Today in Research: A Wonder Drug That Could Cure HIV and the Cold

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Discovered: A neon sign that's alive, a cure-all wonder drug for the common cold and HIV, drought-proof plants (almost), debunking peer influence.

  • This wonder-drug could cure both the common cold and HIV. Don't throw the Airborne away quite yet, this one is still in the experimental phase. But Draco (like Malfoy) defeated 15 different viruses, including the common cold, the swine flu, a polio virus, dengue fever and Ebola virus, in research done by MIT's Todd Rider. Unlike bacterial infections, viruses are harder to combat. And most anti-virals only target one specific ailment. Draco, a protein concoction, has so far done the trick. But, the thing has only been tested on rats and it will be "several years" before Draco touches human immune systems, according to the BBC's Stephanie Hegarty. [BBC]
  • Friends don't really have that much influence on each other. Though previous research has suggested that our friends influence our likes (movies, music, TV) and behaviors (drugs, sex, and fun), a recent Harvard study found that we don't actually spread our tastes and morals to friends. Looking at Facebook friendships -- a loose definition of "friendship" -- these sociologists found that we choose friends like us, which is why it looks like friends have such strong influence on each other. And when we hang out with people unlike us, we don't change their behaviors. So really, delinquents just hang out with other delinquents. [National Science Foundation]

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