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The Ebola Wars: The best article I’ve seen yet

The New Yorker has the best article I have read yet on the Ebola outbreak. Finally we get human story and details of how this outbreak started and spread, along with the outstanding heroic efforts of those on the front line. The article has details on everything, the genetics, the virology, the story of escalating fear as health workers started to get infected, and the hard decisions.

Who would get doses of ZMAPP, and which other experimental therapies would be tried?  ZMAPP is the genetically engineered copy of antibodies against Ebola, and it does appear to be useful, even though it has not been properly tested. Kent Brantly, the US doctor who contracted Ebola, improved within hours of receiving ZMAPP. His recovery was so fast his medical staff wondered if it were possible, but his colleague Nancy Writebol did not show the same progress.

Know thy enemy: only six proteins and one line of code, yet so incredibly deadly. The virus is not one virus, but a swarm of particles — an evolving population.

Since Ebola makes errors as it replicates, each genome was like a hand-copied text, and detectable differences would emerge among the genomes; there isn’t just one “strain” of the virus. Ebola is not a thing but a swarm. It is a vast population of particles, different from one another, each particle competing with the others for a chance to get inside a cell and copy itself. The swarm’s genetic code shifts in response to the changing environment.

As far as the the current news goes, I am heartened that so far there are no new cases spread from the two Texas Nurses. That is a good sign. Their contacts are not out of quarantine yet, but the peak incubation period is 6 -12 days.  Amber Vinson flew on Oct 10 and 13.

The simple particle of information and the devastating medical progression:

The virus is extremely infectious. Experiments suggest that if one particle of Ebola enters a person’s bloodstream it can cause a fatal infection. This may explain why many of the medical workers who came down with Ebola couldn’t remember making any mistakes that might have exposed them. One common route of entry is thought to be the wet membrane on the inner surface of the eyelid, which a person might touch with a contaminated fingertip. The virus is believed to be transmitted, in particular, through contact with sweat and blood, which contain high concentrations of Ebola particles. People with Ebola sweat profusely, and in some instances they have internal hemorrhages, along with effusions of vomit and diarrhea containing blood.

Despite its ferocity in humans, Ebola is a life-form of mysterious simplicity. A particle of Ebola is made of only six structural proteins, locked together to become an object that resembles a strand of cooked spaghetti. An Ebola particle is only around eighty nanometres wide and a thousand nanometres long. If it were the size of a piece of spaghetti, then a human hair would be about twelve feet in diameter and would resemble the trunk of a giant redwood tree.

Once an Ebola particle enters the bloodstream, it drifts until it sticks to a cell. The particle is pulled inside the cell, where it takes control of the cell’s machinery and causes the cell to start making copies of it. Most viruses use the cells of specific tissues to copy themselves. For example, many cold viruses replicate in the sinuses and the throat. Ebola attacks many of the tissues of the body at once, except for the skeletal muscles and the bones. It has a special affinity for the cells lining the blood vessels, particularly in the liver. After about eighteen hours, the infected cell is releasing thousands of new Ebola particles, which sprout from the cell in threads, until the cell has the appearance of a ball of tangled yarn. The particles detach and are carried through the bloodstream, and begin attaching themselves to more cells, everywhere in the body. The infected cells begin spewing out vast numbers of Ebola particles, which infect more cells, until the virus reaches a crescendo of amplification. The infected cells die, which leads to the destruction of tissues throughout the body. This may account for the extreme pain that Ebola victims experience. Multiple organs fail, and the patient goes into a sudden, steep decline that ends in death. In a fatal case, a droplet of blood the size of the “o” in this text could easily contain a hundred million particles of Ebola virus.

The end stage decline can start suddenly:

Around seven o’clock that evening, Plyler went to Brantly’s house to see how he was doing. When he looked in the window, he was stunned. Brantly had abruptly gone into the end-stage decline. His eyes were sunken, his face was a gray mask, and he was breathing in irregular gasps. “A clinician knows the look,” Plyler told me later. “He was dying.” Brantly, a clinician himself, realized that he was on the verge of a breathing arrest. With no ventilators at the hospital, he wouldn’t make it through the night.

Plyler made a decision. “Kent, I’m going to give you the antibodies.”

One promising treatment — ZMapp seems to work, but not in all people

The plan was to drip the first dose into him very slowly, so that the antibodies wouldn’t send him into shock. Plyler stayed by the window and prayed with Brantly. After less than an hour, Brantly began to shake violently, a condition called rigors. It occurs in people who are near death from an overwhelming bacterial infection. Plyler had a different feeling about these rigors. “That’s just the antibodies kicking the virus’s butt,” he told Brantly through the window. Three hours later, Lisa Hensley got a text from Lance Plyler: “Kent is about halfway into the first dose. Honestly he looks distinctly better already. Is that possible?” Hensley texted back to say that monkeys on the brink of death had shown improvement within hours.

Brantly also received blood from a survivor — (I think) from an American virologist named Lisa Hensley who contracted Ebola years before in a lab accident. She still works with Ebola. She was the one who advised Brantly on all his options:

She couldn’t tell him what to do. “These are all very personal decisions,” she said. Then she told him that she had been exposed to Ebola, sixteen years earlier. At the age of twenty-six, working in a spacesuit with liquids full of Ebola particles, she had cut her finger with scissors, which had gone through two layers of gloves. The only experimental treatment at that time was a horse serum made by the Russians; this could kill her, and she had decided not to use it unless she was certain that she had contracted Ebola.

One of the heroes of this story is Humarr Khan, he was viewed as a national hero in Sierra Leone. Only 30 years old, but already a doctor who had stepped up to treat the untreatable, feared Lassa fever. He worked the Ebola ward, and kept working when other staff fled in fear:

‘Khan worked long hours in the Ebola wards, trying to reassure patients. Then one of the nurses got sick with Ebola and died. She hadn’t even been working in the Ebola ward. The virus particles were invisible, and there were astronomical numbers of them in the wards; they were all over the floor and all over the patients.

Daniel Bausch, an American Ebola doctor who had been helping at Kenema, and his colleagues recently wrote that Khan had remarked, “I am afraid for my life, I must say. . . . Health workers are prone to the disease, because we are the first port of call for somebody who is sickened.” They also quoted Khan’s sister Isatta as saying, “I told him not to go in there, but he said, ‘If I refuse to treat them, who would treat me?’ ” Perhaps Khan was thinking of his predecessor Dr. Conteh, dying in his own ward.

He told her, “I have to do everything I can to help these people,” and then he would put on his gear and go back into the Ebola wards. Khan was a general in a battle where many of his troops were dead or fleeing.

Humarr Khan did contract Ebola in late July, and moved himself to a different hospital where there were Ebola experts because ” he didn’t want his staff to see him develop symptoms and he felt that his presence would further demoralize them.” Doctors treating him put a worldwide call out for help, and agonized for three days whether to give him ZMapp, but decided against it, because it was so experimental (it had not been used on Brantly or Writebol yet) and there was no intensive care unit in the hospital he was treated in. Tragically he did not survive. I don’t know if someone tried to give him blood from a survivor.

Could it go properly airborne? Unlikely, but it could still evolve to be so much worse than it is.

As I mentioned, there is a spectrum of “airborne” transmission, and Ebola is possibly at the very lowest end of that spectrum. It is unlikely to ever be spread like Influenza is but that does not mean it can’t change in ways that make it far more contagious. Almost all viruses evolve to be more easily spread, and usually that means with a lower mortality. But with a 70% fatality rate, there is so much potential for the virus to be half as deadly, but twice as infectious, and therein lies a nightmare of epic proportions. When Preston refers to “airborne” he is referring to the higher end of the spectrum. He found a expert with a different way of explaining the conundrum.

The question often asked is whether Ebola could evolve to spread through the air in dried particles, entering the body along a pathway into the lungs. Eric Lander, the head of the Broad Institute, thinks that this is the wrong question to ask. Lander is tall, with a square face and a mustache, and he speaks rapidly and with conviction. “That’s like asking the question ‘Can zebras become airborne,’ ” he said. In order to become fully airborne, Ebola virus particles would need to be able to survive in a dehydrated state on tiny dust motes that remain suspended in the air and then be able to penetrate cells in the lining of the lungs. Lander thinks that Ebola is very unlikely to develop these abilities. “That would be like saying that a virus that has evolved to have a certain life style, spreading through direct contact, can evolve all of a sudden to have a totally different life style, spreading in dried form through the air. A better question would be ‘Can zebras learn to run faster?’ ”

There are many ways by which Ebola could become more contagious even without becoming airborne, Lander said. For example, it could become less virulent in humans, causing a milder disease and killing maybe twenty per cent of its victims instead of fifty per cent. This could leave more of them sick rather than dead, and perhaps sick for longer. That might be good for Ebola, since the host would live longer and could start even more chains of infection.

Richard Preston has done excellent work and a lot of research to put this together in the New Yorker. It is a long feature article with so much more detail than I have seen elsewhere. I found it fascinating.

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The Ebola Wars: The best article I've seen yet, 9.1 out of 10 based on 83 ratings

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134 comments to The Ebola Wars: The best article I’ve seen yet

  • #
    Boris

    Vitamin C counteracts the effects of Ebola.

    A cure with vitamin C is dramatic and as is the ignorance and resistance of the medical establishment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrhkoFcOMII

    “The very first symptoms of ebola are exactly the same as scurvy, which is caused by inadequate vitamin C.

    “Though scurvy is seldom fatal as a primary condition, scurvy also represents only a partial deficiency of vitamin C, the body still has a LOT of vitamin C compared to zero, which ebola causes. Absent ANY vitamin C, blood vessels become very weak and start to lose blood, and platelets become ineffective and unable to trigger clots. So death by ebola is caused by massive internal bleeding and loss of blood, which can be stopped simply by taking enormous doses of vitamin C until the immune system succeeds in killing off the virus.”

