Is it cold outside? Be careful, you might catch a cold!


Remember your parents nagging you to wear your jacket, coat and probably a scarf or a cap when you go outside in the cold? Well, they were right. A study published very recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences proves that the common cold virus, Rhinovirus, grows more rapidly at cooler temperatures. The researchers found that in mouse airway cells, the common cold virus limits its replication at warm temperatures due to temperature-dependent innate defense system. Most Rhinoviruses are known to replicate better at 33-35˚C, which is found in the nasal cavity, rather than in the body’s core temperature of 37˚C.

Using a mouse-adapted virus, the scientists from Yale University, Connecticut found that “airway epithelial cells supporting rhinovirus replication, initiate a more robust antiviral defense response through RIG-I–like receptor (RLR)–dependent interferon secretion and enhanced interferon responsiveness at lung temperature vs. nasal cavity temperature.” So don’t forget to cover yourselves when its chilly!

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Disclaimer: This article does not reflect any personal views of authors/editors

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Scientist-entrepreneur-manager-journalist: -Co-founder, Author; Former Assistant Editor and Director, Biotechin.Asia, Biotech Media Pte. Ltd.; -Founder & CEO, SciGlo (; -Programme Management Officer, SBIC, A*STAR (former Research Fellow). --Sandhya graduated from University of Madras, India (B.Sc Microbiology and M.Sc Biotechnology) and received her Ph.D from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She worked on oxidative stress in skin, skeletal, adipose tissue and cardiac muscle for a decade from 2006-2016. She is currently working as a Programme Management Officer handling projects and grants at Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Earlier to this she was a Research Fellow in the Fat Metabolism and Stem Cell Group at SBIC. Sandhya was also the Vice President and Publicity Chair of A*PECSS (A*STAR Post Doc Society) (2014-2016). Recently she founded a platform for scientists - SciGlo ( and is a startup mentor at Vertical VC (Finland). She is an ardent lover of science and enjoys globe trotting and good vegetarian food.