One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A protein released by animal cells, usually in response to the entry of a virus, which has the property of inhibiting virus replication.
- ‘It helps the body produce more interferon to defend itself from viruses and other harmful matter.’
- ‘If this fails, interferons block the virus from forming particles which can be released and infect other neurons.’
- ‘Other forms of immunotherapy, such as interferon, are being tested in clinical trials.’
- ‘One example of an antiviral compound is interferon which is a chemical produced by the body in response to viral infection.’
- ‘Your body naturally produces interferon as a response to viral infections.’
1950s: from interfere + -on.
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