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    • #

      Boris, I would think that Ebola would wreak havoc on nearly every blood marker in the final hours, so the deficit of one does not necessarily mean that fixing that deficit would produce a cure. Though its not an unreasonable place to start hunting for potential therapies.

      Long term small dosing of Vitamin C didn’t turn up any reduction in mortality, but maybe short megadoses might help in some specific situations — there are some curious cases where Megadoses seemed to help. But there are also cases where it didn’t. I don’t know that anyone would write those up?

      I searched but even though there were 45 studies of megadoses of Vitamin C on pubmed. I could not find a lot that was informative (or not paywalled).

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18468413
      Control of interstitial pneumonia by drip infusion of megadose vitamin C, dehydroepiandrosterone and cortisol. A short review of our experience.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11999270
      Med J Aust. 2002 Mar 18;176(6):298-9; author reply 299.
      Megadose vitamin C in treatment of the common cold: a randomised controlled trial. (paywalled).

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      • #

        I have used megadoses of Vitamin C (1 to 10 grams an hour while awake – depending on severity) to combat infection. It works.

        The progress is: for two to three days seemingly no effect. On day three or so effectiveness is apparent. By day 5 infection is gone.

        What I do generally is watch my urine. Yellow is fine. Clear is bad.

        My body is unusually deficient (or uses it faster) for a human. I was plagued by all kinds of small infections and non-healing cuts and bruises. Since I have been keeping my C levels up that is no longer a problem.

        Excess vitamin C causes methane. That tells you when levels are too high. (except when fighting an infection when somewhat too high levels are a good thing).

        Anyway – that is my anecdote. The C stuff was told to me in the early 80s by a Dr.

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        • #

          There are many different types and ways to take vitamin C.
          A quick read of this shows how a “mega dose” of any one type could give you a “mega dose” of something you do not want with it.
          “Thus, mineral ascorbates are often recommended to people who experience gastrointestinal problems (upset stomach or diarrhea) with plain ascorbic acid.”
          http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminC/vitCform.html
          I like variety.

          10

        • #
          Truthseeker

          Yellow is fine. Clear is bad.

          I have always been told that in terms of hydration, it was the other way around.

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          • #

            I drink LOTS of liquids. Two to three quarts of water a day. More when I’m sweating. I always keep it yellow.

            The key is LOTS of water and lots of Vitamin C.

            00

          • #
            RogueElement451

            I agree with you entirely , yellow pee would indicate dehydration or a lack of kidney function,as evidenced by the yellow the night after a bender, (not that I have many of those these days!
            Anyway , this is informative:-http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-content/photos/000/850/custom/85042_2048x8150-cb1414181642.png

            Also re vitamin C , it appears that we could all use a lot more of it, (Thinks,,,I wonder how much Vitamin C in a glass of wine?)

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            • #

              In my estimation the experts have it wrong. Clear pee is an indication of insufficient Vitamin C.

              Some other indicator for insufficient liquid intake needs to be found.

              You should be taking enough C that the excretion of it is visible. Methane production is a sign of too much C. As you point out: “re vitamin C , it appears that we could all use a lot more of it”

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        • #
          John Knowles

          My impression of the Ascorbate issue is that you require high doses (a gram X3/day) to get it in to the interstitial fluid where it stimulates the production of superoxide dismutase and this in turn permits production of hydrogen peroxide which scavenges viri.
          I used IV Ascorbate on a “terminal” lung tumour patient with astonishing success but we also applied many other treatments.
          Breathing air enriched with O2 and 1% O3 is good for many conditions but discouraged by Big Pharma as it isn’t a money spinner for them. My understanding is that the body’s own cytokine reaction causes tissue destruction and capillaries leakage and this is reduced under very high oxygen saturation.
          Dr Robert Rowen claims to be having some success with ozone, hydrogen peroxide and UV light.
          http://www.docrowen.com/
          I’ve used peroxide washes and sunlight to help the body over-come a very deep bed-sore requiring a plastic tube to be inserted for irrigation and another case where an expanding ulcer was heading for leg amputation. Both healed steadily and completely under long term daily care.
          None of these are cures for Ebola virus fever but I’d guess they’d all help and are cheap and have no significant contrary-indications.

          Lithgow Hospital (NSW) is preparing an Ebola In-Service for staff so I’m raking together everything I can find.

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          • #

            Sugar on wounds is also a healer. I had a finger headed for amputation that was cured that way. It was in the 70s. A doctor suggested it.

            That was back when doctors were having a natural medicine craze.

            Honey on wounds is an old natural treatment.

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            • #
              gary turner

              Honey was so prized for its medicinal use during the middle ages, that mead (fermented honey) fell out of favor ((too expensive?) and beer (fermented grain) took its place.

              Another bit of off topic, valueless information. :grin:

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      • #
        gary turner

        You might look for papers by Fred R. Klenner, M.D. and Robert F. Cathcart, M.D.. Both have published and discussed dosages.

        I’ve seen, but cannot locate now, papers on the use of C leading to remission of AIDS (Los Angeles) and on the treatment for Shingles (Switzerland, pre-war). Again, the protocols were covered.

        As someone who suffered through the hot wool pack treatment for polio pre-vaccine, I have a personal interest. I am disappointed that studies that have been done seem designed for failure, i.e. low dosages.

        To my knowledge no clinical trials using their protocols have been done. But, then, you can’t patent a vitamin in order to recover your expense, can you.

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      • #
        Rolf

        We had a friend who’s boy had a tumor in the brain. The swedish doctors gave him a couple of month’s after all treatment they could think of. This was back in 1989. Then we sent the boy to an ‘alternate’ pratice of medicin. They explained that the tumor was there because there was too little oxygen available in that part of his brain. Among other things they gave him megadoses of C vitamin. The boy survived, the tumor disappeared.

        20

        • #

          Cannabis seems to have similar effects on inoperable brain tumors.

          10

        • #
          Greg Cavanagh

          So someone didn’t take the doctors word for it and sought advice elsewhere.

          Curious that the Climate gang like to use the doctor analogy so often, yet it is exactly what we do.

          00

        • #
          Mark D.

          More likely a mis-diagnosis.

          That said, unexplained remission does happen without any chemical therapy.

          00

      • #
        Rolf

        Hi Joanne,
        I just got the info that the first American doctor that got ebola got it when he was talking to people outside asking questions. No touch ! Very important. This means you was right. It is really air born, to some extent, and still has a 70% death rate. Scary stuff !The claim about 50% is just because it’s up to one month until we know if the victim will die or survive. The real rate will not be clear until there is no new cases.

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    • #
      Tim

      Jo; I find GreenMedinfo a great source of info on vitamins and natural therapies…

      http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/can-vitamin-c-cure-ebola

      00

    • #
      Geoffrey Cousens

      Good luck with that.

      00

  • #

    if Ebola changes/d… it is a very small chance that this happened in the US en route out of Africa so the US story is about 1/4000th as important as the whole story (and diminishing). If it did change and we could choose the location – better in the developed world.

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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      If it did change and we could choose the location – better in the developed world.

      Gee Aye,

      The jury is still out on that point. But being one of the 300 plus million jurors involved, I vote to keep it isolated where it started.

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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Gee Whiz.

      Weird logic but all too prevalent in 2014.

      This is the sort of thinking that made AIDS a worldwide problem: Failure to Contain!

      The left theory is that if More people get the disease then more government resources will be applied to the remedy.

      Stuff the collateral damage to Victims who only got Ebola or Aids because of failure to contain.

      To reinforce the concept there were even people with AIDS making blood donations at Red Cross.

      Modern morality, modern logic?

      Weird!

      KK

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      • #
        Tel

        With AIDS it was turning up amongst rich Westerners before anyone even knew there was a virus causing it. AIDS cannot be transferred by casual contact, like riding the subway.

        With Ebola, the virus has been known about for years before there were any Western cases. Strangely people keep insisting that Ebola is difficult to catch, but the New Yorker article point out that even one particle is enough, and the virus is found in sweat, and many trained medical staff are getting it despite protective clothing.

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    • #
      Geoffrey Cousens

      Gee Wizz;Do your homework.Ebola “Reston”is a variant first detected years ago in[a veterinary holding facility] the suburb of Reston 12k from the Whitehouse.

      00

  • #
    Ian

    Jo Fascinating piece.

    I suspect the data to answer my questions are not yet available but in the hope they are here goes.

    What exactly does “pulled inside the cell” mean? To me that indicates viral entry is due to some cellular action rather than to the virus penetrating the cell. If it is the cell “pulling” the virus in, does the viral particle have similarities to compounds the cell normally imports?

    With regard to the different DNA composition of the viral particles. Is it known if one particular DNA sequence is more infectious than others?

    20

    • #
      John Knowles

      Yes Ian, that “pulled…” phrase grabbed my mind too. I’ve always wondered how a virus can penetrate a cell wall. Viri are not really alive in that they do not respire or excrete and cannot multiply alone but can exist for a long period as a dormant inert particle so what causes a cell-wall to decide to permit entry? Is there something missing from the cell-wall chemistry in some individuals?
      Even in Liberia the infection rate is down at around 0.1% of the population as far as I can tell so what is going on in the other 99.9%. Are they simply unexposed yet or are they resistant?

      40

      • #
        tom0mason

        From what I’ve read the ebola virus uses the host body’s natural defences of macrophages to establish infection.
        Your body produces macrophages in oder to clear our infective agents, and alien particles, from your body by sticking to the infective agent, surrounding it then absorb it into the main body of the macrophage so that it can be rendered harmless, also the elemental protein code of the infective partical is used to start the process of making antibodies.
        With ebola this process is commandeered for the virus reproduction and decoy manufacture.

