Scientists Use HDT to Stop Common Cold

Host-directed therapy (HDT) suggests that a change to the human body can inhibit the spread of disease. A new study found viral infections may require SETD3 access, such that blocking a link or reducing availability means the virus is stopped.

The strategy behind HDT is to interfere with host-cell proteins required for viral infection. Respiratory enteroviruses (EVs) are an attractive target for the development of HDT.

…our data provide rationale for the development of peptides or small molecule inhibitors that specifically block the SETD3–2A association, and for the development of small molecules inducing SETD3 protein degradation using proteolysis-targeting chimaeras.

In computer terms this would mean blocking the protocol or disabling the service, which security professionals should immediately recognize as common practices.

One thought on “Scientists Use HDT to Stop Common Cold”

  1. Never thought I’d come across a paper where I can barely make out even one sentence – how naive of me. :-)

    That said, there is one disadvantage in comparing this to InfoSec, Davi – we always have the ability to go back to the authors of software and find out why they created it, and validating their design assumptions before making the decision to remove their software from a system. If one cannot communicate with the authors, then one can experiment in temporarily disabling the service and watching for anomalous behavior, but reversing the action in case of adverse system results.

    With the human body, we don’t have that luxury. It seems to me, that “degrading the SETD3 proteins” in mice might stop mice from catching cold; but since we cannot communicate with the “designer(s)” of SETD3, I’m not sure we can ever fathom the results of “degrading” something in the human body, or reversing its unintended consequences.

    I agree that understanding all this is useful to human development, but I think the vast majority of problems associated with the common cold can be mitigated with simple measures without tangling with things we don’t fully understand. Measures like: washing hands frequently, eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, sleeping adequately, spending time with real humans (instead of staring at a mobile phone all day or binge-watching TV), ….

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