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   Biotech / MedicalNNVC - NanoViricides, Inc.


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From: donpat3/26/2006 8:45:34 AM
   of 12865
 
When a Disease Loses Its Most Potent Ally, Fear

Jean-Christophe Kahn/Reuters

STORM BEFORE THE CALM A quarantined medical worker wears a protective mask against SARS in Beijing in 2004, and mad cow testing in western France in 2000. Both diseases are now seen as less of a threat.

By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.
Published: March 26, 2006

THE obituary for mad cow disease was written earlier this month. Maybe you didn't notice.

The disease isn't really dead. But its power to terrify seems to be.

On March 13, the government said that a cow in Alabama was the third in the country to have the disease. The New York Times ran its article on Page 25, and other papers did roughly the same.

There was no clamor of "press cover-up!" But neither had the disease, formally called spongiform encephalopathy, which turns the brain into a grainy lump of Swiss cheese, become any less horrific since the first mad cow in the United States, discovered in December 2003, led to nervous "Is Beef Safe?" headlines across the country.

Instead, it had finally become clear that any threat to people is very, very remote.

Over the last two years, bending to pressure from consumer groups and its own inspector general, the Agriculture Department had finally tested 650,000 animals instead of a token handful. It had also adopted rapid tests and banned "downer" cattle from the food supply so that the most disgusting aspect of the first case would not be repeated: that the old dairy cow that tested positive had been in a truckload of animals so broken by age, disease and injury that some had to be winched out to the slaughter, and that all had been ground into hamburger and sold before the test results were in.

Mad cow isn't the only disease in recent years to soar into high-flying panic and then collapse into the "I wonder whatever happened to ... ?" category.

One could argue that the obituary for resurgent smallpox was written on June 18, 2003, and that SARS died on Feb. 19, 2005.

The first date is the one on which the Centers for Disease Control admitted that the smallpox vaccination drive ordered by the Bush administration in the lead-up to invading Iraq had ground to a halt. The administration had wanted 500,000 health workers to be vaccinated because Saddam Hussein or others might unleash weaponized smallpox. But barely 38,000 volunteered.

The latter date is the one on which a microbiologist from the University of Colorado, after a review of worldwide scientific literature, announced that the virus that causes SARS, a respiratory illness that had killed about 10 percent of 8,000 victims two years earlier, was no longer found in humans. (Later, scientists found that it thrives in bats, ending hope of total eradication.)

Why, in each of these cases, was a public frenzy whipped up, only to fade again? And what does that say about today's mounting frenzy over avian flu? In the past, "we cried wolf too fast, revving up the emotions and there was nothing to show for it," said Judith Walzer Leavitt, professor of medical history at the University of Wisconsin.

An obvious scapegoat is the media, which is often accused of being alarmist about medical news. But a more important factor was simpler: fear waxed or waned according to whether the public thought government was being honest.

In the case of mad cow disease, there were early accusations that the government was playing down the threat to protect the beef industry. The secretary of agriculture when the first case was found, Ann M. Veneman, was a former food industry lobbyist, her critics noted, and her chief spokeswoman's last job had been press representative for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

In the case of smallpox, there was suspicion that the government was exaggerating the threat to whip up support for its drive to war. As skeptics then pointed out, smallpox had been eradicated worldwide in 1977, and if Mr. Hussein had a cache, he presumably would have vaccinated his troops against it, which he had not.

In the case of SARS, it was not the American government, but the Chinese one, whose motives were questioned. It was concealing cases and refusing entry to international disease detectives.

"If you want the public's cooperation, honesty and frankness is much better," Professor Leavitt said.

In 1894, she noted, smallpox sparked a month of rioting in Milwaukee. The cause wasn't the disease itself, but the city's policy of seizing sick children in immigrant Polish and German neighborhoods and taking them to isolation hospitals, while leaving wealthy families alone, saying their larger houses and abundant servants would isolate them. With rioters flinging hot water and pepper in the eyes of the police and their horses, a vaccination drive collapsed and the epidemic spread.

Now the public is nervous about another potential pandemic.

Virologists disagree about whether the A(H5N1) virus that is killing chickens by the millions has the genetic power to do the same to humans, as the flus of 1918, 1957 and 1968 did. It could be a plague of medieval proportions — or it could fade as the swine flu threat of 1976 did.

