Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Anthrax Cellular Entry Point Uncovered

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the vaccine-called-little-dutch-boy dept.

Science 39

ScienceDaily reports that scientists have identified the cellular point of entry for anthrax spores. This discovery could go a long way towards providing treatment or preventing infection.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

is it the vagina? (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22190286)

oh, anthrax. I thought you said cock.

Re:is it the vagina? (1, Funny)

SueAnnSueAnn (998877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22190490)

Nobody was talking about roosters.
what is wrong with you?

Well that was fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22190304)

Server is down already. Anyone got a mirror?

Re:Well that was fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22190908)

Yes, and I look damn good!

Re:Well that was fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22192830)

The article is still there Anthrax Cellular Entry Point Uncovered [sciencedaily.com]

Medical Science is getting really interesting... (1, Interesting)

Nemilar (173603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22190346)

We have drugs that prevent people from getting high on opiates, then we have cocaine vaccines, and now we are going to have a drug for anthrax immunity.

Medical science (and all science) is really taking off, now that we are beginning to understand the minute details of how our bodies work. Of course, there is still loads that we don't know - and there will always be things that we won't know - but I think the advances we're going to see in the next 10-20 years are going to amaze us all.

But I bet anything, anything at all, that we will not, ever, cure the common cold.

Common cold (3, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22190380)

Forgive my ignorance, but I thought the common cold was anything but common. It is a virus with countless strains, each fairly different.

Re:Common cold (1)

Forbman (794277) | more than 6 years ago | (#22195440)

Actually, it's a variety of viruses that more or less cause most of the same symptoms. And they mutate rapidly.

Re:Medical Science is getting really interesting.. (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22190498)

where were you? We already did and it's called Zinc. You spray it in your nose and the viruses can't do anything. I'm never sick for more than 24 hours now. Anyway, screw that, they should cure AIDS. I mean seriously, how hard is that? In fact, how is it that nobody's even found a way to destroy virus cells in general? We have antibacterial drugs that kill almost all bacteria indescriminantly. Where's the antivirus meds?

Re:Medical Science is getting really interesting.. (3, Informative)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22190508)

Where's the antivirus meds?
Viruses have an annoying habit of hiding in cells where treatments can't get to them very well.

Re:Medical Science is getting really interesting.. (2, Funny)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22190590)

Viruses have an annoying habit of hiding in cells where treatments can't get to them very well.

Well, kill the damn cells then! That will teach them to stop aiding and abetting the dirty viruses!

They'd better learn now that they're either with us or with the disease.

Re:Medical Science is getting really interesting.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22190710)

Where's the antivirus meds?
Viruses have an annoying habit of hiding in cells where treatments can't get to them very well.
So, Jews and viruses do act the same [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Medical Science is getting really interesting.. (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191370)

they're like fat guys in beaters with shotguns on Cops. They gotta come out eventually. If there's something waiting in your bloodstream to massacre them, they might find it hard to reproduce effectively. Which brings up an interesting point. There's gotta be some signal that says "hey, you're sick, make tons of white blood cells" but it's always like 2 days too slow and sometimes too little too late. Why not synthesize that hormone or neurotransmitter and give someone a super dose of it to give them a crazy abnormal amount of white blood cells as fast as possible? Yes, I know, that wouldn't cure AIDS (well AIDS by definition yes, HIV no). Or better yet, why not just cut out the middle man and find a way to synthesize the exact matching antibodies for them and just pump someone full of them? That's how it works, right? White blood cells catch a virus, make an antibody for it, then release a bunch of it I think. In fact, why not just capture the antibodies the white blood cell gives off, see what they're made out of, and make them. Or find out what pattern white blood cells use to build their antibodies, make the pattern one for a given virus, and send it to a bunch of white blood cells in a test tube and have them synthesize antibodies for us. If I was a scientist, I'd shoot for that.

Re:Medical Science is getting really interesting.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22192700)

I've always wondered - if AIDS is an infection of the immune system, and chemotherapy kills off the immune system, wouldn't chemotherapy + a bone marrow transplant kill off the AIDS infection?

Re:Medical Science is getting really interesting.. (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22194258)

no cuz you'd have to kill every single one. The AIDS virus doesn't need the immune system, it just attacks it. I'm a big fan of running 100% of a person's blood through a heating machine that would heat it up to hot enough to kill them then cooling it down and pumping it back in. That wouldn't kill the ones in cells though.