        As it says here http://www.infectionlandscapes.org/2012/11/ebola-hemorrhagic-fever.html

        Monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, liver cells, and endothelial cells are the primary target cells of ebolaviruses. Virus is present in many tissues including kidney, liver, spleen, lymph nodes, and blood, as well as most body secretions. The viruses enter the cells by endocytosis, or by phagocytosis in the case of macrophages. The graphic below published by the Research Center for Zoonosis Control at Hokkaido University, nicely depicts the life cycle of ebolaviruses.

        The key phrase is “The viruses enter the cells by endocytosis, or by phagocytosis in the case of macrophages.” and that process is explained here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endocytosis

        The short answer is that ebola fools the bodies into capturing the infectious particle then invades the macrophage, using it’s internal structures to make more infective matterial, and decoy cellular matter.

        Not a bad trick for something that small, an inert piece of RNA.

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        • #
          tom0mason

          Sorry for all those spelling mistakes and busted English but my intermittent dylexia and alexia are both running high today. :(

          Hopefully you all can make sense of it.

          60

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          …an inert piece of RNA.

          Hardly inert. It appears to be as reactive as any poison or drug, causing havoc within the infected host. My take on the New Yorker article is that a virus like Ebola has a similar effect on a human body as adding oxidizer has on rocket fuel. It reacts immediately.

          I wouldn’t call it inert. It may not carry on the usual processes of living things outside of a suitable host. But it ain’t inert.

          50

          • #
            tom0mason

            Inert and unchanging until it is within a living cell. Then it’s true nature comes out.
            There’s the essential difference between the majority of virus and germs. The germ particle is alive, the virus is inactive (inert) until it gets inside a suitable cell.

            Also from what I’ve read the ebola virus is relatively easy to destroy when outside the body. Dehydrated and the virus particle almost immediately breaksdown. Normal disinfectants, both chlorine and oxidizers types, and even sunlight can quickly destroy it.

            IMO there in is the key, quarantine and disinfect should control the outbreak well.

            70

          • #

            Roy, the Ebola virus is as inert on a bench as a computer virus would be. They are both just code. No brain, no nerve, no breathing.

            Thanks for your wisdom Tom.

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            • #
              Roy Hogue

              OK. But in both cases, suddenly able to wreak havoc. I would fear Ebola on a bench because I can’t see it, can’t smell it, can’t feel it and could die from it if it got established within my body, which has no defense against it.

              My computer is well equipped to fend of malware.

              Question: If Ebola is not living why are we told that it can’t last more than a short time on some surface touched by someone infected. If it’s not living then it can’t die, so what does happen to it? By implication it stays intact and harmful!? I don’t know.

              And there’s the problem — our so-called experts don’t quite have the thing mastered themselves. How then do the rest of us get accurate information?

              I do know that stopping travel to and from Ebola land when the thing first got started except under tightly controlled circumstances would not have left the whole country wondering if a nurse from Dallas infected an unknown number of people while she traveled across the country and back. We would not be wondering how many people will be infected by a doctor who went all over New York City after returning from treating Ebola patients and wondering how many he may have passed it to. If that’s inconvenient then so be it.

              They tell us they have the ability to trace all the contacts and stop this thing. But hell, they aren’t even sure how it’s passed as far as I can see. And for every contact we don’t know yes or no for 21 days? And for each of those another 21 days…

              AND THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION OF ALL: DO YOU TRUST YOUR GOVERNMENT?

              I sure don’t trust mine. They seem only too willing to play games with my money, my security and my life. The way HIV was handled tells me I can’t trust anyone who can be influenced by politics, not one.

              10

              • #

                Consider Ricin – I would fear that on a bench too. It can surely be inactivated or oxidized. Viruses test our very definition of life, and to me, they probably fall on the “complex chemical” side of the line.

                We can call it “Death” when the code is disrupted and they become unable to infect, but a virus on a bench does not breathe, there is no respiration or metabolism.

                If I had to place bets I expect that NY doctor probably has not infected anyone (except maybe his fiancee – I hope she is ok). Somehow Thomas Duncan did not infect those who lived with him despite being symptomatic for days. But given the dire outcome if the NY Doc did infect people — I can understand the need to disinfect his path. Even if it is very low risk during the asymptomatic phase — it makes much more sense to quarantine high risk arrivals for three weeks – pay them to stay in a five star hotel (as Cheifio suggests) rather than pay to disinfect bowling alleys and subway trains. The cost of prevention is so cheap compared to the cost of the clean up.

                The virus is expressed in semen for 7 weeks after recovery as well, I would think it only sensible for at risk people to abstain for a four weeks as well, just in case the virus is shed in semen before symptoms show.

                10

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                OK. Fair point about Ricin. Also a fair point you make in the rest of your argument except for one thing, Jo. There is no certainty about any of it until we wait out at least the known incubation period. And if semen is involved then even longer.

                About being inert;

                3 : deficient in active properties; especially : lacking a usual or anticipated chemical or biological action

                I think this definition of inert — …or [no] biological action — from Merriam-Webster applies to the case under discussion. And I can’t see how the Ebola virus meets that definition.

                I don’t want to beat this point to death so I’ll quit here. But the virus, any virus, has consequences as soon as it gets established in a host organism and that simply cannot be inert.

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        • #
          tom0mason

          Are viruses alive -

          “Viruses are not living things. Viruses are complicated assemblies of molecules, including proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and carbohydrates, but on their own they can do nothing until they enter a living cell. Without cells, viruses would not be able to multiply. Therefore, viruses are not living things.”

          From http://www.virology.ws/2004/06/09/are-viruses-living/

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          • #
            ianl8888

            I’ve often wondered about this

            My thought here is that the definition of “living” may be too constrained

            The Ebola RNA is obviously parasitic, being active and able to be active only within suitable cellular environments. But the single line of RNA code contains the (magic) drive to reproduce, a biochemical marker of life. It also evolves, apparently mainly through mutated replication error, but evolution it is – another marker of biochemical life

            I remember a few years ago attending a lecture on HIV by a visiting British geneticist. One of his points was that a particular strain of HIV appeared to have gone extinct in that no new cases of that specific strain, worldwide, had turned up for some considerable time. So they went hunting, genetically, for the backward lineage and eventually found the initial mutation within a cadaver frozen (for containment) in an African hospital some years previously

            He also pointed out that the geographic distribution of HIV, allowing for cultural influences, quite eerily mirrored that of bubonic plague – in that certain populations within far northern Europe had a genetically traced record of high resistance to the various medieval outbreaks of the plague and to that of modern HIV

            So I wonder about the definition of “living”

            12

            • #
              tom0mason

              If you look at the comment in the blog I linked you will see your point being made time and again.
              However I do not go with the idea that a viruses – even as hugely complex molecule – has life.
              Viruses have the potential to profoundly alter what it infects, it can mutate so that the best suited viruses for an environment tend to survive there, and as the environment changes so do the viuses. But they just are unthinking assemblies of chemicals with no method of sensing their surroundings; they just chemically act and react, albeit in a very complex method involving the use of the host’s living cells.

              00

  • #
    Tim

    A mandatory ‘quarantine’ was needed in Nigeria to stop Ebola spreading in its early stages. Nigeria is now Ebola free…
    http://allafrica.com/stories/201409010156.html

    What happened to proper quarantines in Western countries?

    An example of a genuine quarantine: Australian Department of Agriculture regarding Rabies and the export of dogs and cats into Australia:

    The cat/dog is currently living in Country A
    Country A is not an approved country
    Country B is an approved Category 3 country
    The Country B government allows cats/dogs to be imported from Country A to Country B
    The animal receives the rabies vaccination and testing in Country B and certification is provided by the Country B competent veterinary authority
    The animal returns to Country A
    About 5 months later the animal returns to Country B until the time of export to have final preparations undertaken by an approved veterinarian
    The animal spends about, or a minimum of, 45 days in Country B for the preparations to be completed
    Final vet check is performed in Country B 5 days before export to Australia
    Certification of the permit conditions is provided by the Country B Official Government Veterinarian
    Animal is exported from Country B to Australia.

    http://www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/cat-dogs/step-by-step-guides/non-approved-countries

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      Roy Hogue

      What happened to proper quarantines in Western countries?

      Indeed. What did happen? Political correctness I think.

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    Roy Hogue

    Just a few comments from someone not in any real way an expert on infectious diseases or medicine in general:

    1) The New Yorker article is a fascinating detective story.

    2) …

    Before now, Ebola had caused a number of small, vicious outbreaks in central and eastern Africa. Doctors and other health workers were able to control the outbreaks quickly, and a belief developed in the medical and scientific communities that Ebola was not much of a threat.

    This attitude of minimizing a threat rather than maximizing it until you thoroughly understand it is very prevalent. It has been responsible for so many things — like blowing up a space shuttle shortly after launch and again, losing another as it breaks up on reentry. It allowed ISIS to grow strong before we knew what was coming at us. And yet if you take the precaution of worrying until you understand a threat, you’re called a conspiracy nut case.***

    3) We are still being told that Ebola can’t be spread through being airborne because it doesn’t go airborne. Yet there is good evidence that the opposite is true.

    4) And now I’m hearing that the President of the United States plans to admit who knows how many Ebola patients into the country for treatment.

    5) I’m not lacking in compassion for other people. But wait a minute here. Which is the more important goal, treating those already sick or stopping Ebola from spreading? The priority is wrong and we aren’t being told the truth. In fact I doubt that the truth about how Ebola can be spread from one person to another is even fully known at this point.

    6) Why are we so foolish? We used to do a better job with serious infectious diseases.

    ————————————–

    *** I don’t want to hear that I should take global warming more seriously until I understand it better based on the precautionary principle. Ebola has plenty of evidence that it not only exists but is quite dangerous. Global warming never had evidence that it exists, much less that it’s dangerous.

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      Andrew

      Roy, I think we understand gerbil worming just fine after 25 years of the most detailed and expensive study of anything in history. Having seen the satellite data, I’m no longer worried.

