Archives for July, 2012

COOL!!! Recombinant origin, contamination, and de-discovery of XMRV I dont know if you all have access to this paper, but here is the relevant portion: Treatment of CFS patient PBMCs with 5-azacytidine was omitted from Lombardi et al. paper   In September 2011, Abbie Smith, a graduate student and virology blogger, (http://scienceblogs.com/erv/) revealed that Dr. Judy…

Evolution: Crime Fighting Machine

I know I give physicians crap sometimes on my blag, but I really do appreciate what they–along with nurses, physical and respiratory therapists, and other health professionals– do. They interact with people when they are at their ‘worst’– a normally cheerful, charming person is sick, scared, in pain, frustrated, worried, hurt, angry, drugged up when…

Many ERV readers are aware of ‘The Berlin Patient’– The fellow who has seemingly cleared the HIV-1 virus after receiving a bone marrow transplant to treat his lymphoma (we say ‘seemingly’ because we dont really know what ‘cured’ is with HIV yet). The Berlin Patient was a rather unique case  in that he got a…

Briefly, a lot of our vaccines and antibiotics need to be refrigerated, if not frozen, for them to maintain their usefulness. This makes it problematic to get vaccines and antibiotics to places that need them, but lack proper refrigeration (or electricity, for that matter)– Its called the Cold Chain. Some folks at Tufts think they…

HIV-1, babies, and breast-feeding

Despite the fact that the radically religious and conservative politicians like to focus on homosexual males and IV drug use leading to HIV-1 infection, the fact of the matter is, heterosexual women are the fastest growing group of HIV-1 patients in the US (and Africa, and Asia)– even women in committed relationships (usually considered ‘low…

Domesticating wild organisms– Whether its domesticating teosinte or aurochs, bending wild organisms to our will is always a game-changing event in human history. The domestication of viruses is no exception. We now live in a world where small-pox, a virus that once wiped out entire continents, is now functionally extinct.  Generations of people see iron…

HSUS: Like PETA with suits and deodorant

The polite way to describe my opinion of the Humane Society of the United states is ‘Im not a fan‘. For those of you who are unaware, HSUS has absolutely nothing to do with ‘the Humane Society’ that rescues animals in your community. HSUS has nothing to do with rescuing animals at all– they give…

GMO bacteria vs malaria

WARBLEGARBLE!!! Fighting malaria with engineered symbiotic bacteria from vector mosquitoes. Malaria kills 1.24 million people a year.  Mostly babies under 5 years old. Malaria is becoming resistant to our drugs. We cant figure out how to make an anti-malarial vaccine. We can make GMO mosquitoes that are resistant to carrying malaria, but we dont know…

Look, scientists are nuts.  Virologists, on the other hand, are certifiably insane.  As Hedwig would say, virologists make the strangest things seem suddenly routine.  Yesterdays absurd future technology (GENE THERAPY!) is now something as miraculous as curing genetic diseases, and as mundane as an anti-smoking therapy. Todays insane idea? Using mouse and rat parvoviruses to…

HPV and head/neck/throat cancer

The ‘debate’ over the HPV vaccine has thus far has been a tug-of-war with radical religion/conservative politicians/nutbar anti-vaxers on one side, and the lives of women on the other side. The HPV vaccine has been A Female Issue. Turns out the people opposing the HPV vaccine were damning male children, as well. Though I wrote…