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Does your rat have erectile dysfuntion?

  1. Aug 16, 2007 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://news.sawf.org/Health/38088.aspx

    Thank goodness!!!! Why only yesterday I was noticing how limp our rats are around here.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 16, 2007 #2

    Moonbear

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    :rofl: Now, if they can get it to work in reverse, they might have something useful to control the rat population...or just make them very irritable and more vicious...on second thought :uhh:
     
  4. Aug 17, 2007 #3

    Danger

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    Oh joy... a way to make rats more prolific. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Aug 17, 2007 #4
    I just bothered to read this. Obviously the point is to use the same therapy on humans. However:

    "During the study, the researchers inserted either the gene for the glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) or the GDNF family ligand (neurturin) into a genetically engineered herpes simplex virus (HSV). Control mice received only the virus without the GDNF or neurterin genes inserted."

    This cure for ED seems to involve also getting herpes, no?
     
  6. Aug 17, 2007 #5

    chroot

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    Good point, zooby. These researchers have just invented the most perfect biological catch-22 to have ever existed.

    - Warren
     
  7. Aug 17, 2007 #6

    Kurdt

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    I'm sure there are other viral vectors but for the purposes of the research the herpes was the best as it was transmitted sexually.
     
  8. Aug 17, 2007 #7

    Moonbear

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    No. It's a viral vector, not the full virus. It's engineered to not be transmissible (they've taken out genes for replication, and cell lysis, for example). There are some other viral vectors in use too, and for experimental purposes, the choice is often made by the type of cell you want to infect, and the size of the gene you want to insert. As a more practical matter, there are still issues with immune reactions to these vectors, and serious adverse reactions (death) in other gene therapy trials using a different viral vector (adeno-associated virus) mean it's not going to be appearing in the doctor's office sometime this year. This is more of a proof of concept to show that these are the growth factors needed, and ONE way to deliver them.
     
  9. Aug 18, 2007 #8
    So, maybe a stupid quetion, but if someone is infected with one of these "vectors" can the full virus later be introduced and take hold? I think you can see what I'm getting at.
     
  10. Aug 18, 2007 #9

    Moonbear

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    Since herpes DOES infect humans, exposure to the virus would be the same risk either way. With some of the other vectors used, if it is something that wouldn't natively infect the species in which it is introduced, there is some risk if they are exposed to the "wild" virus. Care needs to be taken not to use them in environments where the wild virus is present to swap genetic material. The ones used in human trials require not just the missing genes from the virus, but also a second helper virus before they can replicate, so they're doubly protected from accidental transmission. Nonetheless, while there are people who think viral vectors could be used clinically, from where the current science stands, I don't see them as useful as much more than a delivery tool in the lab, under proper biosafety conditions where exposure to a wild virus, or exposure of any other animals to the infected ones are prevented. It doesn't mean I don't think they will ever be useful, but I think your concern is one that would need to be very carefully tested before going out and using this. And, even once a viral vector could be engineered that is completely safe, there would be a long struggle to get it accepted by the public as something they'd be willing to use. I think the initial reaction expressed in this thread is exactly the type of reaction most of the rest of the general public will have to such a therapy being introduced, and there will be a lot of objection to it at the outset.
     
  11. Aug 18, 2007 #10
    Not knowing how these things work, my question is : if a person already has herpes, can they be reinfected with it over and over? In other words: could giving someone the non-transmissible vector be used as a kind of innoculation against them catching the transmissible kind?
     
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