CBO

mothernaturenetwork:

Are animal-borne diseases on the rise?Deforestation, climate change and movement of people may be contributing to the rise of the hantavirus, Wile Nile and even the plague.

Fascinating.

mothernaturenetwork:

Are animal-borne diseases on the rise?
Deforestation, climate change and movement of people may be contributing to the rise of the hantavirus, Wile Nile and even the plague.

Fascinating.

(via scinerds)

mothernaturenetwork:

Pacific chorus frog blamed for spread of deadly chytrid infectionThe carrier frogs survive what would otherwise be a deadly disease because the disease appears to only affect patches of their skin.

mothernaturenetwork:

Pacific chorus frog blamed for spread of deadly chytrid infection
The carrier frogs survive what would otherwise be a deadly disease because the disease appears to only affect patches of their skin.

sciencecenter:

Four hemophiliac patients successfully treated with gene therapy

Hemophilia, a disease whose victims can suffer serious internal bleeding and may bleed to death from injuries, has a long and eventful history. Caused by defective blood clotting factors, the disease has been with us since at least the second century, when a rabbi gave mothers whose first two sons had bled to death from circumcision wounds permission to leave the third sons uncircumcised. It also famously afflicted several members of European royal families. But a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine brings us a bit closer to a new kind of historic event: a cure.
Following up on years of preclinical trials, including the curing of hemophiliac mice earlier this year, scientists gave six patients a gene therapy treatment, injecting them with a specially built virus carrying a functioning version of the gene for the defective clotting factor. The virus inserted the gene into liver cells, which proceeded to manufacture the clotting factor, and the patients maintained elevated levels of it for over 6 months. Four of the patients were able to stop receiving injections of clotting factor (the current treatment) altogether.

sciencecenter:

Four hemophiliac patients successfully treated with gene therapy

Hemophilia, a disease whose victims can suffer serious internal bleeding and may bleed to death from injuries, has a long and eventful history. Caused by defective blood clotting factors, the disease has been with us since at least the second century, when a rabbi gave mothers whose first two sons had bled to death from circumcision wounds permission to leave the third sons uncircumcised. It also famously afflicted several members of European royal families. But a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine brings us a bit closer to a new kind of historic event: a cure.

Following up on years of preclinical trials, including the curing of hemophiliac mice earlier this year, scientists gave six patients a gene therapy treatment, injecting them with a specially built virus carrying a functioning version of the gene for the defective clotting factor. The virus inserted the gene into liver cells, which proceeded to manufacture the clotting factor, and the patients maintained elevated levels of it for over 6 months. Four of the patients were able to stop receiving injections of clotting factor (the current treatment) altogether.

the-star-stuff:

A new drug that could cure everything from colds to HIV

According to MIT research scientist Todd Rider, we’re closer to such an antiviral than ever before. He’s developed a drug named Draco, which he says has successfully vanquished 15 different viruses in lab trials on mice and human tissue. Those viruses include a quite literal murderer’s row: dengue fever, polio, the swine flu, and the particularly nasty Ebola virus. And, yes, the common cold has also been tested, and Draco was able to get rid of it as well.
So how does Draco work? According to Rider, it combines his backgrounds in engineering and biology, wiring together a pair of proteins. The first protein detects that a virus has entered a cell, which triggers the second protein. In turn, that protein acts as a kill switch, destroying the infected cell to cut off the spread of the virus. That sacrifice represents a grimly practical solution, and so far, it seems to be working.
Either way, even though Rider has already put Draco to work on human tissue, that doesn’t mean we’re ready for human testing. There’s a long road ahead for this drug, which will require tests on multiple rounds of larger animals before it’s ready for human trials. Because viruses and human cells become so closely intertwined during an infection, it can be hard to control for all the side effects of an antiviral.
Draco has some similarities to interferon - they’re both protein-based, which means Draco could also provoke an immune response. According to Rider, there’s been no immune response so far in the mice who have received the drug. That’s good news, but it may not directly correlate to the experience humans would have with the drug.
If Draco or one of the other antivirals works out, it would change the face of global health overnight. The ability to cure minor infections like the common cold could save people from a few days each year of ill health - which across an entire population would add up to a vastly more efficient workforce. And, looking even more broadly, the existence of an all-purpose antiviral would do a lot to reduce the health scares caused by new viral outbreaks, equipping us with a ready-made tool for the next big pandemic.
Via BBC News. Image by Sebastian Kaulitzki, via Shutterstock.

the-star-stuff:

A new drug that could cure everything from colds to HIV

According to MIT research scientist Todd Rider, we’re closer to such an antiviral than ever before. He’s developed a drug named Draco, which he says has successfully vanquished 15 different viruses in lab trials on mice and human tissue. Those viruses include a quite literal murderer’s row: dengue fever, polio, the swine flu, and the particularly nasty Ebola virus. And, yes, the common cold has also been tested, and Draco was able to get rid of it as well.

So how does Draco work? According to Rider, it combines his backgrounds in engineering and biology, wiring together a pair of proteins. The first protein detects that a virus has entered a cell, which triggers the second protein. In turn, that protein acts as a kill switch, destroying the infected cell to cut off the spread of the virus. That sacrifice represents a grimly practical solution, and so far, it seems to be working.

Either way, even though Rider has already put Draco to work on human tissue, that doesn’t mean we’re ready for human testing. There’s a long road ahead for this drug, which will require tests on multiple rounds of larger animals before it’s ready for human trials. Because viruses and human cells become so closely intertwined during an infection, it can be hard to control for all the side effects of an antiviral.

Draco has some similarities to interferon - they’re both protein-based, which means Draco could also provoke an immune response. According to Rider, there’s been no immune response so far in the mice who have received the drug. That’s good news, but it may not directly correlate to the experience humans would have with the drug.

If Draco or one of the other antivirals works out, it would change the face of global health overnight. The ability to cure minor infections like the common cold could save people from a few days each year of ill health - which across an entire population would add up to a vastly more efficient workforce. And, looking even more broadly, the existence of an all-purpose antiviral would do a lot to reduce the health scares caused by new viral outbreaks, equipping us with a ready-made tool for the next big pandemic.

Via BBC News. Image by Sebastian Kaulitzki, via Shutterstock.

(via englishistheartofbullshit)