A German Biotech company is working on a genetically engineered herpes virus to combat and kill cancer cells. Apparently, the modified virus leaves healthy tissue alone, making it a promising tool in the fight against cancer.
This concept may seem weird to many unfamiliar with principles of molecular biology, but it is, in fact, possible, theoretically speaking. Viruses attack cells and other cellular organisms, like bacteria (called bacteriophages). Viruses are small packets of gentic material surrounded by a protien covering. Whether or not they can be considered living material is still being debated by modern science, but either way viruses are an enormous part of life on this planet.
Through bioengineering techniques, viruses can be manipulated to attack certain cells, so these recent finding a very important indeed. We may be getting a glimpse of the future with regard to cancer treatments – and other medical treatments in general. I think it’s exciting anyway. I’ve been saying for quite some time now that it’s futile to try to eradicate certain organisms, particularly microorganisms, from this planet. They wouldn’t exist if they had no purpose – so why try to play Zeus and remove them? In other words, if you can’t beat ‘em, find a use for them, and manipulate them. Isn’t that what we humans are best at, anyway?