      I’m damn sure worried about the consequences of AUS spending $1tr in my lifetime to import worthless / fraudulent carbon credits though. Strangely the precautionary principle never occurred to the geniuses in Treasury.

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      OriginalSteve

      Roy,

      I think your comment makes a lot of sense. I also agree fully with point 2 – in fact I find in many cases clear evidence does’nt exist for a lot of things that go bump in the night ( so to speak ) , however if you can gather enough info around the issue, after a while a rough outline/picture starts to emerge.

      I personally think that its worth spending time to look at stuff *now* before we no longer have the chance ( or people-run infrastructure ) to do so.

      A salient case in point, I think if ebola somehow came to be become a major issue in an australian city, the authroities will likely lock the whole city down, turning it into a death trap.

      Getting out quickly would be essential. You would also need somewhere to go ( a relative in a small town ), a decent set of bolt cutters or battery powered angle grinder, a firearm, food & water and an escape route – would also be essential.

      If people think cops will hang around once it gets out of control, think again – they have families too.

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        Roy Hogue

        Original Steve,

        You grasped the essential point superbly. Get to the bottom of the thing before it becomes a crisis, not after.

        Years ago when computers required a squad of onsite maintenance engineers, the maintenance office had a blackboard and the head guy would put up a quote from time to time.

        I was in the habit of asking them how some machine instruction worked when the documentation wasn’t clear and also going to them when I thought a machine wasn’t working right. It took me a bit of work to get my credibility built up but once I did they would always look into something I complained about. And I was always right, there was a problem when I complained.

        In those days failures were frequent. Sometimes just the accidental repositioning of a wire during routine maintenance could cause trouble. So I was in their office a lot more often than I suspect they would have liked. But I got to read the quote of the week very often. And one has stuck in my mind ever since. So, courtesy of a Control Data Corp. maintenance engineer:

        The guy who gets to the bottom of things usually comes out on top.

        Simple but vital if you want to succeed, especially when something poses a danger.

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    blackadderthe4th

    Here Jo, you seem to know what you’re talking about with this Ebola thingy, but times are much more entertaining when you follow your dogma against climate change, so pull yourself together and make some more outrageous claims about that! Otherwise you’ll end up talking too much sense and then what will there be left for us to do?

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      Kevin Lohse

      Onanist.

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      “Otherwise you’ll end up talking too much sense and then what will there be left for us to do?”

      Get a life is an option.

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      the Griss

      One thing you can be absolutely certain of..

      Nobody will EVER accuse you of talking any sense.

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      Heywood

      ” times are much more entertaining when you follow your dogma against climate change, so pull yourself together and make some more outrageous claims about that!”

      So you admit that you don’t come to this blog to contribute or learn, you come here merely for your own “entertainment” and gratification on your pet subject?

      You are just a loser troll looking for controversy. Nothing more, nothing less.

      I’m sure that Jo will return to the AGW soon. Until then, you’ll just have to rub yourself raw over an IPCC report or similar.

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      Rod Stuart

      I understand that your forte is illogical nonsense, but as the world awakes from anaesthesia you might mull over the logic in this link Bladdermouth. Spend some time listening to Patrick Watson.

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    Chris

    So Ebola isn’t ariborn and can’t survive without moisture and cling to dust particles like the flu can. It is however very very small so large quantities of it can survive in very small droplets. You’d think a sneeze or cough would expel the larger droplets of goop the farthest but they don’t.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/video/video/2014/04/mit_sneeze_study_new_research_shows_sneezes_can_travel_up_to_200_feet.html
    So a sneeze can travel up to 200 feet (over 60 metres). I’m frankly suprised the infection rates have been so low. I wonder if they’ll stay that way as more patients are treated in air conditioned hospitals, shielded from the antibacterial effects of sunlight?

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      I gather people in late stages of Ebola don’t sneeze or cough all that much — it is not a characteristic symptom. They are however producing massive quantities of virus in their blood, and other fluids, like saliva and sweat, so anything else that causes them to sneeze may still produce a droplet infection. I imagine Ebola has no trouble getting in via respiratory membranes if it can overcome the mechanical transport issue of getting into the lung. All membranes are potential sites of infection.

      I don’t think this virus is produced in large quantities in lung membranes, though I might be wrong – it is blood-borne.

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      So what about mosquitos?

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        Robert JM

        Ebola cannot infect the mosquito like a arbovirus does, so it cannot be spread that way.

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          Thanks Robert. I was thinking more along the lines of the mosquito just giving the virus a ride. Like a failed attempt at getting a complete feed from an infected person rapidly followed by an unifected person.
          Terrible news for drug companies and eugenocidal maniacs if immunity could be spread that way.

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        Bobl

        I would think that would be a vector, but only for a very short time (seconds) (between bite 1 and bite 2) similar to aids. The virus appears to be inactivated very quickly upon exiting the body. It may also be temperature sensitive ( aids doesn’t spread via mosquito because it doesn’t survive in temperatures much below body temperature. Indeed in the early days hypothermic treatments were used to mange infection. This should probably be investigated, because Ebola doesn’t seem to do so well outside the tropics, keeping the wards at say 10deg C might help control spread.

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          Chris

          Some disagree with your assessment of Ebolas ability to survive outside a host and also the temperatures which suit Ebola.

          SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: Filoviruses have been reported capable to survive for weeks in blood and can also survive on contaminated surfaces, particularly at low temperatures (4°C) Footnote 52 Footnote 61. One study could not recover any Ebolavirus from experimentally contaminated surfaces (plastic, metal or glass) at room temperature Footnote 61. In another study, Ebolavirus dried onto glass, polymeric silicone rubber, or painted aluminum alloy is able to survive in the dark for several hours under ambient conditions (between 20°C and 25°C and 30–40% relative humidity) (amount of virus reduced to 37% after 15.4 hours)

          Source: Public health agency of Canada
          http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/lab-bio/res/psds-ftss/ebola-eng.php

          It seems that Ebola likes the cold.

          This source also says “Ebolavirus has also been determined to be moderately sensitive to UVC radiation Footnote 51.” so my thinking that UV was helping wasn’t very well supported.

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    Leonard Lane

    I suppose you have heard the news about a Doctors Without Borders physician who was working in the Ebola Crisis in west Africa. He recently left Africa, flew back to New York and then seemed to go on one last fling. After going through the airport he used public transportation to get to an apartment in the city. Then he went out on what seems like one last fling: riding the subway, dinner, bowling, and so on until he finally returned home. The next morning he was very sick so he put on some kind protective suit and then called for help. He is now in the hospital being treated somewhere in New York. The city is scrambling to decontaminate his apartment, and track his travels around the city and reconstruct who he made contact with on his travels on the subways.
    Questions: 1) Why would a doctor who certainly knew he was exposed and/or infected with Ebola come to New York and interact with so many people? I do not believe, that with his medical knowledge and the first-hand experience with Ebola he had, that he could be unaware of the horrible risks he was taking exposing many hundreds or thousands of people to on the subways, restaurants, bowling, etc. 2) Why would he do such a thing? Is this like some of the horrible people early in the AIDS crisis who knowing they had AIDS deliberately went and donated blood. This was before there were routinely screening blood supplies so what kind of monster would such a terrible thing? 2) Is this a similar deliberate act by this doctor?

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      Tel

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkroll/2014/10/24/ny-doctor-craig-spencer-followed-msf-protocols-for-staff-returning-from-ebola-stricken-west-africa/

      Presumably this is the same guy you are talking about. It would seem that he did exactly as he was told to do:

      Neither MSF or federal, state, or city public health officials require that medical professionals caring for Ebola-infected patients completely isolate themselves upon returning home. Instead, they require the following:

      1. Check temperature two times per day
      2. Finish regular course of malaria prophylaxis (malaria symptoms can mimic Ebola symptoms)
      3. Be aware of relevant symptoms, such as fever
      4. Stay within four hours of a hospital with isolation facilities
      5. Immediately contact the MSF-USA office if any relevant symptoms develop

      These guidelines are the same as those used by the CDC for anyone returning from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa.

      No instructions for isolation until at least a fever is showing.

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      Robert JM

      There is a good reason you are not infectious until you are symptomatic. In the early stages the budding viruses are rapidly bound to other cells which they infect, there is little free virus in the blood stream, then the first fever symptoms occur you are starting to react to the contents of dying cells, a strong trigger for the immune system.
      It is only near the end where the virus is budding from everywhere, causing breakdown of the blood vessels ect that the viral titre becomes massive and the persons body starts releasing the virus due to damage, that the person becomes dangerous.

      What needs to be done to control this outbreak is to utilise the survivors who are now immune to care for the sick once they recover.

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        What needs to be done to control this outbreak is to utilise the survivors who are now immune to care for the sick once they recover.

        Just thought that make so much sense that it needs to be said again and again.

        What needs to be done to control this outbreak is to utilise the survivors who are now immune to care for the sick once they recover.

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          Bobl

          Not only that if case volumes are large, the families of the infected can board with survivors, so the spread factor is reduced, no need to fill up hospitals with contacts, lowered spread risk to vulnerable populations. Even within villages the survivors houses become the quarantine station. Regular chlorine treatment to keep the virus inside from getting outside.

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            Bobl would it not be better to do it the other way around. That is the sick stay at home and DO NOT MOVE. So the survivors move to look after them at home, Ambulance drivers are given a holiday, health care workers are given a life expectancy, infected homes are given sterilisation and large troop movements are seen to be just that.

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    I think the conclusion that Ebola can’t go airborne is based on experience with far more sophisticated viruses.

    When doing neural network optimisation experiments, I’ve noticed two prominent characteristics, which apply pretty much across the board:

    1. The first step is the hardest – once the neural net develops even a small measure of capability, improvement is incredibly rapid.

