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Thread: confrontation

  1. #1 confrontation 
    Forum Sophomore
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    why dont we use one virus against other to fight of diseases?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Senior anand_kapadia's Avatar
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    i hope they are antibiotics that we use rather than viruses to cure or stagnate certain diseases.


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  4. #3 Re: confrontation 
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by parag1973
    why dont we use one virus against other to fight of diseases?
    Explain how one virus would inhibit or destroy another without harming the host to an equal or greater extent. I cannot envisage how this could work. That may be down to my ignorance. I would welcome a description of the mechanism you think could do the job.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Maybe if we could engineer a self-limiting virus that encodes for anti-virals... but this is way beyond our technology, and it comes with the huge barrier of getting around the immune system.
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  6. #5  
    Time Lord
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    I was under the impression that many viruses do just that, naturally.
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  7. #6  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I was under the impression that many viruses do just that, naturally.
    My knowledge of viruses is largely limited to knowing when to sneeze. Can you elaborate?
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  8. #7  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    The Russians did develop the use of bacteriophage (viruses which use bacteria as their target hosts) to fight bacterial infections in human hosts, however, it was disregarded as it was feared that there may be some amount of genetic incoorperation with unknown side effects to the host although I am not sure of this being observed.

    Also this was during the cold war and the Americans then apparently bombed the main laboratory where the technique was being pioneered.
    There are also problems in how ou could get the FDA or such to approve such a treatment.

    This is the treatment of bacterial infections however not viral, that would not work.
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  9. #8  
    Time Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I was under the impression that many viruses do just that, naturally.
    My knowledge of viruses is largely limited to knowing when to sneeze. Can you elaborate?
    Yes. The viruses that trouble us are the ones getting 99% of attention. But those are the rogues. It's kinda like looking at "animals" and noting only those beasts dangerous to man.

    A nazty virus is said to be virulent. There's little consensus regarding optimal virulence. Obviously very few can thrive by killing the host. Now, we're beginning to see viruses less as diseases and more as interconnected life susceptible to natural selection, and often cooperating (with the host) for mutual advantage... same basic evolutionary rules apply to them. It can go beyond symbiosis too because viruses have the neat ability to positively alter our own genomes. The non-virulant virus can get so cozy we have symbiogenesis (organisms become one), which is hard to prove, but could account for much of evolution.

    Anyway, we have observed viruses helping to protect a host from others. I can't believe that's inadvertent.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Now, we're beginning to see viruses less as diseases and more as interconnected life susceptible to natural selection, and often cooperating (with the host) for mutual advantage... same basic evolutionary rules apply to them. It can go beyond symbiosis too because viruses have the neat ability to positively alter our own genomes. The non-virulant virus can get so cozy we have symbiogenesis (organisms become one), which is hard to prove, but could account for much of evolution.

    Anyway, we have observed viruses helping to protect a host from others. I can't believe that's inadvertent.
    Really can you give some examples? I haven't heard of this, typical being from a medical background!
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  11. #10  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Yes. I too would welcome a citation. A quick trawl through PubMed didn't turn up anything, but then picking relevant keywords was difficult.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    The Russians did develop the use of bacteriophage (viruses which use bacteria as their target hosts) to fight bacterial infections in human hosts, however, it was disregarded as it was feared that there may be some amount of genetic incoorperation with unknown side effects to the host although I am not sure of this being observed.

    Also this was during the cold war and the Americans then apparently bombed the main laboratory where the technique was being pioneered.
    There are also problems in how ou could get the FDA or such to approve such a treatment.

    This is the treatment of bacterial infections however not viral, that would not work.
    Bacteriophage treatments are disregarded cause they barely work, they are innefective and bacterial populations become resistant very quickly, they are also difficult to properly administered. However, some of the research has been promising (especially in veterinary practices).

    Also, many Polish and Soviet publications are disregarded by western science because they are poorly done, and are often difficult to reproduce, also the former USSR refused to publish in English, which was the defacto language for scientific publication in the rest of the world. So, even if people wanted to read Russian research they would have had to learn Russian.

    Also, it is not fear of incorporation into the host that prevents approval of phages in the west, but rather the propensity for phages to also kill the natural flora of the gastro-intestinal track (pretty much the only part of our body where phage therapy is effective), which then causes more problems.

    Edit: This review really gives a great picture of phage therapy http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/art...medid=11181338
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  13. #12  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    but rather the propensity for phages to also kill the natural flora of the gastro-intestinal track (pretty much the only part of our body where phage therapy is effective), which then causes more problems.
    Doesn't antibiotics also do this, or do they develop resistance? What about introducing phage-resistant intestinal bacteria and then starting the treatment, letting the resistant bacteria proliferate afterwards?
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  14. #13  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    but rather the propensity for phages to also kill the natural flora of the gastro-intestinal track (pretty much the only part of our body where phage therapy is effective), which then causes more problems.
    Doesn't antibiotics also do this, or do they develop resistance? What about introducing phage-resistant intestinal bacteria and then starting the treatment, letting the resistant bacteria proliferate afterwards?
    Except when you stop taking the antibiotics it goes away, a phage will continue to proliferate as long as their are host to kill. It seems a little convoluted to have to reintroduce flora, especially since we don't really even understand every member of our intestinal flora.
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