It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
originally posted by: soficrow
a reply to: new_here
...What are your thoughts on the circumstances of their death, sofi? (Sorry if it's earlier in the thread... I haven't caught up!)
I think it's absolutely inconceivable that researchers and scientists trained to work with Ebola would not take appropriate cautions - and one of the victims was Dr. Khan, Sierra Leone's vaunted "Ebola doctor." ...Notably, ALL of the five victims worked in the research facility set up and funded by the US Military's bio-war/bio-defense arm and the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium (VHFC) at the Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone. The best (and most generous) suspicion I can come up with is that they buggered something up and accidentally created -and disseminated- a new Ebola strain. Which means they were testing a live vaccine.
....Wasn't it said somewhere that they didn't know how bad this strain was at the start?
...the scientific/medical community is coming to the conclusion that the virus, while it might be contained to west Africa, will become far more dangerous the longer it remains in the west African population and will mutate into something that can't be "contained".
There's an interesting under current going on in this thread. And I've read through most all of the posts.
Mutating Ebola viruses not as scary as evolving ones
These mutations are simple mistakes in the genetic code, made when the virus is replicating within a host. With millions of replication events during thousands of infections, a huge number of mistakes happen. ….
….. the mutations that do get passed on are usually the very few that succeed at improving the rate of virus replication, or the rate of infection. Exactly how many of the mutations alter the effectiveness of the virus at replicating and being transmitted, and how they do so, remains to be established. And the study’s authors certainly expect this to be an important follow-up:
Since many of the mutations alter protein sequences and other biologically meaningful targets, they should be monitored for impact on diagnostics, vaccines, and therapies critical to outbreak response.
….The reason mutations have accumulated so rapidly during this epidemic is that the virus is in a new host - human beings. While other versions of the virus have jumped across to humans before, the Ebola viruses currently ravaging West Africa have spent all of their history in other animals. They are now adapting to human bodies, tissues and immune systems. The mutations that help the virus work most effectively in the human body and transmit most effectively from sufferer to uninfected victim are the ones we are going to be hearing a whole lot more of in the coming months.
So we have little to fear from mutating viruses. It is the rapidly evolving viruses, fixing the mutations that randomly occur like typos in a Tweet, that we should seriously fear.
On the virus mutation spectrum, Ebola has a relatively slow mutation rate compared with influenza and HIV, but its mutations still develop faster than those of the smallpox virus. Still, the longer the pathogen goes unchecked means that it will continue to accumulate mutations, some of which could prove more problematic and make it potentially more lethal or easily transmitted among humans.
originally posted by: ThePublicEnemyNo1
originally posted by: joho99
a reply to: ThePublicEnemyNo1
What would cause you to stop everything you are doing and remove yourself from society?
Not much given the current rate of infection from Ebola
....We cant control how fast the virus mutates or what direction it goes.
Gire, Sabeti, and their colleagues found that in the current outbreak the virus's genome is changing fairly quickly, including in regions that are key for the accuracy of the PCR-based diagnostic tests. It will be important to keep track of such changes, Gire says, so that tests can be updated if necessary. Vaccines and antibody-based treatments—such as the ZMapp drug that was used in a handful of patients—could also be affected by the kinds of changes the researchers identified. (Sabeti says ZMapp researchers contacted her about the new sequences her group had posted online.)
The analysis reveals that the outbreak in Sierra Leone was sparked by at least two distinct viruses, introduced from Guinea at about the same time.
One Ebola virus lineage disappears from patient samples taken later in the outbreak, while a third lineage appears. That lineage—tied to a nurse who was traveling to reach a hospital but died along the way—seems to have originated when one of the lineages present at the funeral gained a new mutation.
Further studies of the differences between the various Ebola lineages might link such mutations to the virus's behavior—how lethal it is, and how easily it spreads, for example. “The paper shows the unrealized potential of what these methods could do,” says Roman Biek, who studies the evolution and ecology of infectious diseases at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom.