Prof Malcolm Casadaban, was a molecular geneticist, and researcher of origins of black death. He died from the septicaemic version of bubonic
A weakened strain of Yersinia pestis was found in his blood stream.
No other obvious cause for death has been found.
BUT, This Yersinia pestis strain was not previously known to cause illness in humans!
This version of Yersinia pestis had been stripped of its dangerous components, and was developed as a plague vaccine in the late 1960s for some
countries to protect against bubonic plague.
It has been approved for laboratory study by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in US.
"This organism has been studied in the lab for 40-plus years. This is the first time this has happened," said Kenneth Alexander, an infectious
diseases expert at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Wikipedia definition of Yersinia Pestis:
from yersinia pestis on wiki
"Yersinia pestis (formerly Pasteurella pestis) is a Gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae. It is a
facultative anaerobe that can infect humans and other animals.
Human Y. pestis infection takes three main forms: pneumonic, septicemic, and the notorious bubonic plagues. All three forms have been responsible
for high mortality rates in epidemics throughout human history, including the Black Death (a bubonic plague) that accounted for the death of at least
one-third of the European population in 1347 to 1353...
...Recently Y. pestis has gained attention as a possible biological warfare agent and the CDC has classified it as category A pathogen requiring
preparation for a possible terrorist attack."
Prof Casadaban was a founder of the company ThermoGen, along with David Demirijan, Nicos Pagratis, and Eric Coles. They were looking at the
of exploiting thermophilic organisms. They succeeded in cloning an enzyme, which could be "applied" in the food industry
and in the development of diagnostics.
Link to Info on Thermogen
"ThermoGen, Inc. is an international supplier of stable enzyme biocatalysts and biotransformation processes for pharmaceutical, agrochemical,
specialty chemical and pharmaceutical intermediate markets. The Company was founded in 1988 by Dr. David Demirjian (President) and Dr. Malcolm
Casadaban (University of Chicago) based on the concept of creating stable enzymes for industrial applications.
ThermoGen has received SBIR support from
the National Institutes of Health (NIGMS, NIDDK, NCI, NHLBI), the National Science Foundation, and
the Department of the Army
to pioneer technologies that are now key in the industry. The firm prospects for enzymes and uses accelerated
evolution to enhance them.
Custom enzyme discovery and implementation tools include proprietary enzyme libraries and gene banks
biocatalyst engineering and evolution systems (such as ThermoGenetic stabilization and ThermoFusion systems), and methods for rapid enzyme/mutant
screening and process optimization
. Patents have been allowed for ThemoGen’s esterase collection, directed evolution systems and Thermus
The Medichem Link
"MediChem Research, Inc. Completes the Acquisition of ThermoGen, Inc.
PR Newswire| June 01, 2000"
"MediChem Research, Inc. today announced that the Company has acquired ThermoGen, Inc., a privately held firm based in Chicago and an industry leader
in biocatalysis and enzymology. The acquisition of ThermoGen is designed to strengthen MediChem's core drug discovery and development technologies
and services for the ultimate benefit of the Company's broad-reaching pharmaceutical and biotechnology client bases. The company has issued common
stock to acquire ThermoGen.
Biocatalysis involves the use of enzymes
to improve chemical processes for the scale-up and manufacturing of pharmaceutical products,
allowing transformations that cannot be achieved using traditional chemical methods."
Medichem seeking "Alchemist" source link
"Pharmaceutical company seeks right IPO chemistry; Drug research outsourcer MediChem launches its next experiment.(MediChem Research Inc.)(Brief
(Statistical Data Included) Crain's Chicago Business, September, 2000 by KLEIN, SARAH A.
MediChem Life Sciences Inc., a chemistry specialist that develops potentially lucrative drug compounds
, could need an alchemist for its Oct. 16
initial public offering. The laboratory business, which profits in the red-hot pharmaceutical outsourcing market, is about to test the increasingly
cool IPO market.
The 13-year-old Lemont-based company serves as a high-tech chemist to pharmaceutical and biotech companies around the country, expediting the search
for new drugs by using computer modeling and testing variations of compounds. MediChem and its competitors act like high-speed locksmiths,
producing so many keys that they eventually can find the one that fits the lock on a given protein or disease."
(My emphases in bold
So, in summary, Medichem aquire Thermogen then releases it's first IPO (or public flotation of stock/shares), so they are expecting a large growth in
They use enzymes to achieve transformations in chemical processes that are NOT normally possible. (Swine Flu anyone??)
They have received funding from the Army??? And have been working with bacterium (yersinia pestis) which are associated with causing the worst plague
ever to affect mankind.
The original source yersinia pestis bacterium, has been classified as a possible "biological warfare agent".
And, the bacterium was being studied by a Molecular Genetecist, who then died of bubonic plague, presumably caused by a previously "safe" form of
Nothing to worry about here then.
[edit on 23-9-2009 by Gordi The Drummer to correct spelling/grammar]
[edit on 23-9-2009 by Gordi The Drummer]