Right now, the situation is reminiscent of SARS. Like that disease, avian flu originated in China, and some crucial questions have never been answered — like how much Chinese poultry vaccines were to blame for the disease festering in birds for nine years, and whether the virus infected thousands of Chinese who never got sick.

But no one is speculating about an American government cover-up. Its most respected health officials, like Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Julie Gerberding, have admitted that the country is utterly vulnerable.

Nor is any powerful industry, like drugmakers or poultry raisers, accused of having a thumb on the scale of public policy, as the beef industry was during mad cow.

Predicting what a virus will do is impossible. But humans are predictable. John M. Barry, author of "The Great Influenza," a history of the 1918 pandemic argued that even if A(H5N1) becomes a killer, the panic it creates will fade faster than might be expected now, when a sense of mystery still enshrouds a threat that normally would sound silly — a "killer bird flu."

"What people are afraid of is the unknown," he said. "Not eating meat because you're worried about mad cow is like not going in the water because you saw 'Jaws.' But once the threat arrives, even if there's an undercurrent of terror in the whole society, people see the consequences and they get accustomed to it, just as they got accustomed to plague in the Middle Ages."

nytimes.com

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From: donpat3/26/2006 4:59:17 PM
   of 12865
 
“Custom” Nanoparticles Could Improve Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Source: American Chemical Society (ACS)
Released: Tue 21-Mar-2006, 18:10 ET
Embargo expired: Sun 26-Mar-2006, 11:30 ET

Keywords
CHEMISTRY/PHYSICS/MATERIALS SCIENCES; MEDICINE/HEALTH; CANCER; NANOTECHNOLOGY/MICROMACHINES; CELL BIOLOGY; PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCE.

Researchers have developed “custom” nanoparticles that show promise of providing a more targeted and effective delivery of anticancer drugs than conventional medications or any of the earlier attempts to fight cancer with nanoparticles. The nanoparticles also have the potential to reduce side effects associated with chemotherapy.

Newswise — Researchers have developed “custom” nanoparticles that show promise of providing a more targeted and effective delivery of anticancer drugs than conventional medications or any of the earlier attempts to fight cancer with nanoparticles. Designed at the molecular level to attack specific types of cancer without affecting healthy cells, the nanoparticles also have the potential to reduce side effects associated with chemotherapy, the researchers say. Their study was described today at the 231st national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

The particles, considered the next generation of cancer therapeutics, are the most uniform, shape-specific drug delivery particles developed to date, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill. Other potential benefits of the tiny uniform particles include enhanced imaging of cancer cells for improved diagnosis and use as delivery vehicles for gene therapy agents, they say.

To date, the UNC researchers have produced a variety of custom nanoparticles from biocompatible organic materials using techniques they adapted from processes used by the electronics industry to make transistors. In cell studies, they have shown that the uniform nanoparticles can attach to specific cell targets, release important chemotherapy drugs inside cells, and hold MRI contrast agents. Animal studies began recently and human studies are anticipated, the researchers say.

“I think this will transform the way one detects and treats disease,” says study leader Joseph DeSimone, Ph.D., a chemistry professor at UNC and director of the school’s Institute for Advanced Materials, Nanoscience and Technology. He has co-founded a company, Liquidia Technologies, to develop and produce the nanoparticles.

Researchers have been experimenting with nanoparticles as drug delivery vehicles for years but have had only limited success in cell and animal studies, DeSimone says. Each carrier has drawbacks with regard to stability in the bloodstream or ability to be directed toward a specific cancer site. In addition, there has been no general method available that allows precise control of the particle’s size, shape and composition, which are considered key features for the success of targeted drug delivery, he says.

Now, DeSimone and his associates at UNC have developed a new fabrication technique that allows, for the first time, unprecedented control over the structure and function of drug delivery nanoparticles. Called PRINT (Particle Replication In Non-wetting Templates), the technique is similar to injection molding and uses principles borrowed from the electronics industry for transistor fabrication, they say. The technique was first detailed last June in the online version of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The manufacturing process starts with a silicon wafer that is etched with the shape and size of the desired nanoparticle, resulting in a template. Next, nonstick liquid fluoropolymers are poured into the template and cured to form a fixed mold. The finished mold is then injected with organic materials that can contain imaging agents, anticancer drugs, DNA (for gene therapy) and other materials, depending on the intended function, DeSimone says. The new manufacturing technique uses gentler processing methods that are less likely to harm important organic components than traditional nanoparticle manufacturing techniques, he adds.