Re:Medical Science is getting really interesting.. (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22193448)

They gotta come out eventually.
Yes they do. After they have multiplied a thousand-fold and killed the cell. Then it is a Zerg Rush to the next ones. Giving the immune system an insane boost may help, but it isn't a cure, by definition.

Re:Medical Science is getting really interesting.. (1)

philwx (789834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22194880)

IIRC they are also made of the same stuff our own cells are made of. Bacteria are targeted by breaking down chemicals in their cell walls that our cells don't have. Killing viruses directly = killing us. I think.

Re:Medical Science is getting really interesting.. (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22197602)

they are also made of the same stuff our own cells are made of
Only in the sense that the cell's resources are diverted to building the virus. Other than that, they are very different. A bacteria is a cell, but a virus is simply DNA wrapped in a protein capsule. Even less to it than a sperm, which can at least move on it's own.

Re:Medical Science is getting really interesting.. (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22199760)

AIDS is a retrovirus, it implants it's genetics info into your chromosome, so it's terminal. The best we are going to get is keeping it in remission until you dye from something else; death is the only cure.

Re:Medical Science is getting really interesting.. (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22202728)

> nobody's even found a way to destroy virus cells in general?

If they had cells to begin with, that might be something we could try.

Technically they're not even alive.

Re:Medical Science is getting really interesting.. (1)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 6 years ago | (#22190596)

I thought the whole "synthetic organisms are right around the corner" thing yesterday was actually more of an indication.

It's funny: AI people are usually the ones talking about the Singularity, but I bet it's going to be the biologists who realize it first. AI is still sort of mired down and going in 20 directions at once, but medical science appears to be making a string of rapid advances. I can only imagine what's going to happen when we figure out how to start making ourselves smarter. It'll be even more interesting seeing the social ramifications if humanity ends up being split into two "natural" and "GM" camps over it.

At some point, we'll need to draw a line. Where does helping people survive end and eugenics begin?

Anyway, just some slightly tangential thoughts.

Re:Medical Science is getting really interesting.. (1)

wickerprints (1094741) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191314)

The pessimist's view:

The single biggest problem in epidemiology facing us today is antibiotic resistance. For all our advances, we are losing the race against pathogenic bacteria species that are mutating beyond our ability to treat them in vivo, thanks to the very techniques we have invented to fight them. This is an incredibly serious threat, one that is only recently gaining attention in the public consciousness because of the headlines about MRSA and XDR TB.

In light of our current state of knowledge of infectious disease as a whole, I can only conclude that despite all our advances, we have truly only begun to scratch the surface of the kind of insight, technology, and science we must yet discover in order to make a significant impact on the way humankind deals with disease. For instance, only relatively recently was it realized that certain viral infections once thought to be of minor importance actually have long-term health consequences for those who acquire them (e.g., cancer). We have yet to fully appreciate the complex relationship between the infectious agent and its host. The discovery that self-replicating misfolded proteins could cause disease was also shocking to the scientific community. The lesson to be learned, I believe, is that our discoveries so far have largely served to demonstrate to us that mankind has far, far more to learn--it is a bit like trekking that first mile up a steep mountain, only to look up and realize just how much further it is to the top.

Worse yet, we still cannot even see the top.

Re:Medical Science is getting really interesting.. (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192362)

ever? given how much technology has progressed in the last 500 years, you dont think another milion years would produce a cure for the common cold? I would guess we wouldnt even need another 500.

Whoa (1)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22190376)

2001 called, they want their overblown terrorist threat back.

Did I miss something? (2, Interesting)

Sorthum (123064) | more than 6 years ago | (#22190406)

The site is down, so forgive me if this is in TFA, but can't we treat anthrax with common anti-bacterials?

In fact, http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/anthrax_g.htm#What%20is%20the%20treatment%20for%20anthrax [cdc.gov] confirms this.

So what's the huge deal about using Anthrax as a biological weapon? You'd be about as successful using the Black Plague...

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

arete (170676) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191516)

You can treat Anthrax with relatively common antibacterials, if you've realized you're infected with Anthrax (which isn't always obvious)

You'd probably be MORE successful with the plague. One of the big things about Anthrax is that it's NOT generally transmittable person to person (per your CDC link, even) - you catch it only from livestock, or weapons. That's a large part of WHY Anthrax is special.