    2. Small, simple networks adapt much quicker, and develop new capabilities much more efficiently, than large, sophisticated networks.

    The technical reason why small is beautiful in optimisation experiments is due to complexity – if you are performing a multi-dimensional dimensional search for a maximum, you are much more likely to achieve a positive outcome if you explore all the lower dimension possibilities, before adding additional search dimensions. Adding additional complexity (e.g. more proteins, a longer genome) adds more possibilities which can be explored, but it also dramatically increases the number of wrong choices – decreasing the possibility you will stumble on a good solution in a given timeframe.

    Ebola is very small, and for this reason I believe the speed at which it will improve will shock researchers, who are used to watching the optimisation patterns of much bigger viruses, which are exploring a significantly higher dimensional and more difficult search domain.

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      Tel

      An interesting test for the Theory of Evolution.

      In order to be a real scientific theory, Evolution must be able to make testable predictions, and be falsifiable. You don’t see too many Evolutionary Biologists jumping up to stake their claims on this one, but I assure you there will be plenty of them later on explaining why the outcome is exactly what would be expected.

      From my perspective (computational background, not biological) I think you are right that it will adapt quickly, especially given the parameters:
      * Small information content.
      * High error rate in copying.
      * Very large multiplier from infected cell.

      Note that a small strand of RNA can produce more copies of itself before it destroys a cell (as compared with a larger more complex virus), but with a high error rate some percentage of those copies are doing to be duds. My conclusion would be that such a search process can never reach a high level of optimisation, the errors accumulate. Think of it like duct tape: something that quickly does a good enough job, but never does a great job. However, this also makes it very universal (like duct tape) so it will be difficult to find weak points. If it mutates fast like the flu then vaccines are less effective, so that’s a big problem.

      In terms of it being airborne, in a crowded place it only needs to stay alive in a droplet of water for a minute or less, if you happen to inhale the droplet, since it is highly infectious and small enough to easily cross any wet membrane then there’s a feasible chance of infection. The virus particles turn up right through the human body, so any droplet will contain at least a few particles. No need for elegance and optimisation when brute force of numbers also works.

      Finally, I might point out that a lot of people forget that fruit bats are close to human in physiology. In Australia I’d be more worried about a filovirus getting into the bat community than getting into the human community. Reason is that bats travel long distances, and regularly make close contact with each other, and they live in a lot of the areas that humans live. Bats are basically impossible to quarantine.

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        Peter C

        Thanks Tel,
        Fascinating insight.
        I have wondered about the validity of the Theory of Evolution before, but it is beyond challenge. As you say it is also a theory that does not easily yield useful forecasts. Just like another theory I can think of. Let’s see what happens in the case of Ebola ( if any of us live to see the outcome).

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        *sigh*

        Evolution is not a theory.

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          gary turner

          Ehh, it kinda is a theory; a well supported hypothesis.
          n 1: a well-substantiated explanation of some spect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; “theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses”; “true in fact and theory”

          2: a tentative insight into the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena; “a scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory”; “he proposed a fresh theory of alkalis that later was accepted in chemical practices”

          Thus the CO₂ cause of AGW is an unsupported hypothesis, intelligent design is stuff thrown at the wall in hopes of sticking and evolution is a well supported theory.

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            no. Evolution as Tel described is an observation. There are theories that describe how the observation occurred. Natural selection is but one.

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  • #

    Jo thought I should repost this comment here:

    There is some other good news for those already infected:

    http://classicalvalues.com/2014/10/ebola-and-cannabis/

    There is good scientific evidence that cannabinoids, and in particular Cannabidiol (CBD), may offer control of the immune system and in turn provide protection from viral infections (4). Cannabis has already been recognized to inhibit fungus and bacteria and can be considered a new class of antimicrobial because of the different mechanism of action from other antimicrobials. (1)

    Ebola is a complex RNA viral organism that causes the cell to engulf it by pinocytosis, and then the virus hijacks the cell to replicate itself. This replication can involve many mutations in the RNA code that make it difficult to impossible to create an effective vaccine. There are U.S. Patents showing evidence that Cannabinoids have significant anti-viral activity. (3) (4)

    ============

    More at the link including other links and news.

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      KinkyKeith

      If correctly supervised scientific studies have shown Cannabis to be a wonder drug then I am overjoyed that so much benefit will result from a substance which in the past has caused so much trouble and mental illness.

      If on the other hand these “trials” are just more cannabis smoke then my faith in Cannabis has been restored.

      KK

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        Cannabinoids have many beneficial uses. My ex has MS, and a three year trial of an extract helped her with her muscle pain hugely. Sadly, it’s not going to be made available despite many sufferers finding it very helpful. All our money now goes to running the government, (and the EU) so it is no longer spent on the things we who earn the money need provided.

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        No human trials that I’m aware of are being done. Except for uncontrolled studies i.e. “I’m desperate and will try anything that seems like it has a chance”. But you can learn more about the possibilities by looking at the animal studies of which there are volumes and by checking out the operation of the endocannabinoids in the human body for which the exocannabinoids (plant derived) are analogs. Quite a bit is known about endocannabinoids.

        You can also look up what patents the US Government has for cannabinoid medicine.

        Well why aren’t human trials being done? There is no major profit in it and it would wipe out between 1/4 and 3/4s of medicine as it exists today. Why do you think the pharma companies are so involved in Prohibition? (Drug Free America is one such that gets copious pharma support).

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          Uh? Trialled on MS sufferers in the UK, very successful, but not available, I assume on cost grounds

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            Cost is not a big issue. It is a plant. It can be grown cheaply.

            The costs rise when you have to protect your supply from predation. And why would you need to do that? Prohibition.

            In addition there is a cultural problem. Cannabis in any form is at least slightly disreputable. “Quality” people do not want to be associated with it. It is “low class”.

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        Medical schools generally don’t teach the endocannabinoid system.

        http://cannabisdigest.ca/survey-endocannabinoid-system-medical-schools/

        And yet it is known to regulate every system in the body so far studied with respect to the question. Politics trumps dissemination of knowledge.

        The human body has more endocannabinoid receptors than any other receptor type. The lack of teaching in this area is criminal.

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          KinkyKeith

          Hi

          I am only too aware of the power of Big Pharma, Big Government.

          Together with a poorly informed public being screwed by these Big criminals it’s not a nice scene.

          My biggest beef is with Anti Depressants which I feel are basically there for the money and a small Placebo effect.

          That said I look at the marijuana push coming from smokers and wonder how much of the “medical” benefit from cannabonoids is due to the effects of the smoke.

          I’m uncertain but would feel aggrieved if Governments were working for the Big Pharma groups to keep it out of the medicinal usage by the public.

          KK

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            That said I look at the marijuana push coming from smokers and wonder how much of the “medical” benefit from cannabonoids is due to the effects of the smoke.

            Lots of people who haven’t studied the endocannabinoid system wonder that. The counter is to study the endocannabinoids. They do quite a bit. Everything they do their analogs seem to be capable of.

            In the States a number of anti-cannabis states have legalized a low THC high cannabidiol version of cannabis to treat epileptic children. About 9 States in 6 months earlier this year.

            I’m uncertain but would feel aggrieved if Governments were working for the Big Pharma groups to keep it out of the medicinal usage by the public.

            Big Pharma is highly profitable and “contributes” a LOT in taxes and campaign contributions. Why wouldn’t government work to preserve its revenue stream? Cannabis – even with the high taxes in some places will never be as profitable. And the high taxes won’t last. People can evade them.

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            Wally

            Hah Kinky. Let me tell you from personal experience that antidepressants work. Since my episodes that needed them I’ve gradually found many others – friends and acquaintances. We tend to keep our experiences quiet due to the stigma but by gosh, they are wonderful drugs. Some of my friends would not be alive today w/o them.

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              Wally,

              With respect to depression you might want to look up “depression endocannabinoid deficiency” also “PTSD endocannabinoid deficiency”.

              Big Pharma makes a LOT of money from anti depressants. Cannabis (of the correct variety – typically a high THC variant) can serve the same function for moderate cases. For the most severe case opiates sometimes in conjunction with cannabinoids are indicated.

              Our whole War On Drugs is a war on people with medical problems. People in chronic pain chronically take pain relievers. We call those people “addicts” and make war on them and their suppliers. Clever if you can get away with it. Although not so clever for the people who are the targets of the war.

              Fortunately we are getting understanding. And as it spreads the war mongers will have a more difficult time.

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              KinkyKeith

              Hi Wally,

              Thanks for the comment and I am very happy that you and others have found obvious relief from symptoms that gives you confidence in the antidepressants.

              I am talking specifically about SSRI’s when I put doubt on “antidepressants”.

              It is a very big field of discussions but I and many others have found that found that the promised relief never arrived although as we are all different in our neuropsychology some may benefit more than others.

              It is acknowledged that many people on the verge of suicide have been saved by SSRI’s but I feel that they may also have been helped by other remedies like sedation which in the end have the same effect on the patient; they make you feel like sleeping.

              I have written before on this site about SSRI’s and the danger they seem to show especially when used for treating young people.

              Young people have a promise that this remedy is the best science can offer and when after a week or so there is no improvement they make the obvious choice.

              They suicide because they have no life experience that tells them that they probably will get through this in time.

              As a five year old I was once given a pink pill by a doctor and suggestion made that this would make me feel better.

              Unfortunately my experience of Antidepressants and my knowledge as a neuroscience, psycho-biology graduate plus earlier training in complex interactive systems tells me that the basis of SSRI’s is about as reliable and real as that of man made global warming; for most patients.

              The biggest help in depression is removal of the stressor ( work for many of us) plus help and support and friendship from those around us.

              Best of luck to all.

              KK

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                KinkyKeith

                Add

                The pink pill was a placebo and there is a large group who see SSRI’s as little more than placebo effect boosted by the continuing interaction with doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists.