The resulting nanoparticles can be as small as 20 nanometers, or thousands of times smaller than the width of a single human hair. The shapes of the particles can also be made to mimic the shapes of objects found in nature like red blood cells or virus particles, DeSimone says.

Funding for the current study is provided by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

The American Chemical Society — the world’s largest scientific society — is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

The paper on this research, COLL 9, will be presented at 11:35 a.m., Sunday, March 26, OMNI at CNN Center, International Ballroom E, during the symposium “Biomolecular and Polymeric Nanostructures and Interfaces: Fabrication, Characterization, Function, and Applications.”

Joseph M DeSimone, Ph.D., is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

© 2006 Newswise. All Rights Reserved.

newswise.com

Refs:
Liquidia Technologies
liquidia.com

United States Patent Application 20020168509
Kind Code A1
DeSimone, Joseph M. ; et al. November 14, 2002
Nano-and micro-cellular foamed thin-walled material, and processes and apparatuses for making the same
Abstract
Polymeric materials having a plurality of cells formed therein are described. The polymeric materials include a foamed layer comprising a plurality of uniform microcells, nanocells or combinations thereof in a closed cell network, a transition layer positioned adjacent to the foamed layer, and at least one unfoamed outer layer positioned adjacent to the transition layer. The foamed layer may be present in a volume ranging from about 80 to about 99 percent based on the volume of the polymeric material, the transition layer may present in a volume ranging from about 0 to about 10 percent based on the volume of the polymeric material, and the at least one outer layer may be present in a volume ranging from about 0.01 to about 10 percent based on the volume of the polymeric material. Methods of making such polymeric materials are also described, as are apparatus for providing foamed polymeric materials.
appft1.uspto.gov

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To: donpat who wrote (1180)3/26/2006 5:01:51 PM
From: MJ
   of 12865
 
donpat

Read with interest the article reg. the 1918 flu. We lost two Great Grandparents in New York City-----they were young with a young baby who ended up being our Grandmother.

I have often wondered if the virus could still exist on effects of the family----i.e. old papers,passports, books----a wedding guest book, baby cards etc., deeds etc.------even old eyeglasses and appointment books.

All of the things----we love to collect and preserve.

If it can survive on these itmes, would seem that there is a chance of it being present in the environment without regard to the mice experiment.

Making another leap here----if the virus still exists on the old items, then is it possible this would help in the research such as being done with isolating the parts of the virus.

Any thoughts on this?

mj

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To: MJ who wrote (1183)3/26/2006 5:17:33 PM
From: donpat
   of 12865
 
Don't think so - those researchers had to find the virus preserved in tissues of those buried in permafrost. So, unless those memorabilia have been stored in a freezer - not likely - I think the air, light and time in normal storage would have rendered any virus particles safe, IOW - dead.

Freezing stuff, living stuff, like foods and tissues and other living cells seems to preserve them indefinitely. While heat and normal everyday conditions does the exact opposite. I don't know why just that it does.

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To: donpat who wrote (1184)3/26/2006 9:48:25 PM
From: Solid
   of 12865
 
Generally good reply about most viruses. They are a portion of RNA [half of the DNA molecule] and have the ability to inject themselves into cells and in effect force the cell to then replicate more viruses in place of normal cellular activity. They tend to exist in hosts or for relatively short time frames outside of hosts and some are more persistent then others. That is why colds can be spread with contact on mucus membranes often through touch but even with someone sneezing on you and tiny particulate matter from the ejecta lodging on your eye or sinus membrane, etc. HIV is tougher to spread and needs to be in body fluid and then transferred to another’s body fluid. Can't get it from the proverbial door knob. Usually blood to blood. That is why once a virus like smallpox is eradicated it may actually be gone from the world stage unless intentionally preserved in cold storage as you stated which is exactly what was done, and how Saddam came by via our intermediaries in '84.

A more interesting and quite dangerous and persistent pathogen is the spongiform for mad cow disease, a prion. One of the most simple and tenacious life forms on our planet. That puppy can exist in the most harsh environments for up to 10,000 years and be unaffected by its lodging awaiting opportunity to enter an available life form and weave its spell. That is why cooking, even well done and drinking strong alcohol with meals or even soaking the meat in it before hand basically has no effect on the prion, nor does sun or wind or rain. One resilient MF'er. Be grateful they are not on the memorabilia from 1918/19's viral outbreak.

