End of the Common Cold?

The ever-elusive cold virus might be inching closer towards extinction. A groundbreaking new study released Thursday catalogues the cold's vulnerabilities and reveals the decoding of the 99 variations of genomes. "We are now quite certain that we see the Achilles' heel, and that a very effective treatment for the common cold is at hand," said Stephen B. Liggett, an asthma expert and co-author of the finding. The rhinovirus has many strains and presents a moving target for any drug or vaccine, which makes it difficult to pursue, and is also thought to cause half of all asthma attacks, writes the New York Times. Still, the cost of developing a new drug could reach $700 million and some say the FDA would be hesitant to pursue a vaccine for such a mild disease, so Kleenex will remain in business for now.