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                Wally

                Was on SSRI’s for about 4 years. Worked very well but the side effects are not all that pleasant. Of those I know who’ve outed themselves, we’ve all been in SSRI’s and all have done well on them. Right now I’m on something different which has reduced side effects, it also seems to work fine. At a cost of about $1 / day, it’s no big deal and I don’t know anyone is getting all that rich off it.

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                KinkyKeith

                Hi Wally

                Good to hear that you have benefited from ADs.

                You mention money and who gets it, apparently in America there are at least 10 million people taking antidepressants and if, as you say its a dollar per day then the turnover in the USA is in the order of $3.65 Billion AUD.

                The estimate is very very conservative and could be double but the money is huge and worth fighting for.

                In Australia the turnover may be $300 million.

                KK

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                Studies claim medical marijuana may reduce suicide rates, traffic fatalities

                http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/studies-claim-medical-marijuana-may-reduce-suicide-rates-traffic-fatalities/

                Contrary to the claims of outdated anti-marijuana PSA’s, a new study published in the the American Public Journal of Health claims that legalizing medical marijuana can reduce suicide rates by five percent among the general population and by as much as 10 percent among young male population.

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                KinkyKeith
                October 28, 2014 at 11:06 am

                Yes the money is huge. And cannabinoids could replace a significant fraction of those anti-depressants. Which is one of the reasons why the pharma companies donate so heavily to maintain prohibition.

                They have lots of other reasons – like cannabinoid anti-tumor properties.

                A kilo of hot house cannabis should cost between $10 and $100. Compare that to $1 a day for anti-depressants. At $10 a kilo anti depressants become affordable in the 3rd world.

                And look at this: http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/leading-anti-marijuana-academics-are-paid-by-painkiller-drug-companies

                Big pharma donates to maintain its opiate profits. Cannabinoids in conjunction with opiates are known to greatly reduce opiate use. In some cases cannabinoids alone will do the job.

                Another reason for big pharma to support prohibition.

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      M Simon, what I need is a one or two link url(s) that tells someone with basic medical training

      1/ What is the endocannabinoid system? Name the chemical major groups or components.
      2/ Why does it matter and how it is used in the human body.
      3/ Would I have eaten these compounds in food? Where do they occur naturally?
      4/ How does it fit with evolution. Is there some reason humans would have ingested and become adapted to canabinoids.
      5/ What the research knowns and unknowns at this point (from a skeptical point of view, no hype.)

      Forgive my ignorance. I’m open to suggestion, and curious but strapped for time.

      Cannabinoids seem to be another polarized topic where dispassionate simple descriptions are rare.

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        At this time the wiki is quite good.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endocannabinoid_system

        The endogenous arachidonate-based lipids, anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamide, AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG); these are known as “endocannabinoids” and are physiological ligands for the cannabinoid receptors. Endocannabinoids are all eicosanoids.[1]

        The enzymes that synthesize and degrade the endocannabinoids, such as fatty acid amide hydrolase or monoacylglycerol lipase.

        The cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, two G protein-coupled receptors that are located in the central and peripheral nervous systems.

        The endocannabinoid system has been studied using genetic and pharmacological methods. These studies have revealed that cannabinoids act as neuromodulators[2][3][4] for a variety of physiological processes, including motor learning,[5] synaptic plasticity,[6] appetite,[7] and pain sensation.[8]

        Good general search terms are “CB1 receptor” and “CB2 receptor” They are pervasive.

        I have a blog devoted to the subject: http://rockford-for-safe-access.blogspot.com/

        A good if somewhat technical video: http://youtu.be/QsRAxCzxQm0

        More general with historical and species references: http://youtu.be/cN18wNxOrYg The origin of the endocannabinoid system can be traced to a mollusk that evolved 500 million years ago. We are in fact all descendents of that mollusk family.

        This one with Dr. Raphael Mechoulam (remember that name) is good: http://youtu.be/ZI2VT2kOfnM

        Now let me answer your questions.

        1. There are some 50 to 100 chemicals in the system. The most prominent in the literature are anandamide and 2-AG (2-arachidonoylglycerol). On the receptor side the CB1 and CB2 receptors are all there is (as far as we know). There are chemicals in the body that enhance the effects of the receptors (agonists) and those that retard the effects (antagonists).

        2. These chemical regulate EVERY system in the body. They are especially prominent in the immune system. CB1 receptors are found mainly in neural tissue and CB2 receptors are mainly in muscle and other similar tissue. But the division is not sharp.

        3. You would not have eaten the compounds – or their analogs (at least given current laws). Their precursors are the omega 3 fatty acids. Which are stressed for dietary balance. Rarely is mention made of their biochemical function except in the most general terms.

        4. Evolution – Dr. Robert J. Melamede Ph.D. (look him up)
        Chairman of the Biology Department of the University of Colorado
        http://www.equalrights4all.org/fcda/cannabinoids.htm
        The Cannabinoid System has been around for over 600 million years. Before the Dinosaurs. The Cannabinoid System is continuously evolutioning and has been retained by all new species. Food and feeding is at the heart of the Cannabinoid System.

        1. Cannabinoids are in every living animal on the planet above Hydra and Mollusks, with the exception of insects. Bodies are homeostatically maintained by the Cannabinoid System.

        =========

        5. I don’t understand the question. But maybe this will help. We are at the very beginning of our understanding. The very basics are known but the minute details (and possibly even some of the basics) are unknown. Because these systems are so widespread in the body and because the analogs from cannabis are so helpful in research the prohibition of cannabis has greatly retarded the research. The best progress to date in one country has been made in Israel and the heart of that progress is Raphael Mechoulam.

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        Let me also add a cultural note: in America Jews are very prominent in the medical cannabis movement. My former Rabbi, Jeffrey Kahn, operates a clinic in Washington, DC. He came back to Rockford over a year ago and gave a talk. I was surprised at the knowledge the congregation displayed.

        My Rabbi is Reform. But all sectors of Judaism are involved. Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform. There are Orthodox running clinics on the West Coast of America (California IIRC).

        The Reforms came out as a group in favor of medical cannabis in November of 2003
        http://urj.org//about/union/governance/reso//?syspage=article&item_id=1967

        They spent a year promoting that idea (they do one major topic a year – it was the topic for that year).

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        A news bit on Rabbi Kahn with mention of other sectors of Judaism:
        http://abcnews.go.com/Health/rabbi-ties-jewish-faith-medical-marijuana-dispensary/story?id=20348883

        “From the Jewish perspective, nothing is more important than the concept of healing and bringing sufferers relief,” said Kahn, 61.

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    graphicconception

    Excellent article in the New Yorker. Thanks for drawing my attention to it.

    At the risk of sounding like a latter-day Monckton, I feel quarantine should have a role to play somewhere. Putting people exposed to the virus on a plane and sending them round the world just is not a sensible strategy.

    It is not as if this type of thing is unknown. I suppose because it usually happens in Africa, to foreigners, it is sufficiently distant to not matter. There was a Hollywood film made about a similar disease as long ago as 1995. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outbreak_%28film%29

    Perhaps if the $billion a day spent on climate change had been spent on Ebola research instead we might have a solution by now. It seems that Mapp and others have made significant progress even though they were not the recipients of multi-million dollar handouts.

    The really scary part is the 9,000 cases with numbers doubling every three weeks. To put that into perspective, that means the whole world will be infected within about a year.

    Remind me again, how important is climate change? And don’t you dare play the “think of the children” card. At the present rate of increase there won’t be any children in 2016. Perhaps David Viner (they just won’t know what snow is) was right after all, just not in the way he was expecting!

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    Putting people exposed to the virus on a plane and sending them round the world just is not a sensible strategy.

    It depends upon your purpose. If your purpose is to spread the virus widely to have a large negative impact upon civilization, it looks to me to be an excellent strategy. It is the purpose that is irrational, evil, and self destructive. Yet, judging by the consistent consequences of our so called leaders favored policies, such negative impact seems to be their central purpose. Everything else is nothing more than camouflage to hide that fact from themselves and others.

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      Byron

      If your purpose is to spread the virus widely to have a large negative impact upon civilization

      Why else would most , if not all of the Greens leadership seems to think that shipping Our best Medicos off to deal with a disease that can’t be stopped by conventional biohazard containment equipment/procedures and has no known cure and around a 70% mortality rate . As soon as the first batch of medicos catches it I will put money on it that the Greens will want to ship them back to Austalia while they’re still infectious .

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    This book relates the origins of Ebola.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hot_Zone

    “The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story is a best-selling[1] 1994 non-fiction thriller by Richard Preston about the origins and incidents involving viral hemorrhagic fevers, particularly ebolaviruses and marburgviruses. The basis of the book was Preston’s 1992 New Yorker article “Crisis in the Hot Zone”.[2]”

    By chance I read it last year. Having read it, what is happening was always going to happen. Thanks, Jo, for these updates. I’m just printing off the NY article.

    It’s worth noting that the main element in the disinfectant used around Ebola for swabbing and spraying, is chlorine. That’s the same chlorine which Greenpeace wanted banned, worldwide.

    Just saying.

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    Drapetomania

    Water and isolation appears to be more effective than any “vaccines”.See here

    And regarding Vitamin c…unless injected most of it is destroyed by the stomach so it would have little biological advantage..the injection method gets about 20% into the areas that it is required so oral application would be much lower..

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      For best effect C should be taken with food high in calcium. Do not drink coffee for 1/4 hour before ingestion and for one hour after. Those rules were developed empirically by me.

      At least in the west C is cheap enough that the risks from injection are not worth it. Just take more.

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        gary turner

        I usually take 3g at a time, three or more times a day, as a prophylactic when the flu is going ’round, with a couple or three Tums (500mg Calcium Carbonate). The Tums neutralize the acidity, producing water, carbon dioxide and calcium ascorbate. This is fortunate on three fronts. By reducing the acidity, nausea is reduced, calcium is absorbed better by the body as an ascorbate, and Vit C is better absorbed as a calcium, sodium or potassium salt.

