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Science

Anthrax Cellular Entry Point Uncovered 39

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the vaccine-called-little-dutch-boy dept.
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.
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Anthrax Cellular Entry Point Uncovered

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  • 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,
    • Common cold (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Enderandrew (866215) <.enderandrew. .at. .gmail.com.> on Friday January 25, 2008 @11:24PM (#22190380) Homepage Journal
      Forgive my ignorance, but I thought the common cold was anything but common. It is a virus with countless strains, each fairly different.
      • by Forbman (794277)
        Actually, it's a variety of viruses that more or less cause most of the same symptoms. And they mutate rapidly.
    • 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 m

    • 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 k
    • 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.
  • by GroeFaZ (850443)
    2001 called, they want their overblown terrorist threat back.
  • by Sorthum (123064) on Friday January 25, 2008 @11:30PM (#22190406) Homepage
    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...
    • by arete (170676)
      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 doe
    • by n3tcat (664243)
      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.
    • by maxume (22995)
      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 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LilGuy (150110) on Friday January 25, 2008 @11:36PM (#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.
    • by Tablizer (95088)
      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
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by JustOK (667959)

        Face it, 9/11 made America stupid for 3 years.
        Your math is wrong.
    • by Quantam (870027)
      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".
    • *snort* That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever... *dies*
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • Shouldn't they be covering the entry point instead?
    • 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.

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