Could we alter virus' to make them easier to kill?

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Offline thedoc

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brique asked the Naked Scientists:
   Virus' dont grow metabolize or breath, what if we make a virus to metabolize  or start breathing thats mean we can easily kill it and basicallly find a cure for the deadly viral diseases
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 06/07/2016 12:50:01 by _system »


Offline Villi

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Re: Could we alter virus' to make them easier to kill?
« Reply #1 on: 06/08/2016 05:50:14 »
It's definitely possible to engineer a virus to make it susceptible to something. For example, a dormant gene can be added such that when the virus infects the host, that dormant gene is activated by a harmless drug that the host can take. Once the drug is in the host, the now active gene produces some kind of product that prevents the virus from replicating further or destroys it.

There are tons of problems with this approach I described. It would be difficult to deliver this system into all the viral particles that are out there. Viruses also mutate very rapidly and would select out or disable this system quite fast.

Vaccination of hosts and genetically engineering hosts against viruses is much more effective and is used today.