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Medicine Science

Vaccine Developed Against Ebola 100

Posted by Soulskill
from the thwarting-incredibly-implausible-doomsday-scenarios dept.
New submitter Lurching writes "Scientists have developed a vaccine that protects mice against a deadly form of the Ebola virus. First identified in 1976, Ebola fever kills more than 90% of the people it infects. The researchers say that this is the first Ebola vaccine to remain viable long-term and can therefore be successfully stockpiled. The results are reported in the journal Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (abstract)."
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Vaccine Developed Against Ebola

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @02:45AM (#38288526)

    The mice will be spared.

    • Re:Thank goodness (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @02:58AM (#38288558) Homepage Journal

      Not really:

      The vaccine protects 80% of the mice injected with the deadly strain,

      If they say you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette, then you have to kill a few hundred mice and rats to make a vaccine. Do your part to save the mice—force your kids to grow up to be computational chemists! (Routine simulated biology is probably on the "fifteen-to-twenty" years off range; i.e. conceivable but challenging and difficult to commercialize.)

      • (Follow-up: the paper clarifies that they only tested with eight groups of ten mice each. The above estimate of "a few hundred" was a tiny bit overkill—outside of the private sector. *rimshot*)
        • by Sulphur (1548251)

          (Follow-up: the paper clarifies that they only tested with eight groups of ten mice each. The above estimate of "a few hundred" was a tiny bit overkill—outside of the private sector. *rimshot*)

          Are these cheap mice? Genetically special mice like tumor mice can cost $100,000 each.

          • I'm pretty sure they're regular ol' Mus musculus. It's something of a value add [problogservice.com] situation, where the magic comes from the vaccination they received in the lab.
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I am not sure where you are shopping for your mice but where I shop you can get them for between $90 (http://jaxmice.jax.org/strain/002376.html) and $2000 (http://jaxmice.jax.org/strain/010562.html) depending on how the stock is maintained.
            Making targeted genetic modifications in mice from scratch costs about $15,000-$20,000

            • by mirix (1649853)

              I thought $2 each was too expensive , so I started breeding them. (pet snakes).
              After having to put up with the smell when cleaning their enclosures/feeding/etc, I'm starting to think $2 was a fair price.

              It's kind of amazing how one mouse makes more stink than a bunch of rats, each 10x the size.

              I know these are certified strains and all that, but that's a pretty hefty mark-up.

      • by antifoidulus (807088) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @03:23AM (#38288634) Homepage Journal
        Obligatory Futurama:

        Amy: "Like the heaps of dead monkeys."
        Professor: "Science can't move forward without heaps!"
      • by CODiNE (27417)

        60% of the time, it works every time!

        -- Anchorman

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        There is no conceivable way to do vaccine research without animals. Computational chemistry or biology does not apply here. The gold standard for a vaccine is whether or not it protects from challenge with the the pathogen, and secondarily if it generates a good neutralizing antibody titer and robust T cell response. These are things we know very little about in the big picture. We know enough of the variables to build testable models, but we don't know >99$% of the variables. This is something non-biolo

      • by omnichad (1198475)

        Sorry, I know this is way off topic, but I can't help but post this quote from A Bit of Fry and Laurie (Great Brit sketch comedy available on Netflix Instant) about breaking eggs:

        You and I, we broke a few moulds in our time, eh, Gordon?

        -Yeah, and a few eggs. -Yeah.

        -Eggs? -You can't make an omelette...

        -Yes, I can. -No, you can't.

        -Yes, I can. -Not without breaking eggs.

        So what if I can't, Gordon?

        I mean, I'm a busy man. My talents lie in other directions.

        No, no. I mean, you can't make an omelette without

      • How hard is it to move from IT to computational chemist? I'm assuming its a ton of math and advanced biology and chemistry.

        • It's basically four years of physics with little bits of biology and chemistry thrown in, followed by two years of computer science rehab to make sense of all of it. Software engineering skills are not very relevant; bad code is rampant—in fact, as if they had nothing better to do than prove that point, many important chemical simulation algorithms are still written in FORTRAN. (The other day I actually had a compile fail because g77 wasn't installed on a colleague's box. I was appalled, but only brie
      • by couchslug (175151)

        "Do your part to save the miceâ"force your kids to grow up to be computational chemists!"

        What does that pay and how much better are the working conditions than being a lab mouse?

    • by identity0 (77976)

      Sadly, it was too late for the little monkey from Friends :(

      No one has seen him recently, and it is presumed that he died puking his intestines out from starring in a terrible movie.

  • by GrumblyStuff (870046) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @03:16AM (#38288620)

    I mean, sure, it's against some big ol' treaties but wouldn't the first step be to nullify its effect on your own troops/people?

    [/conspiracy]

    • The military vaccinates their people against anything they might face on the job. This includes diseases for which there are commercially available vaccines (measles, etc) and diseases for which there are not (HIV, soon Ebola).
      • The military vaccinates their people against anything they might face on the job. This includes diseases for which there are commercially available vaccines (measles, etc) and diseases for which there are not (HIV, soon Ebola).

        A HIV vaccine? Since when?

        Hehe, and interesting to see that you consider HIV something that soldiers might contract "on the job"... I thought that this particular part of a soldier's "job" was against article 27 of the Geneva Convention...

