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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

How the common cold works

By Marshall Brain

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) This week I have a cold. You know the drill - runny nose, cough, scratchy throat and phlegm. The average adult gets a cold two to four times a year, and kids get even more. So the obvious question is: How does the common cold work?

It all starts with a virus particle. And there are lots of different virus particles that can cause the symptoms that go with the common cold. You might have heard that it is hard to cure the common cold because there are so many viruses that cause it, and that is true. There are rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, adenoviruses and so on, all of which cause the same package of symptoms.

We pick up these virus particles from other people. When they sneeze or cough or wipe their noses, they release the virus particles that have been reproducing inside their bodies. Their particles spray into the air or wipe onto door knobs, banisters, telephones and so on. Eventually some of the particles land in your nose, and there is some chance that you will "catch a cold".

This brings up the obvious question: What is a virus particle? The first thing to understand is that a virus particle is not a living cell. It is not like a bacteria cell, or a cell in your body. That's why antibiotics won't work with a cold. Antibiotics kill living bacteria, not viruses.

Instead, a virus particle is a container holding a little bit of genetic material in the form of RNA or DNA. Once this genetic material from the virus particle gets inside a living cell (like one of the cells lining your nose), it tells the cell to make more virus particles. A virus particle hijacks a living cell to create more virus particles. It does not take very long for a few virus particles to become thousands of virus particles inside your body.

So the sequence of events looks something like this: A virus particle gets into your nose. There is a chance that it gets blown back out or swallowed. But there is also a chance that it enters one of your cells and tells the cell to start making more virus particles. The infected cell dies, bursts and releases thousands of new virus particles into your body. Those particles start infecting new cells. The whole reproductive cycle, from cell infection to cell bursting, takes about 10 hours.

As your cells start dying and bursting, your body starts to understand that something has gone wrong. It cranks up your immune system.

Your immune system does the same kind of thing that it does when you get a sunburn. This may sound odd, but when you get a sunburn, you actually can see your immune system in action. In a sunburn, infrared light in the sun kills skin cells. Your body senses the dead cells and activates the immune system to clean them up. Capillaries swell in the sunburn area to let more blood in (your skin gets red and warm from the extra blood flow), and nerve endings sense pain. The extra blood brings in fluids and white blood cells to clean up the damage.

Now imagine this same kind of thing happening in your nose and throat. Your immune system senses the dying cells, and it does the same kind of thing it does for a sunburn. The capillaries swell, bringing in more fluid and white blood cells. Your nose starts to run and gets stuffy. Pain cells are activated, leading to a sore throat and coughing.

In two to three days, the virus load in your nose and throat reaches its peak. As your immune system attacks the virus and cleans it out, things start getting better, and generally the symptoms are gone in 7 to 10 days. Meanwhile, after about 2 weeks, your body is producing antibodies that will prevent that one virus from attacking you again. The problem is, there are a hundred other cold viruses waiting in the wings.

It's funny - all the symptoms from a cold are actually caused by your own body, rather than by the cold virus. What you are seeing is your immune system doing its job to get rid of the virus particles.

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Previously:


How the Large Hadron Collider Works
How making a TV show works
How dry cleaning works
How exoskeletons work
How an oil refinery works
How landfills work
How the Orion spacecraft works
The cutting edge in HDTV
Redefining the CD
How the HDMI cable scam works
How glow-in-the-dark toys work
How the subprime mortgage crisis works
How gift cards work
How Tasers work
How giant TV screens work
How foreclosure works
How Air Force One works
How wildfire fighting works
How vitamins work
How ejection seats work
How reattaching limbs works
How hot air balloons work
How paparazzi work
How counterfeiting works
How CDs work
How the Edsel worked
How Stinger missiles work
How hybrid cars work
How sharks work
How mosquitoes work
How diesel engines work
How water towers work
How the Dawn mission works
How Kassam rockets work
How the North American Eagle works
Why aren't we flying to work?
How tofu and soy milk work
How Colony Collapse Disorder works
How airbags work
How the U.S. income tax works
How gum works
How caffeine works
How Daylight Saving Time works
How a cruise missile works
How snow making works

© 2007, How Stuff Works Inc. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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