The Growth of RNAs in Biomedical Science
A virus is actually a small submicroscopic viral agent that copies itself within the living cells of a living organism. All living organisms carry viruses to some extent. Viruses infect both living and non-living things, such as plants and animals, to mention only a few examples. The viruses are also responsible for many of the diseases and disorders that affect living things. When a virus enters an animal’s body, it invades the targeted cell via its viral envelope, a thin membrane that surrounds the virus and the targeted area. Once inside the target cell, the virus replicates itself, altering the genetic instructions it needs to reproduce.
Because viruses can cause a wide range of symptoms in both humans and animals, it is very important that the proper diagnosis is made when there is any suspicion of a viral infection. If timely diagnosis and treatment are administered, the chances of recovery will increase. Symptoms of a viral infection may include an unusual or sudden loss of body weight, loss of appetite, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes or lymph glands, swollen lymph vessels, loss of energy or lack of energy, nausea, fever, cough, diarrhea, vomiting, and diarrhea. While these symptoms may vary from person to person, most will likely be similar to those caused by a common illness, such as the flu or common cold.
When there is any indication of an infection, the best course of action is to consult a physician. The doctor will conduct a series of tests, using various diagnostic methods, to identify if the virus is present in the patient’s system. If the virus is present, there are several methods available for treating it. These methods include medication, antiviral drugs, and virus-fighting organisms. The medications are taken directly into the affected areas, where they attempt to combat the virus, or the antibiotics can be taken orally, given in several hours before exposure to the virus.
Biological drugs are administered into the host cell to stop its ability to replicate itself, preventing the viruses from becoming active. Antiviral drugs, or AIDs, work by destroying the viruses before they can divide into copies that could grow into disease. Nucleic acid vaccines prevent the formation of viral components that could replace the DNA of the target cells.
Since the virus cannot grow or replicate on its own, a medical technician is able to contain viruses once they have been identified. Containment procedures involve creating an environment in which the virus cannot thrive, such as removing the virus’ natural host, or killing the bacteria that the virus needs to survive. Methods range from sealing off the area from the sun to using radiation therapy to kill the viruses. In more extreme cases, drugs may be injected into the infected area to kill the virus entirely. Containment treatments are extremely expensive, often requiring multiple sessions.
To address the growing needs of patients seeking an effective treatment against viral diseases, researchers and pharmaceutical companies are developing nucleic acid-based vaccines, which use genetic material to encase the virus instead of lethal bacteria. These vaccines allow doctors to directly treat their patients, allowing them to offer an effective cure. Once the technology develops further, scientists believe that the development of rna therapies will decrease the number of people who needlessly die from life-threatening viruses.