Deleting the gene for the SETD3 protein could cure the common cold
Many treatments for diseases or illnesses focus on destroying the pathogen at hand. Researchers at
Stanford and the University of California San Francisco focused, rather, on how the human host affects
the actions of a virus. Using CRISPR, the researchers discovered that viruses use the protein SETD3 to
take over a cell. The thought is that removing or preventing synthesis of the gene that codes for SETD3
would stop the actions of the virus. Experimentally, mice were altered to lack the SETD3 gene and did not
get sick when exposed to a virus. The SETD3 protein is definitely an “excellent target” however, the side
effects of removing the protein are still not certain. Problems could and would arise since SETD3 plays a
role in muscle contraction; the mice in question were not able to push their babies out while giving birth.
Personally, I think the new found information is a great research opportunity to advance the medical field,
however, I am skeptical. A method of preventing or creating the common cold (and some greater
infections) would have to be safe enough for the long run.