Good job of listing some interesting articles and the need for companies to research cures and controls.

Virus may represent the single most dangerous threat and challenge to life on Earth, though as with all life forms ultimately it too is a part of our evolutionary balancing act. Pox virus is one of the most common around and basically has served to be a governor on over population for birds and animals and perhaps insects as well, not sure there. Smallpox is simply a specific virus that affects humans and generally needs a large high density population to take hold, hence the reason for massive outbreaks in urban regions. Spreads easily and takes off quickly with high density populations... Hence over population facilitates natural virus mutations to take hold when they mutate in a way that is beneficial to the virus gaining access to a new population of hosts. These occur all the time as adaptation to their environment. A large dense population of any creature susceptible to a virus potentially allows the virus to take hold more readily then very sparse populations that literally don’t lend a bridge to other hosts and hence can/do die out when other susceptible hosts are not around.

I hope that helps the poster with the old stuff. Not a problem at all. An aside. Those surgical masks that some old photos showed from the 1918/19 outbreak did absolutely nothing. They were like putting a huge fish net over your face, way to porous to stop the tiny virus. But is may have stimulated the immune system with the positive belief that you were doing something very helpful, the placebo effect.

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To: Solid who wrote (1185)3/27/2006 1:19:15 AM
From: MJ
   of 12865
 
Yes, helps with understaning. Thanks.

What I would like to see is the development of meds/drugs for cancer that protect the healthy cells as noted in previous message here.

Have a friend just diagnosed with lung cancer after surgery and biopsy-----doctors giving mixed opinions-----this is the same as Dana Reeves had. One doc wants to treat with a med that is in trials that protects the healthy cells and then boost with chemo periodically to target the cancerous cells. Another wants to be agressive with the heavy duty chemo.

Having seen a lot of friends of all ages go through various cancers without success, can see the need for something other than chemo.

Pretty heavy stuff to consider.

mj

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From: donpat3/27/2006 4:15:49 PM
   of 12865
 
RNAi works in monkeys

Apparent absence of toxicity and persistence of silencing may bode well for humans

[Published 27th March 2006 05:52 PM GMT]

A disease-causing gene was silenced in monkeys through RNA interference (RNAi) therapy delivered into the bloodstream, scientists reported online yesterday (March 26) in Nature. This is the first study to show that systemic administration of RNAi works in non-human primates, and the findings affirm the promise of this new type of therapy, scientists say.

In the study, gene silencing using the highest dose persisted for 11 days, without any observed toxicity, a finding that "bodes well for future human systemic trials of RNAi therapies," John Rossi of the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope in Duarte, Calif., who did not participate in this study, told The Scientist.

Scientists at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Protiva Biotherapeutics gave cynomolgus monkeys a single injection of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) against the gene for apolipoprotein B (ApoB). This gene is involved in the assembly and secretion of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and has not proven accessible to targeting with conventional small molecule or protein therapies. The researchers encapsulated the siRNAs in a liposomal formulation designed to target the liver, and modified their backbones to prevent siRNA degradation.

Gene silencing occurred in a dose-dependent manner. Within 48 hours, the maximum level of APOB silencing exceeded 90%, with a more than 75% reduction in plasma ApoB and a more than 80% drop in LDL. The researchers detected no reductions with empty liposomes or those containing mismatched siRNA.

Using 5' rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) analysis, the scientists confirmed that silencing occurred via APOB mRNA cleavage at precisely the predicted site. APOB mRNA levels were substantially reduced for at least 11 days -- a silencing effect far more persistent than results previously obtained with rodents, which suggested APOB mRNA levels would recover within four to seven days. Alnylam president and chief executive officer John Maraganore said that metabolic differences between rodents and primates may explain why silencing persisted longer in this study.

The researchers saw no evidence of toxicity, such as pro-inflammatory cytokine production, a finding Maraganore attributed to in vitro toxicity screening beforehand and to the siRNA backbone modifications. The only detected change was a fleeting increase in liver enzymes in monkeys that received the high dose of the liposome-encased anti-APOB siRNAs, which peaked 48 hours after treatment and varied highly across individual animals. These effects normalized by the sixth day, and did not interfere with biological efficacy.

