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Sequencing virus genome to cure the common cold

Finds could lead to new drugs and vaccines

2:08pm, February 12, 2009

Researchers have sequenced the genomes of all 99 known strains of human rhinovirus — a virus that causes the common cold. The work provides new information about how the strains are related and how to predict their virulence, according to a report online February 12 in Science. Decoding the genomes of rhinovirus strains is the first step toward developing vaccines against the common cold, or toward developing drugs that kill the viruses.

“Most people think of colds as just a nuisance, but colds can be debilitating for very young people, old people or people with asthma,” says study coauthor Stephen B. Liggett, a p

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