctors about the cold, how its caused, what it is and how to treat it / common methods used to treat it..

quite interesting and done in a very simplified manner for the non - medical people amongst us all!



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 08:50 PM
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Originally posted by bsl4doc
If you'd like to take a cocktail consisting of tens of pills, sure. There are tons of antibiotics/antivirals/antifungals, and they are generally very specific. Taking one won't fix the others.


Understood.


Originally posted by bsl4doc
You've missed the amrk completely here. It's not that anything is mutating, rather, that there are SO MANY pathogens which create cold-related symptoms.

Also, you cannot lump the flu in with the cold. The flu is caused by a very specific virus class.


I also read that the flu is a completely different class. But back to the cold, it's not that they're mutating, it's that there is just is just such an overwhelming number of cold-causing pathogens? Got it.


Originally posted by bsl4doc
Again, the cold is not one pathogen, but hundred or thousands of pathogens which present with the same symptoms.


I actually think it's interesting that so many different, unique pathogens can all cause the same symptoms. It seems a little unoriginal on their part, no? bsl4doc, you've been very informative so far, thanks a ton!



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 08:54 PM
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Originally posted by D4rk Kn1ght
www.commoncold.org...

hey heres a great little web site thats written by two doctors about the cold, how its caused, what it is and how to treat it / common methods used to treat it..

quite interesting and done in a very simplified manner for the non - medical people amongst us all!


Thank you for the link. Your description is very accurate as well



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 11:01 PM
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Just monitor people who for example who take the following measures in every order:
Those with the same balanced diet who take:
1. Vitamin C, and in what amount.
2. Selenium, Zinc, and various vitamins or foods.
3. No vitamins

Calculating who does or does not get the common cold, over a certain period of time what of the above environmental variables does the best. Then isolating control groups finding what specific dietary factor yields the goal of say "the fewest common colds?"

Perhaps others may consider different experimental criteria for a grant proposal or for other scientific-medical purposes?

In my thoughts, over two years without a cold after introduction of selenium, makes my own personal experiment adding to consistent Vitamin C intake along with other vitamins. Only the addition of Selenium appears to me to have made the difference, but of course only adding to larger samples of others who might give their anecdotal evidence.

Sampling other research is as simply found as any other internet search engine
results.



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 11:26 PM
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I agree that it would be difficult due to the wide variety of viruses and bacteria, but according to that site 50% are one class called Rhinoviruses. I have never heard of this but how hard would it be to create some type of remedy for a CLASS of viruses as opposed to a bunch of unique ones. bsl4doc?



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 11:31 PM
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Originally posted by Fiverz
I agree that it would be difficult due to the wide variety of viruses and bacteria, but according to that site 50% are one class called Rhinoviruses. I have never heard of this but how hard would it be to create some type of remedy for a CLASS of viruses as opposed to a bunch of unique ones. bsl4doc?


Viruses aren't really ordered by class. The classification scheme goes Orders -> Family -> Genera -> Strain -> Species -> Subspecies

Rhinoviruses are a genera, meaning that it includes tens of strains, which contain tens of species, which contain tens of subspecies. It would be impossible to make a vaccine or pill that covers all the drastically different markers these specific species/subspecies feature.

~Mariella



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 11:38 PM
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I think stating it's impossible is going a bit too far. Improbable with near future technology? You betcha, but as we delve more into Nanomedicine, we cannot really speculate just how many diseases and conditions it will render moot. For instance, the common cold could be cured by a smart cocktail so to speak. That is a group of drugs designed for you and the current virus that has infected your body at the time. In order for this to be viable we first need to improve handheld diagnostic equipment drastically. Something on the order of the Medical Tricorder from Star Trek is what I'm thinking about(and I don't think we are really that far away from that tech what with all the money that is being spent into Lab-on-a-chip technological R&D atm). Another innovation that is needed is Personalized medicine. This will be much trickier as it will most likely require much greater knowledge of Genetics and Genetic Sequencing as well as Proteomics and Molecular Chemistry.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 12:59 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
I think stating it's impossible is going a bit too far. Improbable with near future technology? You betcha, but as we delve more into Nanomedicine, we cannot really speculate just how many diseases and conditions it will render moot. For instance, the common cold could be cured by a smart cocktail so to speak. That is a group of drugs designed for you and the current virus that has infected your body at the time. In order for this to be viable we first need to improve handheld diagnostic equipment drastically. Something on the order of the Medical Tricorder from Star Trek is what I'm thinking about(and I don't think we are really that far away from that tech what with all the money that is being spent into Lab-on-a-chip technological R&D atm). Another innovation that is needed is Personalized medicine. This will be much trickier as it will most likely require much greater knowledge of Genetics and Genetic Sequencing as well as Proteomics and Molecular Chemistry.


