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Piece from childhood virus may save soldiers' lives

A harmless shard from the shell of a common childhood virus may halt a biological process that kills a significant percentage of battlefield casualties, heart attack victims and oxygen-deprived newborns, according to research presented Sunday, September 6, 2009, at the 12th European meeting on complement in human disease in Budapest, Hungary.

Introducing the virus's shell in vitro shuts down what's known as the complement response, a primordial part of the immune system that attacks and destroys the organs and vascular lining of people who have been deprived of oxygen for prolonged periods, according to researchers at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters (CHKD) and Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), in Norfolk, Va.
 
 

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