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Cure for ebola?

  1. Sep 25, 2014 #1
    I was just wondering if some bacteria or nanotechnology could be genetically engineered to target the Ebola strains? Is this possible?
    If it is then why is no one coming up with a cure?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2014 #2

    Borek

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    You can be sure they are hard at work. Trick is, it is never as easy as snapping your fingers.
     
  4. Sep 25, 2014 #3

    Ygggdrasil

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    How would that work? Are there existing treatments that use bacteria or nanotechnology to combat viruses?
     
  5. Sep 26, 2014 #4
  6. Sep 26, 2014 #5

    Doug Huffman

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    Why is not the answer about curing Ebola EVD the same as for polio or HIV ( each of which has many more victims and a much longer time to develop a cure - which is not a vaccine )?
     
  7. Sep 27, 2014 #6

    Borek

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    I guess others will give a more detailed answer, but basically there are many different viruses which use different techniques when attacking cells/reproducing, so what works against one, doesn't have to work against another.
     
  8. Sep 27, 2014 #7
    Not sure what you are saying there. There is no "cure" for polio or HIV.
    Polio eradication is through administration of vaccine(s), so that the body prohibits the polio virus that enters the gut from infecting tissue.

    HIV treatment is administration of a cocktail of drugs that keep the virus responsible for the disease in check.
     
  9. Sep 27, 2014 #8

    Doug Huffman

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    What ALL viruses have in common is the lack of 'machinery' with which to reproduce. That said, there are only about a dozen virus families, of 5000-ish known, that sicken humans.

     
  10. Sep 27, 2014 #9

    Borek

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    How is it related to what I wrote?
     
  11. Sep 28, 2014 #10

    Ryan_m_b

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    Yes but that's not in of itself a target, there's no real difference between viral mRNA and human mRNA. Instead anti-virals have to target any number of processes that can be very different e.g. anti-retrovirals can target viral reverse transcriptase to prevent DNA formation. This will be useless against adenoviruses. Other targets include entry into the cell and viral genome incorporation amongst others, both of which differ for different species.

    On top of this viruses mutate at an incredibly high rate making them annoyingly good at developing resistance. To get around this I believe anti-virals (like HIV medication) targets multiple different things at once.
     
  12. Sep 28, 2014 #11

    Ygggdrasil

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    That said, there are some creative ideas for therapies that could act against a broader spectrum of viruses. A simple example is interferon treatment which can be helpful against a number of viruses because it helps boost the immune system's antiviral defenses. Some of these antiviral defenses detect viral infection by scanning for long segments of double-stranded RNA which often occur as intermediates in the replication of RNA viruses, but are mostly absent in uninfected cells. Researchers have engineered some of these proteins to create treatments that could potentially target a broad spectrum of RNA viruses (see this previous PF thread for further discussion). Of course, the paper I cite above is a simple proof-of-concept experiment, and it is still unclear whether the treatment would work in humans. Still, it is an intriguing idea.
     
  13. Sep 28, 2014 #12

    Ryan_m_b

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    Quite true, though as promising as DRACOs are as far as I'm aware none have reached market yet.
     
  14. Oct 1, 2014 #13
    Oh! Ok :(
     
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