I think medicines personalized for someone's genetics and the genetics of their pathogen are obviously the answer. The only downside is that it is most likely our children won't even see these treatments, considering every advance brings with it new complications. We haven't made too much headway in these fields.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 01:06 AM
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Have you been keeping track of Lap-on-a-chip technology? One of the primary barriers to personalized medicine is the lack of fast(as in results within a minute or less) diagnostics that can be applied by the GP or even the Pharmacist. This technology is subject to a law similar to the one Moore developed way back when. Right now, all these technologies have been developed with the intention of fighting terrorism by detecting various chemical, biological or radiological footprints. Once tey gets to the point where the technology is ubiquitous, cheap and flexible, then the next logical step would be to develop new treatment methods, among those is of course Personalized Medicine. It could happen a lot faster then we all think, though one of the primary hiccups that WILL happen along the way is Federal Regulation. How can you regulate Personalized medicine? It's a mystery to me.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 02:19 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Have you been keeping track of Lap-on-a-chip technology? One of the primary barriers to personalized medicine is the lack of fast(as in results within a minute or less) diagnostics that can be applied by the GP or even the Pharmacist. This technology is subject to a law similar to the one Moore developed way back when. Right now, all these technologies have been developed with the intention of fighting terrorism by detecting various chemical, biological or radiological footprints. Once tey gets to the point where the technology is ubiquitous, cheap and flexible, then the next logical step would be to develop new treatment methods, among those is of course Personalized Medicine. It could happen a lot faster then we all think, though one of the primary hiccups that WILL happen along the way is Federal Regulation. How can you regulate Personalized medicine? It's a mystery to me.


Yes, I'm very aware of the "lab-on-a-chip" technology, also known as BioChips, Capillary Chips, BacterChips, etc.

They are wonderous little pieces of technology, but are light years away from real time PCR based results for diagnoses, which is what they are trying to do with these. Perhaps I am just a pessimist/realist, but I doubt we will see anything in the way of quick, reliable, affordable personalized medicine, let alone commonplace treatments, within 50 years or more.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 03:02 AM
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I won't make a prediction for the maturation of this industry, though I think 50 years is about right for the time it will take it to fully mature. That of course is just a hunch and is completely different then predicting the progress of "LOAC" technology. 15 years will see a power of magnitude increase in speed in the 8-9 range, 16 for the decrease in size, and cost roughly is around 10. These are just estimates based on my experience with the PC upgrade cycle(15 years for me now, I feel so old lol), but I'd be extremely shocked if they varied significantly for my initial estimates.

Just like to also point out that Progress is not linear. Problems can put snags in plans that set back research years. Breakthroughs can lead to a boom of idea's and innovations. If it was somehow charted, it would probably look a lot like the Dow industrial average.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 03:19 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
I won't make a prediction for the maturation of this industry, though I think 50 years is about right for the time it will take it to fully mature. That of course is just a hunch and is completely different then predicting the progress of "LOAC" technology. 15 years will see a power of magnitude increase in speed in the 8-9 range, 16 for the decrease in size, and cost roughly is around 10. These are just estimates based on my experience with the PC upgrade cycle(15 years for me now, I feel so old lol), but I'd be extremely shocked if they varied significantly for my initial estimates.

Just like to also point out that Progress is not linear. Problems can put snags in plans that set back research years. Breakthroughs can lead to a boom of idea's and innovations. If it was somehow charted, it would probably look a lot like the Dow industrial average.


That's the problem I have with estimates like the one you've given. It's based totally on the technological side of it. While this is obviously VERY important, and you most likely have FAR more expertise in this area than I, you must also take into account the biological development. While it may be POSSIBLE in 50 years to personalize medicine and create a real time PCR chip that is quick and reliable, how long will the human trials be? How long will it take to develop the right proteins? What sorts of culture media will be needed to do this? Will we use bacteriophages to alter the proteins or transposons? Etc. Etc


G10

posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 05:15 PM
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I agree with a lot of views here and also can't see the common cold being eradicated due to it's structure, but, on a more positive note, there is something that can help speed up shaking this off.

If you are interested, try reading up on the elderberry extract, sambucol



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