It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Tobacco Could Hold the Key to Revolutionary Gene Therapy

page: 1
2

log in

join
share:

posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 12:23 AM
link   

Tobacco Could Hold the Key to Revolutionary Gene Therapy



Source


After centuries of giving humanity little more than nicotine and death, the tobacco plant may be the wellspring of a revolution in gene therapy.

Scientists are using a modified tobacco virus to deliver delicate gene therapies into the heart of diseased cells, with the potential to treat most cancers, viruses and genetic disorders.

The tobacco mosaic virus, which plagues the plant but is harmless to humans, is hollowed out and filled with "small interfering RNA" molecules, or siRNA, which some scientists consider to be the most significant development in medicine since the discovery of vaccines.

The virus' tubular shell provides a safe way to slip the delicate siRNA drugs into cells, serving as both a protective coating and a Trojan horse.

"This tobacco mosaic virus is literally a nano-sized syringe," says William Bentley, a professor of bioengineering at the University of Maryland, who is leading the study of the virus.


I found this particular article interesting because:
1: The ironic nature of using an insecticide that kills 440,000 people each year in the United States alone, for a helpful purpose.
2: The practical applications this could be used for. This could open up the doors for helping cure cancer patients or granting access to hard to reach areas and allowing medication. Perhaps even helping cure the HIV/AIDS virus.

Have at it ATSers.




posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 05:13 PM
link   
I found this article interesting. With this it's possible that all disease could be cured. But is that a good thing? I'd have to say no.

As I see it, disease serves a purpose to help reduce and control the population. If all disease was cured the death rate would drop drastically. The world is already overpopulated as it is and with less people dying and more people procreating it would cause massive overpopulation. Unemployment would rise and crime would go up etc.

So, while dying sucks, I'd have to say that AIDS, Cancer, etc. serves a purpose and curing it all would be a bad thing. But thats just my two cents.



posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 06:10 PM
link   
reply to post by Aluroth
 


I see what you are saying. I don't see it getting used on the mass public anyways. I see a future where viruses kill off the majority of the public and only the most important people would get this.

A fitting end.



posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 06:17 PM
link   

Originally posted by Aluroth
I found this article interesting. With this it's possible that all disease could be cured. But is that a good thing? I'd have to say no.

As I see it, disease serves a purpose to help reduce and control the population. If all disease was cured the death rate would drop drastically. The world is already overpopulated as it is and with less people dying and more people procreating it would cause massive overpopulation. Unemployment would rise and crime would go up etc.

So, while dying sucks, I'd have to say that AIDS, Cancer, etc. serves a purpose and curing it all would be a bad thing. But thats just my two cents.



What? What kind of a sick person are you!

I must ask.. do you work in the medical field or a Big Pharma company?

Disgusting and Foul stand you have here to be point blank about it.

Enough said, I sometimes forget what kind of people we have in this world, unfortunately, there are many others of your "mindset" in powerful positions.



posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 06:29 PM
link   
reply to post by infolurker
 


I don't necessarily hold his viewpoint, but I do understand where he is coming from. The world is vastly overpopulated, and we will sooner or later run out of precious resources. I'm not being elitist or darwinist or whatever, I'm just being realistic. HIV/Aids does serve a purpose in this world, much like crime, churches and organized religion.

Sooner or later mass extinction events will occur. It always has happened, and always will continue to happen...

But anyways... Having said that... This "tobacco virus shell" could provide those who manage to receive it benefits. I'm all for helping the human race, expanding research of genetics, ect; Not exterminating it.

[edit on 9/4/2008 by FadeToBlack]



posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 06:36 PM
link   
reply to post by infolurker
 


No I do not work for a pharm company or in the medical field. I'm a high school student. I don't see why you're so offended by my post. I was merely making a point.

Disease helps lower the world population which is a good thing because overpopulation has all sorts of negative effects. I'm not saying that all the people with cancer or AIDS deserve it I am only saying that without these diseases helping lower the population the world would become grossly overpopulated.