The researchers ended their study after 11 days because "the durability of the silencing far exceeded what we expected," Maraganore told The Scientist. They plan to continue longer-term experiments in primates, and improve the liposome formulations. Still, Maraganore said he believes they are ready for human clinical trials within the next 18 to 24 months.

However, scientists cautioned many details of the therapy should be investigated further. "The data is all from a single dosing, and it is going to be important to determine what happens after multiple dosing, as will be required for chronic liver problems," Rossi cautioned. While the liposome vectors the researchers used are most effective in delivery to the liver, they could also investigate whether the liposomes can deliver siRNAs to different targets, such as the kidneys or lungs, Rossi added.

Investigations should also tease apart how necessary the backbone modifications are to the therapy's effectiveness, Martin Woodle at RNAi therapeutic company Intradigm in Rockville, Md., who did not participate in this study, told The Scientist. "Nanoparticle and liposomal systems are now quite well accepted and very successful, without invoking the need for chemical modifications of the siRNAs themselves," he said. Future research should also investigate whether systemic delivery localizes siRNAs selectively to the liver, or if the silencer reaches other organs, as well, Woodle added.

Charles Choi
cchoi@the-scientist.com

Links within this article

T.S. Zimmermann et al. "RNAi-mediated gene silencing in non-human primates." Nature, published online March 26, 2006.
nature.com

C. Choi, "Mice tolerate siRNAs," The Scientist, November 24, 2004.
the-scientist.com

A. Adams. "RNA therapeutics enter clinical trials." The Scientist, January 17, 2005.
the-scientist.com

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
alnylam.com
[[The central dogma of biology is that DNA makes RNA which in turn, makes protein. The abnormal production of proteins is the cause of most human disease. Today's drugs act by blocking the action of disease-causing proteins. RNAi creates the opportunity to silence the production of disease-causing proteins and therefore, represents a whole new approach for innovative medicines.]]

Protiva Biotherapeutics
protivabio.com
[[Protiva Biotherapeutics is a development stage biotechnology company, focused on pharmaceutical products to fight against cancer, metabolic and infectious disease. Protiva's technology, employing lipid nanoparticles to encapsulate and deliver nucleic acid based drugs, such as siRNA, allows for the development of molecular therapeutics that act selectively at sites of disease.]]

J.F. Wilson. "The biological basis for atherosclerosis." The Scientist, October 30, 2000.
the-scientist.com

J. Soutschek et al. "Therapeutic silencing of an endogenous gene by systemic administration of modified siRNAs." Nature 432, 173-178, November 11, 2004.
nature.com

John Maraganore
alnylam.com

Martin Woodle
intradigm.com

the-scientist.com

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From: mark2market3/27/2006 5:00:01 PM
   of 12865
 
Here's anudder 1 dat's thinx dey got da answer:

eFoodSafety.com, Inc. Completes Bird Flu Formulation; EFSF Believes It Has Formulated the 'Total Solution' to the Potential Bird Flu Pandemic
Patricia Gruden, President/CEO of eFoodSafety.com, Inc. (OTCBB:EFSF), announced today that eFoodSafety.com, Inc. has completed its product formulations on what it calls the "Total Solution" to the potential Bird Flu pandemic. eFoodSafety's Citroxin formulation has definitively proven in independent laboratory testing to eliminate the H9N2 virus, which is the surrogate organism used in all laboratory testing for the Bird Flu, on both hard and porous surfaces.

eFoodSafety's Citroxin formulation can be sprayed on bird cages and hen houses without it being harmful to animals or humans in surrounding areas if ingested.

Humans who have contracted the H5N1 virus, commonly known as Bird Flu, can rely on eFoodSafety's Citroxin O2 formulation, an ingestible product that the company believes will prove to have dramatic effects on the Bird Flu virus. The Citroxin O2 formulation is currently undergoing human clinical trials on the Influenza Viruses A and B, however testimonials from humans who have taken the product with influenza-like symptoms indicate very promising results.

The company further reports that interest in the Citroxin formulations from large multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical corporations has been very encouraging and anticipates pursuing all opportunities presented.

"It is eFoodSafety's contention that these two products can prevent the spread and effectively treat the potential pandemic Bird Flu virus. We anticipate the product will soon be ready for mass production and distribution," stated Mrs. Gruden.