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    Another Ian

    Jo,

    FYI

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/fking-hubris-of-ebola-doctors-and-loony-left/

    FWIW I ran this past 2 medico friends and they don’t disagree

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    Richard

    I was reading an article a few days ago claiming that ebola could rival the airborne transmission of enfluenza if the temperature dropped by quite a bit. They say these low temperatures aren’t often seen in Africa but are seen regularly during winter in other countries like the US. Not sure what to make of it.

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      Bobl

      I’d doubt it, if Ebola was more active in cold temperatures then it’d be a disease of the cold ( like flu) and be more prevalent in polar regions. I see it as likely that cold kills the virus very quickly.

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    Richard

    Sorry I’m stupid – influenza.

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    pat

    worth noting from LiveScience, if accurate:

    Doctors Puzzled Why Only Some Ebola Patients Bleed
    http://www.livescience.com/48182-why-ebola-causes-bleeding.html

    also worth noting:

    5 Sept: NYT: Many in West Africa May Be Immune to Ebola Virus
    But many Africans who have never seen a victim also have antibodies…
    One of France’s leading Ebola experts says he believes that many rural villagers are “vaccinated” by eating fruit gnawed on by bats and contaminated with their saliva….
    But in 2010, Dr. Leroy led such a study in Gabon, a Central African country that had four Ebola outbreaks from 1994 to 2002.
    His teams took 4,349 blood samples in 220 randomly selected villages. They found that 15 percent of Gabon’s population had antibodies. But it varied widely: near the coast, only 3 percent did; in some jungle villages near the Congo border, up to 34 percent did…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/06/health/ebola-immunity.html?_r=0

    because of the natural immunity, i’m not happy with talk of mass vaccinating, with Africans as the guinea pigs, e.g..

    CNN: Ebola outbreak: Is it time to test experimental vaccines?

    News Ltd: Ebola experts Peter Piot, David Heymann and Jeremy Farrar call on WHO and US to share experimental drugs with African patients
    In a joint statement, Peter Piot, who discovered Ebola in 1976, David Heymann, the director of the Chatham House Centre on Global Health Security and Jeremy Farrar from the Wellcome Trust have said there are several drugs and vaccines under study that could be used to combat the disease…

    all the alleged ebola victims (other than Duncan) who were treated in the US were given transfusions, and recovered. they were also given different experimental drugs. for me, that suggests transfusions maybe should be the first line of treatment.

    as for 3,000 US troops to Liberia & 3,000 UK troops to Sierra Leone…to fight ebola! that’s the spin, even if the plan is to build medical facilities, but i don’t like it & neither do a lot of Africans.

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    handjive

    Obama:

    “This is a serious disease, but we can’t give in to hysteria or fear-because that only makes it harder to get people the accurate information they need,” Obama said. “We have to be guided by the science.”

    http://www.delcotimes.com/general-news/20141018/obama-dont-panic-over-ebola-we-all-need-to-pitch-in
    . . .
    Guided by the science?

    Unlike the hysterical claims of 97% certified (crazy) Doomsday Global Warming consensus climate science.

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    Robert O

    Thanks for drawing our attention to a couple of informative articles about Ebola.

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    Did computer raise Ebola spread risk?

    Questions about the usability of computer systems in manage unusual circumstances.

    More aspects in comp.risks Vol 28 Issue 30

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    pat

    26 Oct: Daily Mail: David Rose: EXPOSED: How a shadowy network funded by foreign millions is making our household energy bills soar – for a low-carbon Britain
    Shadowy pro-green lobbyists working at every level of the Establishment
    Organisations are channelling tens of millions of pounds into green policies
    Elite lobby group linked to Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the WWF
    Current energy policies shaped by the Green Blob will cost up to £400billion
    If continued, there will be further eye-watering energy bill rises for Britons
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2807849/EXPOSED-shadowy-network-funded-foreign-millions-making-household-energy-bills-soar-low-carbon-Britain.html

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      Look, I know it’s off topic, but every time I see something like this, it absolutely infuriates me.

      There’s people who just MUST know that these damned renewable power plants don’t work, and CANNOT replace traditional power plants.

      Now I can understand politicians being sucked in, especially those left leaning ones, and more directly, those politicians with ultra green tendencies, but surely they have advisers who could tell them the truth.

      I just wonder what will happen when the real truth gets out, and people scratch their heads wondering why they were not told.

      Who will be held to account?

      Just turn off the coal fired plants. It’ll only take three days, enough to wind them down to nothing, turn them off, wait for the bovine waste product to come into violent contact with the rotating wind generating device, and then run them all back up again.

      That will end stone dead this fixation with renewable power.

      Y’see, that’s exactly how the renewable lobby get their traction. They know that will NEVER happen, and while the grid still supplies power ALL the time, the perception is that renewables must be doing that.

      I hope someone will be held to account, but I seriously doubt it.

      Scylla and Charybdis!

      Tony.

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        DY

        Who will be held to account? Not politicians, Australia has just experienced debt creation and squandering of monies by MPs and the leaders are now retired enjoying substantial taxpayer funded remuneration packages as a reward for playing left politics, socialism, with little regard for national prosperity.

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        Chris

        Sorry I’m new to blog posting and accidently posted my reply as #25

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        Robert O

        What a good idea, bank them down for couple of days in the middle of winter when parliament is sitting, then there might be some appreciation of the “benefits” of the RET. Probably too late this year and the RET will pass before the next winter.

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    DonS

    Hi Jo,

    Very interesting article on Ebola. Not being a microbiologist I was wondering about the capacity of Ebola to change enough to become more contagious. I mean even for a virus it seems to be incredibly small, just 6 proteins in one line of code. How does this compare to HIV or more importantly the influenza virus?

    As you say, to become truly airborne it would need to change from a virus of the blood to one of the lung tissue. If the more complex HIV has not managed that, then does a small virus like Ebola even have the physical capability to do it? Remember these things did not just appear recently, they have been around for millions of years in their normal animal hosts and have not made the leap. So what would cause them to change now?

    Please, nobody say climate change! I’m asking a serious question.

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      Ebola is a 19Kb code. The smallest viruses are 2kb. The largest about 1 million. Influenza is about 13 kb. So there are plenty of nasty small ones. Herpes and Smallpox are up in the range of 100-300 Kb, so very large. I would think a larger virus has a lot more code to work with (to evolve with). There would be more genes that can be tweaked, whereas these smaller viruses just don’t have many tools in the kit so to speak. The smaller viruses are probably fast to evolve and get efficient at what they already do, but they won’t create whole new genes easily – so if a particular gene is needed to make the virus infect epithelial lung cells I don’t expect ebola to invent it easily. But it already can get into saliva, sweat and semen. It may not be difficult for it to mutate into a variety where the virus is expressed there earlier in the infection which would increase the spread, especially if the patient does not appear ill. Any virus that is faster spreading will gradually overtake the slower spreading virus. Natural selection at work.

      Some viruses can pick up entire genes from other different viruses if both are active in the same cell. That’s a fairly rare but scary option. There must be a reason why that is difficult and unlikely or we would get a new Ebola type nightmare every year. Influenza viruses are split into eight parts, and they are swapped between other influenza viruses more easily. Hence the H1N1 becomes H2N3 etc. Ebola is one unit.

      Its unlikely Ebola will become another type of Flu but there are plenty of other nightmare possibities.

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        ianl8888

        The process of evolution is an opportunistic, multi-edged sword with survival and colonisation the only facets really in play. If a species is not expanding, then it is contracting; there is no stasis

        Homo sapiens’ self-cognisance awards huge advantages in these facets, but with it comes the certain knowledge from a very early age that each of us will individually die. This knowledge makes us fundamentally insane, so from an evolutionary viewpoint: close, but no cigar

        In my view, it’s astonishing what one can interpolate from examining viruses, bacteria, fungi. They are truly another world

        None of this is to decry the damage done to other organisms by parasitic entities – but to perceive the unrelenting savagery inherent in the evolutionary process …

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          The young don’t believe in death in the west. We live too long. The old – that is me – get resigned to it. It is the high mortality societies you have to watch out for.

          The knowledge of death confers advantages. The need to “get something done” – “make a contribution” before it is over.

          There is some attraction between ages 15 and 25. Those are the high endocannabinoid production years. They are also the years in which cannabis consumption is greatest in the population. No one knows why.

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        DonS

        Thanks for the info on those viruses Jo, much appreciated.

        There are 2 factors, in my view, that make this outbreak worse than previous events and nether have anything to do with changes in the virus. One is the opening up of west Africa by mining exploration in the last 10 years that has pushed roads into previously isolated Ebola prone areas. Two is the living conditions, even in the major cities, where many people live on top of each other without clean running water, sewers and standards of public sanitation that the developed world takes for granted. Once again proving that poverty kills.

        I wonder if after this outbreak subsides the international community will be willing to put billions of dollars into building the basic public infrastructure that could help prevent future occurrences? I doubt it, after all building infrastructure is not as exciting as fighting the Ebola outbreak itself. No, we’ll just go back to governments subsidising electric windmills to fight that other, much less real, big scare story. Don’t get me started on how redirecting funds going to “wind-farms” could prevent thousands of malaria deaths every year.

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    Chris

    It appears Ebola can survive for many hours outside a host particularly in cold environments. See above post in reply to Bobl 7.2.2.1 with sited source.
    Bobl you’ve said twice now that Ebola doesn’t like the cold, can you support this assertion please? The obvious reply is “we don’t have Ebola in cold regions” but that may well be because we don’t have the native species that carry it (bats) in the cold regions. Now humans are carrying it (and worryingly dogs and rats) we can surely expect it to start living (very happily) in cold climates where humans, dogs and rats thrive.