Everyones entitled to their own opinion but I think its a dick move to insult me for merely stating my views.



posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 08:01 PM
link   
reply to post by Aluroth
 


I agree that disease is necessary in the modern world. Overpopulation is a serious problem that many people like to simply overlook, and disease helps create a sort of buffer for the human race.



posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 08:21 PM
link   
So do they mention the original goal they were trying to accomplish while genetically engineering the Tobacco Mosaic Virus? I'd be quite peeved if TMV or CMV was easier to spread and harder to get rid of... I'd end up spending more money on fungicides... hint hint

[edit on 4-9-2008 by beaverg]


MBF

posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 11:22 PM
link   
My family and I have been tobacco farmers for generations. This has been discussed for at least a decade or more so this is nothing new. Just don't think that the tobacco farmers will get rich from this because they WILL NOT.

I assume the "insecticide that kills 440,000 people each year in the United States alone" you are referring to is tobacco or nicotine. Neither tobacco nor nicotine are insecticides. Tobacco use alone is not a guarantee of death. I had two grandparents that started using tobacco as children(about 4 years old) and both lived to be in their late 80's and neither died of "tobacco related diseases".

Fungicides do not kill tobacco viruses unfortunately.



posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 11:41 PM
link   
Just want to reply to a post by Aluroth.

If you had cancer/aids/heart disease/etc. Would you still think this is a bad thing? I think most people in that situation would believe it is good, not bad. Sure the world may get over populated, just hope that science can make space travel more effective, so we can find, explore and inhabit other earth-like planets. Then it will be much harder for us to over-populate, and people will remain happier, knowing they can spend that little bit more time with their loved ones.



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 12:59 AM
link   

Originally posted by Hunablazer
Just want to reply to a post by Aluroth.

If you had cancer/aids/heart disease/etc. Would you still think this is a bad thing? I think most people in that situation would believe it is good, not bad. Sure the world may get over populated, just hope that science can make space travel more effective, so we can find, explore and inhabit other earth-like planets. Then it will be much harder for us to over-populate, and people will remain happier, knowing they can spend that little bit more time with their loved ones.


Overpopulation will be far worse that a few million dieing a year from cancer. Until we employ some regulation on reproduction then we don't deserve the cures for our ills. We need to take responsibility, we are not the innocent victims here.

As for traveling to other planets, overpopulation will afflict us probably long before we even send a man to Mars never mind somewhere outside of out solar system.



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 02:38 AM
link   
reply to post by infolurker
 


aluroth has a point but i myself having a genetic disease, must disagree with them for my own sake. because the way i see it, overpopulation is a matter of land usage; community design, planning and management; building layout; family management and working together.

plus a healthier people is a more productive people.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 03:45 PM
link   

Originally posted by MBF
My family and I have been tobacco farmers for generations. This has been discussed for at least a decade or more so this is nothing new. Just don't think that the tobacco farmers will get rich from this because they WILL NOT.


I never stated it was new, nor did I say they would get rich. You are putting words in my mouth.


Originally posted by MBF
I assume the "insecticide that kills 440,000 people each year in the United States alone" you are referring to is tobacco or nicotine. Neither tobacco nor nicotine are insecticides. Tobacco use alone is not a guarantee of death.


But nicotine IS an insecticide (When I mention Tobacco, I refer distinctly to nicotine as an insecticide). Naturally occuring insecticides I might add. I never said anything about tobacco use gauranteeing death. You are putting words in my mouth again.

en.wikipedia.org


# Natural insecticides, such as nicotine and pyrethrum, are made by plants as defences against insects. Nicotine based insecticides have been barred in the U.S. since 2001 to prevent residues from contaminating foods. [1]


Even at one time, the FDA approved the use of nicotine as an insecticide!