As a MILITARY weapon, this is a big advantage - it kills enemies WHERE you dropped it on purpose, but it doesn't have any chance of spreading back over to your side and killing everyone. If you have the technology to weaponize it, it's durable and predictable - friendly fire is a big problem.

But as a imbalanced warfare / REAL TERRORIST weapon, this is a big disadvantage. You can't cause a plague with it, because it won't spread, and weaponizing it isn't especially easy. You'd be better off to have unprotected sex with a ton of people and spread HIV, and/or just get yourself the regular flu and fly to different cities coughing. Seriously.

On the other hand, as a FAUX TERRORIST weapon, it's pretty perfect... mysterious white powder is easy and cheap to acquire, and it's preventable enough to generate a noticeable response.

Everyone knows what it is, though, because of the original military weaponization - which was completely because it's NOT good for spreading randomly in a city or anything.

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

n3tcat (664243) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192214)

The treatment for Anthrax is largely unsafe, to the point where military personnel are given the OPTION of receiving it.

You know when us Army guys get the OPTION of doing something medical that it's not really a safe thing.

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

Sorthum (123064) | more than 6 years ago | (#22193944)

You're thinking of the vaccine, not the treatment.

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192572)

Apparently treatment is somewhat dependent on how quickly you get the antibiotics to the person, and upon rather large doses. The biggest in treating a few hundred thousand people would be finding the antibiotics to do it. This stuff might be easier or cheaper to make, have a longer shelf life, work against more advanced infections, etc.

Tidbit (4, Interesting)

LilGuy (150110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22190426)

My brother-in-law's father is a professor at ISU and worked with a fellow that kept anthrax samples for over 50 years, running diagnostics on samples once a year until 2001. Then the government came in and made him destroy them all. It's pretty ridiculous considering anthrax isn't THAT big of a threat. It is indeed deadly in a sufficient quantity, but in order to ingest the amount needed for lethality you'd just about have to cut up a line and snort it.

Well not quite to that extent but the media did a fine job of playing the other extreme.

9/11 Made America Stupid (3, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22190540)

professor at ISU and worked with a fellow that kept anthrax samples for over 50 years, running diagnostics on samples once a year until 2001. Then the government came in and made him destroy them all. It's pretty ridiculous considering anthrax isn't THAT big of a threat.

Face it, 9/11 made America stupid for 3 years. Even Democrats signed off on torture, we got ourselves into a non-terror-related quagmire, gave up lots of civil rights, and went nuts over things like this. People wonder why Germany citizens let Hitler run amuck, but we had a bit of it ourselves.
   

Re:9/11 Made America Stupid (2, Insightful)

JustOK (667959) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191848)

Face it, 9/11 made America stupid for 3 years.
Your math is wrong.

Re:Tidbit (1)

Quantam (870027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22190928)

Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm recalling this from a paper on Anthrax I did years ago for a class), but isn't the inhalation of 12 spores of high-grade Anthrax enough to kill someone? I'm not sure you can claim poetic license on "cut up a line and snort it".

Lines (1)

umbrellasd (876984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22196614)

*snort* That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever... *dies*

Theyll find a cure b4 they find the perpetrator (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22190598)

They sure don;t seem to be trying too hard to find out who mailed the anthrax around... to mostly democrats. Gosh, I wonder why that is?

Coming Down the Pipe (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 6 years ago | (#22190688)

We have drugs that prevent some of the effects of opiates, luckily including many of the dangerous ones.

We don't have a cocaine vaccine yet, but the cholera with cocaine spines looks like it might work.

I'd a great time to be sick. Um, well, that is......

I'm waiting for the day when they find out Rogaine makes you limp and Viagra makes you bald. The two major male ego weaknesses go to war.

Good news, but... (1)

Teejaykay (1107049) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191222)

Shouldn't they be covering the entry point instead?

Re:Good news, but... (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22200688)

Now that we know how it gets in, we need to figure out how to block that site and why that entry site exists and what happens if the site is blocked.

GLA unhappy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22206466)

The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Liberation_Army [wikipedia.org] is not going to be happy about this.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?