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    Chris

    On the off topic of effective power generation (22.1) I have recently began researching Liquid Salt Thorium reactors and the failure of the linear non threshold model of radiation exposure to stand up to the real world evidence.
    Coal kills hundreds of thousands of people annualy mostly through air pollution. Current nuclear kills stuff all and most of the reactors out there are anything but current.
    Thorium liquid salt is really showing serious goal kicking ability for a bunch of reasons here are just a few.
    1) It doesn’t operate at high pressures so they are smaller, cheaper and safer.
    2) It uses Thorium which doesn’t need any enriching and is 4 times more common than Uranium.
    3) It’s inherently safe. If we used them we wouldn’t have had Three Mile, Chernobyl or Fukishima.
    4) It’s is much more efficient than current reactors.
    5) We can use them to process current nuclear waste.

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      Re: “the failure of the linear non threshold model of radiation exposure”

      Look up “radiation hormesis”. Small doses of radiation actually activate the immune system. Which may explain the advantages of spas with mildly radioactive water.

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      http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=81664

      At a German Health Spa, Radiation Is King
      S C H L E M A, Germany, Jan. 18
      By Adam Tanner

      As NATO Balkans veterans fret about health risks from exposure to uranium munitions, a generation old enough to remember the last great European war is happily paying for a bit of extra radiation exposure.

      Every day hundreds of elderly Germans splash around in the spa waters at Schlema, which contain low levels of radon, a radioactive gas generated from the decay of uranium, with the conviction it can cure ailments such as rheumatism.

      “I’m here for the first time and it’s rather nice,” said retired farmer Gerda Wolf, 67, after a swim in a large pool overlooked by hills famous for their rich lode of uranium. “I’m not afraid of radiation … I plan to come again next week.”

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    Bert Walker

    Regarding air born transmission.
    “Ebola virus particles would need to be able to survive in a dehydrated state on tiny dust motes that remain suspended in the air and then be able to penetrate cells in the lining of the lungs.”

    Filoviruses; Marburg, Ebola, rapidly mutate.
    Previously JoNova posted Ebola is potentially airborne but there was no mention of the one documented case of known air born ebola virus transmission. How quickly researchers have seemingly forgot, or at least don’t “remember” to mention the “Reston ebola virus.”

    In 1989 in the Hazleton Primate Quarantine Facility in Reston, Virginia, USA, a group of monkeys imported from the Philippines became infected with an Ebola virus that clearly spread via an airborne transmission. Link here, here, here, Fortunately this ebola virus named “Reston”was only infectious to the non-human primates.

    However the Reston ebola virus clearly demonstrates the potential for mutation to an airborne transmission in the Ebola virus.

    Of note is that the current outbreak has already produced over 395 different mutations from only 99 viral genomes were examined from 78 infected individuals Link here
    There are likely millions of mutation combinations in the greater than 10,000 infected individuals in west Africa.

    Responsible monitoring for the expected emergence of a human pathologic air born ebola virus should be in place. We can hope for the best that tis will be “unlikely”, but is is irresponsible to turn a blind eye to the very real possibility of air transmission of ebola virus given the known 1) rate of mutation in the 2) heavy infectious ebola burden present today and the 3) documented history of air born transmission ebola virus in Reston, Virginia in 1989.

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    dp

    Quarantine, or isolation to use another term, is key to limiting the spread of the disease. Isolation methods used thus far include closing borders, isolating villages and regions, isolation wards, confinement at home, hazmat suits, gown, mask and goggles, and proper treatment of infectious body fluids. No amount of medication has proven as effective. Given this success why is anyone concerned about closing airports to known sources of this disease?

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    graphicconception

    I saw some stories about a previous outbreak of Ebola. The locals were slowly being convinced of the power of western medicine so they had no problems going to the hospital run by the white doctors. Until, that is, a nurse caught the virus. Then they suddenly realised that the white man could not even cure their own. Everyone fled and they barricaded themselves in their villages until the danger had passed.

    Western medicine was gathering everyone together to maximise the chances of passing on an incurable virus. Local common sense recognised that was exactly the wrong course of action and they voted with their feet and their lives for the isolation approach.

    Reading Chiefio’s blog, mentioned above, has not cheered me up either. Still I don’t have to worry about Ebola. The high blood pressure will get me way before that!

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    pat

    today’s world!

    26 Oct: Independent: Helen Lock: Ebola outbreak boosts sales of smartphone app Plague Inc in which users try to wipe out humanity
    A smartphone game where players aim to wipe out humanity with incurable diseases has soared in popularity during the Ebola outbreak and is now dominating the iPhone download charts.
    The app, called Plague Inc, was designed by a British app designer and hit the number one spot for paid-for apps in the UK last week. It has gained almost a million more players in the last two weeks as the spread of Ebola virus has claimed more victims…
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/ebola-outbreak-boosts-sales-of-smartphone-app-plague-inc-in-which-users-try-to-wipe-out-humanity-9819487.html#

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    If you are stupid enough, or thick enough, or indeed suicidal enough to want to ‘help’; to want to work with Ebola patients, you should realise that you are more than likely to have compromised your own safety, so isn’t it just the smart thing to do to go into quarantine until all dangers have passed? Kaci Hickox was out in the cess-pit named Sierra Leone, and was welcomed back into America by a fast ride in an isolation ambulance to a ward in a Newark hospital. But instead of being reassured that she would be monitored, and tested, and given all that American healthcare has to provide, she took out a lawsuit stating her ‘rights’ had been violated.

    So, enter the two big-talking Governors Cuomo and Christie, having cemented their entirely laudable and sensible plans to segregate and quarantine ANYONE who came back from the disease-ridden slums which pass for towns in Sierra Leone; to make anyone who had actually escaped from the filth, the disease and of course, the DEAD which litter the open sewers which masquerade as streets in that god-forsaken place undergo a nominal three weeks isolation, just to ensure that they don’t have the capacity to kill thousands more. They take one look at the ‘outrage’ which erupts when the word gets out that someone is actually quarantined, and backtrack with the speed of light.

    Cuomo said his decision balanced public safety with the need to avoid deterring medical professionals from volunteering in West Africa. “My No. 1 job is to protect the people of New York, and this does that,” he said. Those quarantined at home will be visited twice a day by local authorities, he said. Family members will be allowed to stay, and friends may visit with the approval of health officials.

    So when the Ebola numbers commence rocketing upwards in New York, will Kaci realise that she was maybe wrong?

    I doubt it, since she will probably be dead!

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    I’d like to ram this down the throat of every greenie. This part should be an eye-opener

    … “As of this writing, the world’s supply of ZMapp is temporarily exhausted. … More of the drug is growing in tobacco plants in a building in Kentucky. The plants have enough of the drug in them to make twenty to eighty treatment courses of ZMapp in the next two months, as long as there are no glitches in the process.”

    Wonder why there was so little Zmapp? (The rest of the produced quantity was used in animal experiments, prior to the recent outbreak). Why it takes so long to produce it and test it? Because YOU supported the green mania against GMOs and the draconian measures to “prevent the possible spread of GMO pollen” – that’s why the GM tobacco is grown only in a small enclosed area. Add to that the precautionary principle inspired FDA certification procedures, and you know why there was so little Zmapp.

    So when ebola hits your shores, don’t bitch. You supported the view (and policies) that any hypothetical danger should be avoided at the price of not using the product in any way, even if the hypothetical danger has absolutely no scientific proof. So, smile, Zmapp might get through the precautionary principle red tape in about 5 years – if ebola catches you in the meantime, you’re dead, but, hey, you made yourself safe from GMOs!

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      The endocannabinoid system can eliminate or ameliorate the cytokine storm that causes death.

      The Human Endocannabinoid System Meets the Inflammatory Cytokine Cascade

      There are plenty of cannabinoids around. They are Federally illegal because cannabis has “no medical value” legally. It is not just the lefties who are insane.

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        From my link:

        One of the most important health benefits of cannabinoids is their anti-inflammatory property. In this, they are strong modulators of the inflammatory cytokine cascade. Numerous disease states arise out of chronic inflammation; such as, depression, dementias including Alzheimer’s, cancer, arthritis and other autoimmune disorders, viral infection, HIV, brain injury, etc.

        Inflammatory cytokines can be activated by oxidative stress and disease states. Cannabinoids, being immunomodulators interrupt the cytokine inflammatory cascade so that local inflammation does not result in tissue pathology. Thus we are spared morbid or terminal illnesses.4

        If our own endocannabinoid system can maintain metabolic homeostasis and even cure serious disease, why are we plagued by illness? We know that the body produces only small amounts of anandamide and 2-AG; enough to maintain the body but not enough to overcome chronic stress, illness, injury, or malnutrition. Cannabis is the only plant we know of that produces phyto- cannabinoids that mimic our own endocannabinoids. One of the great benefits of this mimetic medicine is that cannabinoids are essentially natural to our biology and do no harm to our tissues and systems.

        It is well known that most diseases of aging are inflammatory in origin, thus making cannabis the best anti-aging supplement we could take to avoid arthritis, dementia, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer. This is our key to good health and long life.

        BTW THC is involved it is the anandamide analog. . It can get you high. Thus it must be banned.

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    John Knowles

    This article from a Scottish newspaper caught my attention.
    Silver has been used for years as an anti-microbial but the US military have done test-tube work on Ebola and reckon silver ions can reduce infection of cells.
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/letters/priorities-over-ebola-action.25659482
    Given the cheapness and lack of contrary indications one wonders why the WHO might object to this trial.

    One of my clients is ex Au CSIRO (food scientist) and immediately replied that there is no money in it. i.e. no research grants and no sales future.

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    John Knowles

    The CDC is now saying that Ebola can be spread by air-borne droplets and transmission from surfaces but that the virus rapidly denatures in air and sunlight.

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