islandcounty.net


Nicotine is approved by the FDA as an insecticide. Its effectiveness is similar to that of organophosphorous compounds, and it is one of the few poisons that bugs have not evolved resistance to (5). However, our exposure to nicotine is usually from cigarette smoke. Whether used as an insecticide or drug, the mode of action is the same. Nicotine inhibits the function of acetylcholine receptors located at the neuromuscular junctions. In general terms, it causes stimulation of the ganglions in low doses but causes blockade at higher concentrations. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (named for their interaction with nicotine, and not to be confused with the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor) are 270kD proteins with 4 subunits located in the CNS (Figure 3). Under normal conditions, a change in calcium ion concentration releases acetylcholine from storage vesicles. Acetylcholine then crosses the synaptic cleft and binds to the alpha subunit of the nicotinic receptor causing a conformational changes which opens an ion channel, allowing the passage of cations. This depolarizes the postsynaptic membrane initiating an action potential in the adjacent membrane, and thus a signal is transmitted. (Figure 4) Nicotine stimulates, then blocks the acetylcholine receptor, locking the ion channels in the open position and impairing signaling ability (7, Lippincott).


But was banned due to it's harmful effect on mammals.

ipmworld.umn.edu


The tobacco alkaloid nicotine has been used as an insecticide since the middle of the 18th century. This compound is miscible with water and is often formulated as the sulfate salt. Nicotine has excellent contact activity, due to its ability to penetrate the integument of insects. This property increases the hazards of handling nicotine, as its contact toxicity to mammals is also significant.



Originally posted by MBF
Fungicides do not kill tobacco viruses unfortunately.


Source?

[edit on 9/6/2008 by FadeToBlack]



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 03:56 PM
link   

Originally posted by Mad Larkin

Originally posted by Hunablazer
Just want to reply to a post by Aluroth.

If you had cancer/aids/heart disease/etc. Would you still think this is a bad thing? I think most people in that situation would believe it is good, not bad. Sure the world may get over populated, just hope that science can make space travel more effective, so we can find, explore and inhabit other earth-like planets. Then it will be much harder for us to over-populate, and people will remain happier, knowing they can spend that little bit more time with their loved ones.


Overpopulation will be far worse that a few million dieing a year from cancer. Until we employ some regulation on reproduction then we don't deserve the cures for our ills. We need to take responsibility, we are not the innocent victims here.

As for traveling to other planets, overpopulation will afflict us probably long before we even send a man to Mars never mind somewhere outside of out solar system.


I don't know about that. While overpopulation does put the human race (and the rest of the world) in a precarious position, it actually allows us to be forced to discover alternatives and invent things to save ourselves. It forces us to bring out the best of what our race has to offer. Had that not happen, we wouldn't be evolving at a such high rate.

At least right before we all die out, we can sit back and say we had a good run.


MBF

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 10:19 PM
link   

Originally posted by FadeToBlack

Originally posted by MBF
My family and I have been tobacco farmers for generations. This has been discussed for at least a decade or more so this is nothing new. Just don't think that the tobacco farmers will get rich from this because they WILL NOT.


I never stated it was new, nor did I say they would get rich. You are putting words in my mouth.


My fault. I assumed that you thought this was new. I never said that you said we would get rich, but a lot of people do.




Originally posted by MBF
I assume the "insecticide that kills 440,000 people each year in the United States alone" you are referring to is tobacco or nicotine. Neither tobacco nor nicotine are insecticides. Tobacco use alone is not a guarantee of death.


But nicotine IS an insecticide (When I mention Tobacco, I refer distinctly to nicotine as an insecticide). Naturally occuring insecticides I might add. I never said anything about tobacco use gauranteeing death. You are putting words in my mouth again.