About eFoodSafety.com, Inc.

eFoodSafety.com, Inc. is dedicated to improving food and health conditions around the world through its innovative technologies. The company's Knock-Out Technologies, Ltd. subsidiary has developed an environmentally safe sporicidal product formulated entirely of food-grade components that eradicates anthrax and a germicidal product, Big 6 Plus - EPA Reg. No. 82723-1 that kills six major bacteria: E-coli, Listeria, Pseudomonas, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus, Avian Influenza, and Black Mold. The sporicidal product has completed its final efficacy laboratory study requisite for EPA registration. In the study, it eradicated both Clostridium Sporogenes and Bacillus Subtilis with 100% efficacy on both hard and porous surfaces. The company's MedElite, Inc. subsidiary distributes clinically proven products to physicians who then prescribe the products for their patients. It is the exclusive U.S. and worldwide distributor of the Talsyn(TM)-CI/bid Scar Cream that has been clinically proven to facilitate and improve the appearance, redness and strength of scars (www.talsyn.com). The company is also is a distributor for Cinnergen(TM), a non-prescription liquid whole food nutritional supplement that promotes healthy glucose metabolism (www.cinnergen.com), and most recently became a distributor for Trimmendous(TM), a weight-loss formula focusing on the body's 24-hour metabolic processes.

Safe Harbor Forward-Looking Statements

Statements contained in this release that are not strictly historical are "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The forward-looking statements are made based on information available as of the date hereof, and the company assumes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements. Editors and investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements invoke risk and uncertainties and the company's actual results may differ from these forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to demand for the company's products and services, our ability to continue to develop markets, general economic conditions, our ability to secure additional financing for the company and other factors that may be more fully described in reports to shareholders and periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Redwood Consultants, LLC
Jens Dalsgaard, 415-884-0348

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From: donpat3/27/2006 8:42:46 PM
   of 12865
 
Nano tech, the new wealth creator'

Integration of nano, biotech will raise farm, industrial output

[Snip]
The 21st century belonged to the life sciences wherein a number of exciting discoveries and inventions in both sectors would change the quality of life on this planet, said Mr Mukherjee. The future would belong to those who adopt amalgamation of nano and bio-technology without delay to increase their GDP.

thehindubusinessline.com

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From: donpat3/28/2006 7:04:57 AM
   of 12865
 
Vaccine against bird flu

Tuesday, 28th March 2006, 07:39
Category: Healthy Living

LIFE STYLE EXTRA (UK) - SCIENTISTS have created a vaccine against bird flu using horse antibodies.

The Chinese researchers managed to cure mice after infecting them with the killer H5N1 virus.

They discovered the antibodies - derived from horses - prevented the animals from dying.

The study published in the journal Respiratory Research showed a dose of 1O,OOOth of a gram of the horse anti-serum effectively protected the infected mice.

The scientists hope the anti-H5N1 antibodies developed in horses could potentially be used to save dying human bird flu victims or as early treatment for the disease.

Dr Jiahai Lu, of Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China, and colleagues infected dog kidney cells in the lab with a lethal dose of H5N1 and simultaneously exposed the
cells to horse antibodies against H5N1.

The cells simultaneously infected with H5N1 and exposed to horse antibodies did not die.

The scientists then injected horse antibodies into 40 mice that had been
infected with a lethal dose of H5N1 24 hours earlier.

They also injected horse serum without H5N1 antibodies into a group of mice that acted as controls.

The researchers found 5,OOOth of a gram of antibody protected 70% of the mice
against death from bird flu and double the dose protected all the animals.

But the mice in the comparison group died nine hours after receiving the normal horse serum that did not contain the H5N1 antibodies.

Public health expert Dr Jiahai Lu said: "Until we have an efficacious vaccine, specific anti-H5N1 agents and effective epidemiologic control measures for H5N1 virus infection, highly mpathogenic H5N1 virus is likely to be a major health threat tto the world."

He said the vaccine could potentially be used for the early treatment of bird flu patients to reduce the severity of illness and the likelihood of passing on the virus to others.

The research had provided "experimental support" for using the vaccine in future large primate or human trials, said Dr Jiahai Lu.

Copyright © 2006 National News +44(0)207 684 3000

lse.co.uk

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