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Spanish flu

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#16 pito



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Posted 23 June 2014 - 09:50 AM

It is really weird that in this time and age something like an anti vaccin movement is possible.

And yes: they should make more vaccins mandatory. In my country its just 1 vaccin that is mandatory.




I find your grant money idea a bit weird. I can hardly imagine this is indeed a good reason to get grants? Altough, yes maybe if they play on the psychological level/fear than yes, perhaps you can get grants like this.

But sience is complaining about not getting enough funds anymore, so putting money in this kind of research is a bit strange.


BTW: you use the "its not here yet" argument for the study of other viruses, but this argument can also be used for the terrorism card, because its also not here yet...


Its good to take precautions and be able to act when it happens, but one might wonder how to do it... And the way how it is done in this paper seems a bit weird.
Also: should research like this not be done by non private companies/facilities? (government funded/controled?)




The anti-vaccine thing is a real worry - apparently a quite number of knidergartens and schools won't allow kids who haven't been vaccinated - which might convince a few parents to vaccinate.  Unfortunately it is happening all over the Western world.  I was recently at a conference where Prof Geoffrey Smith (on the world vaccine committe, vaccina virus expert), who said that if he had his way, it would be mandatory - it's been done before for smallpox, and it worked.  He thought that a number of common diseases (measles, rubella, polio (they're working on it) and a few others that i can't remember) could be completely eliminated if such measures were enforced.


Unfortunately the parents of the unvaccinated children have never been around when a lot of these diseases caused large numbers of deaths and serious illness each year, so they don't have any frame of reference.  Personally I'd like to inoculate them with something like measles and see how they like it...



Anyway, back to the debate on re-creation of "dead" diseases -


studying them because they might be used once as a weapon is pretty much useless in many cases because if they are used as a weapon they would have been mutated in such a way that the know/common treatments would not work.  (the knowledge gotten by studying it would aid, but would not be necessary in most cases because you have similar knowledge from other organisms)

+ they would take organisms that are hardly known

(we are talking about people that have pretty much unlimited funds/researchpotential in the case of bio-terrorism).
To battle against such organism one will need to have the organism first to set up the development of the correct anti X therapy.


Yes, I know, though for antibody based therapies would be pretty hard to develop an organism without the respective antigens.

It is also about money - combatting "terrorism" or potential terrorism is an easy way to get money out of politicians...grant writing anyone?



You also have to keep in mind that there is still no therapy against so many deadly viruses (that are being studied for years) so one might argue that it would be better to put your money in the current problems and not in the "what if this would be a problem in the future" possible problems.

Especially in this case because its pretty much a non problem actually while now it may form a problem.


This bit is all about politics - it's not a problem now, so there isn't money... there will be money when it is a problem.  "Dealing with it now would cost too much" sort of thinking, despite the fact that stopping it early would be much easier than letting it get established.


The big viruses coming are West Nile virus, Chickungunya virus, and Dengue, though it seems most of those arthropod borne ones are starting to be real threats.


If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.

#17 bob1


    Thelymitra pulchella

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 02:19 PM

The grant writing thing is all about buzz - if you can link your grant to something topical (e.g. breast cancer) you are seem to be more likely to get money.  The military in the US (at least) has a lot of money and resources, so there is a good chance of getting money out of them if you can aim it at something they are interested in combatting, and terrorism seems to be a "clear and present danger" - Boston bombing, World trade centre attacks etc., these are still real dangers in people's minds... but ChikV isn't - people (general public, politicians etc.) don't know what it is, or what it does, so there is no impression on their minds that this is an issue that will be big in a couple of years and just how big it will be.  Bombs exploding with virus inside people can imagine, Dengue plagues they can't.

#18 pito



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Posted 26 June 2014 - 11:31 AM

That it is about buzz, I know, but that the us army has grants too for non army researchfacilities does suprise me.

If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.

#19 Adriana Reis

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 06:57 AM

People are starting to know a bit more about Ebola nowadays... but still they have no clue about it. They think you get it and you will undoubtefully start bleeding out like in the movies, where in a lot of cases that doesnt even happen...


I do try my best to make ppl around me know about this stuff and about plagues and everything we come across on a daily basis...



As for vaccines, they are mandatory in countries like mine Portugal and we dont have trouble with diseases popping out like we were in the past... and we are a very religious place and everything but maybe we are not totally so dumb and we accept these things cuz we have seen these diseases disappear for good and we believe in science (coexistence always liked the word)

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