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Human adenoviruses have been proposed as vectors for antigens in vaccines because of their ability to induce strong immune responses in animal models. But there is one major problem—patients that have already been exposed to such adenoviruses naturally develop antibodies against them, which then neutralize the vaccine before it has a chance to deliver its package.
Collecting stool samples from zoos and animal facilities, Nicosia and his team isolated and characterized almost 30 different chimp adenovirus serotypes from some 1,000 stool samples. They made safe forms of the viruses that were unable to replicate, and tested them for their immune potency in mice. The best ones, generating the biggest cellular immune responses, were chosen for making trial vaccines.
Size and duration of response isn’t everything, of course, said Klenerman, “The main thing is to see whether it can actually protect you.” To that end, a second trial in high-risk individuals—intravenous drug users—is currently underway.
What may have started off as a concern for the health of the world, has become one of the greatest profiteering schemes of all times. Here's how it works, using India as an example: India manufacturers its own vaccines and sells them for about RS 15 (15 Indian Rupees = about 28 cents in U.S. currency). The World Health Organization uses UNICEF to approach the Indian Government, and tells them they need to buy an American vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKlien, and this vaccine will cost about $10.30 per dose, instead of the $0.28 they currently pay. UNICEF offers to arrange hundreds of millions of dollars worth of loans for India with the World Bank, and sweetens the deal by telling them that a group called GAVI will donate about $2.78 per vaccine, so they only have to float a loan for about $7.50 U.S. Dollars per dose of vaccine, instead of the $0.28 U.S. Dollars (15 Indian Rupees) they are now paying.
... despite researchers who allege that chimps who throw their poop are more intelligent.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield sues BMJ, journalist Brian Deer for defamation
Thursday, January 12, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
The man has been shamelessly mocked, repeatedly lied about, and cruelly defamed for his legitimate scientific research into the combination measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism in children. But Dr. Andrew Wakefield is now fighting back against those responsible for viciously denigrating his work and his character by filing a lawsuit against the British Medical Journal (BMJ), which published lies about him, and journalist Brian Deer, who authored many of those lies.
The lawsuit cites several articles and editorials published in BMJ that include "false and defamatory allegations" about Dr. Wakefield and his work. Secrets of the MMR scare: how the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed, an article written by journalist Brian Deer that was published in BMJ, and an accompanying editorial by Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of BMJ, are two of the defamatory writings named in the suit.
Denmark scientist accused of stealing autism research money
A scientist in Denmark has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Atlanta for allegedly stealing $1 million in grant money that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had earmarked for autism research.
U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday said they are seeking to extradite Poul Thorsen, 49, accused of wire fraud and money laundering.
He used the stolen money to buy a home in Atlanta, a Harley Davidson motorcycle and two cars, prosecutors said.
"Grant money for disease research is a precious commodity," said Sally Yates, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, in a news release.
"When grant funds are stolen, we lose not only the money, but also the opportunity to better understand and cure debilitating diseases."
Thorsen, a visiting scientist at the Atlanta-based CDC in the 1990s, helped two government agencies in Denmark obtain $11 million in research grants.
He moved back to Denmark in 2002 to be principal investigator for the program. Prosecutors said he was also in charge of administering the research dollars, earmarked in part to study the relationship between autism and exposure to vaccines.
Thorsen submitted false invoices for research expenses and had Aarhus University, where he held a faculty position, transfer the funds to his personal account at the CDC Federal Credit Union in Atlanta, prosecutors said.
They said the university thought it was transferring the funds to a CDC account, not Thorsen's personal account.
(Reporting by David Beasley; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Jerry Norton)