        • Hehe, and interesting to see that you consider HIV something that soldiers might contract "on the job"... I thought that this particular part of a soldier's "job" was against article 27 of the Geneva Convention...

          There's nothing in the Geneva Convention about Thai hookers..

          • by ArsenneLupin (766289) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @05:38AM (#38289072)

            There's nothing in the Geneva Convention about Thai hookers..

            Actually, There is:

            ARTICLE 27 [icrc.org]

            Protected persons are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honour, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs. They shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof and against insults and public curiosity.

            Women shall be especially protected against any attack on their honour, in particular against rape, enforced prostitution, or any form of indecent assault.

            Without prejudice to the provisions relating to their state of health, age and sex, all protected persons shall be treated with the same consideration by the Party to the conflict in whose power they are, without any adverse distinction based, in particular, on race, religion or political opinion.

            However, the Parties to the conflict may take such measures of control and security in regard to protected persons as may be necessary as a result of the war.

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward

              There's nothing in the Geneva Convention about Thai hookers..

              Actually, There is:

              ARTICLE 27 [icrc.org]

              [...] Women shall be especially protected against any attack on their honour, in particular against rape, enforced prostitution, or any form of indecent assault.

              So, ENFORCED prostitution is banned, but if they do prostitution out of their own will, then it is not banned.

            • Oh damn. A for effort digging that out. I was just making a joke but reading through that it makes sense.
            • Only applies to women. Weaponized ladyboys are permitted.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Hehe, and interesting to see that you consider HIV something that soldiers might contract "on the job"... I thought that this particular part of a soldier's "job" was against article 27 of the Geneva Convention...

          I hope you are aware that HIV infects through all bodily fluids? You know, like blood? Ever seen photos of a battlefield? The red stuff you see is blood. If any of that gets into contact with your own wound, you might get infected with whatever pathogens are in that blood.

        • The military vaccinates their people

          This is a disease that occurs in the Congo (Zaire), not the USA. The militias there vaccinate everyone else with bullets and rape, but don't do much for their own.

        • by kusanagi374 (776658) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @08:13AM (#38289554)

          Of course they might contract it on the job! What about having someone else's blood splattered all over your face, when you have no idea of where he might've been before dying? You don't have to necessarily fuck someone up the ass to get HIV.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          HIV is no more a "sexually transmitted disease" than influenza is; you can catch either disease having sex and in fact your odds of catching the flu are far greater. HIV is transmitted through blood. Which means that if you're in a knife fight with someone with HIV, you're far more likely to catch AIDS than if you had vaginal intercourse with her; if her blood hits your open wound, you're probably infected.

          Most cases of HIV have come form tainted transfusions, shared needles, and anal sex (the tissues tear

        • Some of those vaccine studies were considered failures because they only showed a 40% reduction in infection rate. For dealing with the public health disaster that is the HIV/AIDS pandemic, that is not enough to deal with the human behavior to increase risky behavior when they think they're protected. For reducing the odds that your soldiers will be permanently taken off active duty, it is plenty enough.

          Evidence you want? The HIV western blots I ran for the military for years would sometimes turn up s

    • If a lot of people know about the vaccine, it will be harder for them to do that. So be reassured that you know about it. If you are afraid of weaponization, and want to do something about it, post this story on your blog/Facebook. I actually predict most countries are going to stay within the Biological Weapons Convention.
  • Not really credible any more for use in fiction, a weaponized version of ebola. Tom Clancy will just have to thing of something else.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by u38cg (607297)
      Why? He's never had an original idea before.
    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      You think the lab down the hall isn't working on a new strain of Ebola that this vaccine doesn't protect against? I'm going to have to ask you to hand in your tin foil hat.
    • by meglon (1001833)
      Ebola wasn't very good anyway, it kills too fast to be much of a good, old fashioned, plague starter. On the other hand, there is at least one chemical agent from the old USSR arsenal which does somewhat the same thing, only it's nice enough to liquify large parts of the soft tissue afterwards.
  • YES!! (Score:4, Funny)

    by muckracer (1204794) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @06:15AM (#38289178)

    Finally monkey meat again! :-P

    • by Sollord (888521)

      Sadly we can't eat the monkees or at least the gorillaz and there music till we perfect a HIV vaccine if I recall my HIV origins theories anyways

  • I know this is splitting hairs, but the mortality rate across all known subvarieties of Ebola is more like 68%, according to various sources, including Wikipedia's article about it [wikipedia.org], which means Ebola probably isn't even in the top 10 for highest mortality. Number one is probably rabies, where there is no record of anyone having survived, ever, without medical treatment, and once symptoms of the disease have started appearing, even with the best modern medical care, less than a half-dozen people have surviv

  • My mouse is hemorrhaging blood from all the pores on his body, but at least he doesn't have autism!

    This post was brought to you by the considerate folks from the McCarthy Institute of Better Science

  • Seriously, just what we need, more humans running around.
  • Doctors, nurses and others really take a serious risk in trying to help patients infected with this virus. Now those who are likely to be called in during an outbreak can be inoculated in advance of the emergencies. Ebola is such a wicked virus and so difficult to control that this is a real blessing to humanity.

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