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Thread: Bacteriophage

  1. #1 Bacteriophage 
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    I heard very briefly about a russian discovery/invention where viruses that attacked bacteria which can be found fairly readily were used as a treatment for infections.

    As far as I know, this treatment was actually quite successful and was wondering what exactly happened to it? why do we not hear more about this today when antibiotics are becoming less and less effective with superbugs emerging?

    Have you heard anything about this? Any feedback welcome.

    (I am asking this from a microbiology point of view which is why i have not posted it in the medicine section)


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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    it has been shut down.. the entire project was thought of "dangerous" because some of the bacteriofages are proven to mix with the human dna. And some just infect the bacteria's and don't destroy them. These kind of virusses are not very trustworthy.

    Still.. there is research going on..


    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  4. #3  
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    some of the bacteriofages are proven to mix with the human dna.
    [/quote]

    Is this a genuine concern or is this the western science community saying "ooh, that looks risky, lets not do that!" and maybe being a little wary of russian medicine. Isn't the exchange of DNA by viruses thought to be partly responsible for evolution and the emergence of junk DNA and other sorts of phenomena like that?

    I understand the issue of some bacteriophage not actually destroying bacteria but i thought the solution for this was simply administering another bacteriophage as so many strains existed.[/quote]
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  5. #4  
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    WARNING

    Not invented here.

    Cursory and incomplete research has revealed (if you join the dots in a particular way) that theoretical and practical concepts developed within an alien political system, or under a different philosophy of science, or alternative suite of axioms, can safely be ridiculed, nitpicked to death, and thus safely ignored.

    Note: The foregoing message has been brought to you by Science and Technology Universal Philosophy Interpretative Dogma
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    thank S.T.U.P.I.D. for the feedback then.. :wink:
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  7. #6  
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    What???
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  8. #7  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Although bacteriophages have been largely dismissed by researchers in the West I have raised the possibility that this may have more to do with distrust of concepts not evolved within the western mainstream, rather than an objective assessment of the facts. Zwolver has tacitly agreed with this assessment.
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  9. #8 bacteriophage 
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    This is actually called translation when a virus or bacteria can share genetic information. Bacteria that are technically "dead" can be injected into mice along with a virulent bacteria marked with a special coat for identification. The mice will die, and when bacteria are retrieved, it will have virulent forms without the special coat, meaning that the genetic material that made the one type of bacteria virulent was translated into the other "dead" form of bacteria.

    And when you think about it, that's what happens when you get a cold. The virus injects its genetic material into your cells, which wipes out the DNA of that cell so the cell is taking instructions from the virus in order to make more virus. By the time you start to feel it, you already have millions of viruses swarming your nose and throat.

    So unfortunately, yes, bacteriophages can become what they are supposed to destroy. And that's why it's so hard to use viruses to fix any sort of genetic defect in humans, because the DNA thing is bound to happen.
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  10. #9  
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    ok

    Thank you very much, that explains most of what I was wondering.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver
    thank S.T.U.P.I.D. for the feedback then.. :wink:
    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    What???
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Science and Technology Universal Philosophy Interpretative Dogma
    understand
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  12. #11 bacteriophage 
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    I'm not really sure where some of you get your information from but there is plenty of info about bacteriophage on the web.

    There seems to be no adverse side effects attributed to phage that are not also attributed to antibiotics and as phage are specific for each type of bacteria there are actually less side effects.

    Bacteriophage was actually discovered in France, England and Russia at the same time and was used in the West until penicillin-the miracle drug- was discovered in 1941, however its use was continued in the Soviet Union after this time.

    My question is, is there less antibiotic resistance in the soviet Union since they used bacteriophage as an alternative to antibiotics and because of the iron curtain? As in outside strains of bacteria not being able to enter the area...
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  13. #12  
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    hmmm would the bacteriophages mix with our dna and we will becomes mutants XD with super powers haha jk =P

    but would we die? or lives on as a mutant
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  14. #13 Re: bacteriophage 
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    Quote Originally Posted by padifern
    This is actually called translation when a virus or bacteria can share genetic information. Bacteria that are technically "dead" can be injected into mice along with a virulent bacteria marked with a special coat for identification. The mice will die, and when bacteria are retrieved, it will have virulent forms without the special coat, meaning that the genetic material that made the one type of bacteria virulent was translated into the other "dead" form of bacteria.
    True, Griffith's experiment on genetic transformation through recombination. The non-pathogenic bacteria actually recombinated the capsule coding DNA from dead pathogenic bacteria into their own genome. In turn this made them capsule positive and therefore pathogenic.

    Quote Originally Posted by padifern
    So unfortunately, yes, bacteriophages can become what they are supposed to destroy. And that's why it's so hard to use viruses to fix any sort of genetic defect in humans, because the DNA thing is bound to happen.
    As long as bacterium specific lytic phages are used for the to be treated infection (no cocktails) genetic recombination should be minimal. Phages are also drastically easier to engineer than antibiotica when resistance occurs.
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  15. #14  
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    Although phage genes will be silent within eukaryote cells I suspect there is always the danger within any reverse transcriptase-expressing virus of random insertions into important genes. The main concern I would guess is knocking out tumour suppressor genes.

    Another problem I could forsee is a massive immune resonse against the multiplying phage particles, would this itself cause the person problems/side-effects?

    Another consideration is delivery, how do you get the phage to sites of infection? it won't be feasible to do it via the circulation as we do with antibiotics (immune responses again).
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