Dealing with infectious agents - Journal of Omnifarious
Nov. 17th, 2008
08:42 pm - Dealing with infectious agents
It occurs to me that all approaches we have to dealing with infectious agents involve destroying the agents. Why don't we ever examine methods of tranforming them into either symbionts or at least relatively harmless parasites.
For example, I'm reading these SciAm articles about HIV. The real problem appears to be that viral replication kills off immune system cells. What if we investigated therapies that were focused on keeping infected cells alive?
Eventually I suspect the immune system would then find its own way to eliminate the virus, or at least control replication.
Anyway, it's just a thought. We are so focused on classifying things as foriegn or enemy that we neglect to look for ways to co-opt 'bad' behavior (like infecting cells) and/or encourage good behavior (like keaving them functional).