The number of COVID cases in the U.S. alone has well surpassed six million, and is still climbing daily. This is obviously a growing and dangerous pandemic that is rendering a lot of conversation for a cure. Some recent studies have shown that interferons, could be the answer that everyone is looking for. A recent study on interferons, and their role in viral cell apoptosis, indicates a possible cure with global ramifications to any and all people affected by COVID-19.
Interferons are proteins that reside in the body and are released to fight viral matter in the immune system. Interferons have been instrumental to the discovery cures or antidotes to many other viral matters and have played a key part in the cure to viruses like, Sars, HIV, and HCV. It has even been a key experimental focus for the possible cure to cancer. It has also been noted that interferons are fairly effective against viral matter in the short and long term.
While interferons are a relatively effective and smart choice, they’re some drawbacks to using solely interferons for the combat of COVID. Studies carried out by the Francis Crick Institute, have shown that without proper timing and extreme care, interferons can actually slow or even halt the reparation of lung tissue. This is incredibly unfortunate because interferons engage the viral matter in the lungs, and then could potentially make you even sicker from a less harmful virus. However, studies have shown that with proper timing and extreme care, the risks of using these proteins with or without other bodily agents can be severely reduced.
This experiment in the Emerging Microbes and Infections Journal tested the effectiveness of interferons alone, and interferons paired with other bodily functions against viral matter. Interferons when administered or released perform a process called, apoptosis, which is essentially the programmed deaths of cells. So, it speeds up the process of killing viral cells. Specifically, the researchers experimented against HCV. HCV or Hepatitis C Virus is a dangerous virus that can land you in a very ill state. It is also believed to be one of the main causes for liver cancer. These researchers had experimented with the same methods for some other viruses such as, HIV, Influenza, Sars, and even cancer. This is ultimately why this study was conducted and why these interferons are now being heralded as a possible cure to COVID. However, this study was mainly focused on the performance and speed of interferons against HCV in specific.
This study showed how the researchers released these interferons separately, and along with other bodily agents, like ISGs. ISGs or Interferon-stimulated genes are genes that are stimulated expressively by interferons. The product of ISGs is controlling pathogenic infections and illnesses. They studied the results of the interferons’ efficiency with or without other bodily agents present during a six-hour time frame, and a twenty-four-hour time frame. The results were staggering, showing that interferons alone were extremely fast and effective in the first six hours, but harshly fell off after that. The opposite was seen with the combination however. The efficiency of the interferons along with other bodily proteins, including ISGs, were slow and ineffective throughout the first six hours, but showed tremendous improvements after twenty-four hours. So, it proved that if engineered correctly and given at the right time, interferons alone or with other bodily operatives could prove some very impressive and optimistic results.
This experiment was certainly not the first and most certainly not the last to experiment with these incredible proteins. However, this study was regarded highly both in method and purpose and has shown tremendous results. This study along with all of the previous studies done with these proteins and how they affected viral matter in the immune system, have put the world’s foot in the door to the possible cure of all dangerous immunosuppressant viruses. The impact of this study and the previous studies have surfaced globally in the wake of COVID, which is a hopeful sight for everybody.
The previously mentioned study was conducted thoroughly and extremely professionally. This inquiry also had many predecessors to go off of so it was very concise and straight to the point. It left very little room for ethical and controversial problems. It also left little to no space for sample bias or any voluntary response bias. The only thing I would change about this study in particular is that it needed to provide more specific numbers and statistics about the study itself. There could have been more graphs and charts to convey the data for better interpretation and understanding.
In conclusion, these examinations and further inquiries into these interferons have provided us with more knowledge and a better understanding of these proteins. COVID-19 is a growing pandemic that has well surpassed six million cases in the U.S. and has passed a staggering twenty-seven million confirmed cases globally. Interferons and their amazing properties that they possess provide immense hope for the people all over the globe. These incredible proteins are already being experimented with, in resolve to COVID, and are undergoing trial four for testing. As more experiments are done, and more information is provided as a result of these studies, the world could be as close as they have ever been in taking down COVID.
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Featured Image Source: University of Utah Health, Coronavirus (Covid-19) FAQs. [Accessed 16 Septmeber 2020] https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/postings/2020/03/covid19-faqs.php