And what happens to the 440,000 people that die from its use? You can call just about anything an insecticide, some people use soap and call it an insecticide.



en.wikipedia.org


# Natural insecticides, such as nicotine and pyrethrum, are made by plants as defences against insects. Nicotine based insecticides have been barred in the U.S. since 2001 to prevent residues from contaminating foods. [1]


Even at one time, the FDA approved the use of nicotine as an insecticide!

islandcounty.net


Nicotine is approved by the FDA as an insecticide. Its effectiveness is similar to that of organophosphorous compounds, and it is one of the few poisons that bugs have not evolved resistance to (5). However, our exposure to nicotine is usually from cigarette smoke. Whether used as an insecticide or drug, the mode of action is the same. Nicotine inhibits the function of acetylcholine receptors located at the neuromuscular junctions. In general terms, it causes stimulation of the ganglions in low doses but causes blockade at higher concentrations. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (named for their interaction with nicotine, and not to be confused with the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor) are 270kD proteins with 4 subunits located in the CNS (Figure 3). Under normal conditions, a change in calcium ion concentration releases acetylcholine from storage vesicles. Acetylcholine then crosses the synaptic cleft and binds to the alpha subunit of the nicotinic receptor causing a conformational changes which opens an ion channel, allowing the passage of cations. This depolarizes the postsynaptic membrane initiating an action potential in the adjacent membrane, and thus a signal is transmitted. (Figure 4) Nicotine stimulates, then blocks the acetylcholine receptor, locking the ion channels in the open position and impairing signaling ability (7, Lippincott).


But was banned due to it's harmful effect on mammals.

ipmworld.umn.edu


The tobacco alkaloid nicotine has been used as an insecticide since the middle of the 18th century. This compound is miscible with water and is often formulated as the sulfate salt. Nicotine has excellent contact activity, due to its ability to penetrate the integument of insects. This property increases the hazards of handling nicotine, as its contact toxicity to mammals is also significant.


I wish that somebody would have told the insects that I had to spend thousands of dollars on insecticides every year that they were eating an insecticide and to die and save me a lot of money.





Originally posted by MBF
Fungicides do not kill tobacco viruses unfortunately.



A
Source?

[edit on 9/6/2008 by FadeToBlack]



Fungicides kill fungus. A virus is not a fungus. Viruses are mostly spread by insects although there are other modes of transfer. As for my source, decades of experience.



posted on Sep, 7 2008 @ 12:32 AM
link   

Originally posted by MBF
And what happens to the 440,000 people that die from its use? You can call just about anything an insecticide, some people use soap and call it an insecticide.


You can call anything an insecticide or anything else for that matter, but that doesn't mean it is correct. Nicotine is one and these people who crave it die from it. Do they not?


Originally posted by MBF
I wish that somebody would have told the insects that I had to spend thousands of dollars on insecticides every year that they were eating an insecticide and to die and save me a lot of money.


The ones that eat your tobacco crop are 'special' bugs, worms, and insects that are immune to nicotine. Unfortunately, nicotine doesn't kill all insects. That is what pesticides are for.

Research. gaipm.org


Originally posted by MBF
Fungicides kill fungus. A virus is not a fungus. Viruses are mostly spread by insects although there are other modes of transfer. As for my source, decades of experience.


I meant source where you started talking about fungus and fungicides. When did we start talking about fungus? This is about utilizing a tobacco virus shell and putting RNA in there for possible gene therapy/vaccines/ect.

I'm by no means insulting your tobacco farm heritage, I'm just stating a fact that 440,000 die a year in the United States because of nicotine. It's a fact, not an opinion. I didn't demoralize it or anything, it's just a simple fact.



posted on Sep, 7 2008 @ 10:12 PM
link   
If we can find ways to cure diseases, then we should do so. We shouldn't just let problems continue because they serve a twisted purpose. Don't forget that none of us are immune to all of these deadly diseases. I know I'd want a cure if I were dying of a terrible disease. Why don't we discuss ways to deal with overpopulation instead of even considering the possibility that it's okay for terrible diseases to kill people?



posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 02:48 PM
link   


I meant source where you started talking about fungus and fungicides. When did we start talking about fungus? This is about utilizing a tobacco virus shell and putting RNA in there for possible gene therapy/vaccines/ect.


Sorry, that was me that said fungus. I had pesticide but edited it to fungicide.


My post was questioning the implications of the engineered virus being released into the wild and whether farmers that would want to avoid the contamination might end up spending more money than before.



new topics

top topics



 
2

log in

join