Researchers targeting new treatments for the common cold can now look forward to getting help from a new mouse model for the ailment. Small animal studies for cold therapies had been impossible. Humans and chimps are the only two species known to contract rhinoviruses, most of which use the ICAM-1 receptor on human cells to gain entry. Mice have a version of ICAM-1 that prevent entry. A team of scientists led by Sebastian Johnston, an asthma researcher at Imperial College London genetically modified mice so that their ICAM-1 receptors were similar to humans'. The same mouse models should also help study severe asthma attacks.
"It will open up new paths to finding treatments which have been delayed for many years and provides us with the opportunities for further breakthroughs in the future," said Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, chief executive of the Medical Research Council.
- read the report from the Guardian
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