The Big, Bright Green Vaccine Machine, part 2

Glenn Wall-Manning gmanning at wnmeds.ac.nz
Mon Jul 13 16:29:33 EST 1998

TRKeske wrote in message
<1998071302190500.WAA24373 at ladder01.news.aol.com>...

>Think of Pearl Harbor as representing the immune system,  the Japanese
>army as representing an invading virus (no slight intended to modern-day
>Japan).  The state of military preparedness represents the state of immune

i think that this analogy, taken in it's completeness, is a good one, and
easy for anyone to understand.

>The production of a vaccine also carries a risk of contamination
>from viruses that we can't detect.  This is not because the target
>virus mutated or failed to be destroyed.  It is because the vaccine
>production may involve using animal tissues, causing exposure
>to potential unknowns that lurk in those tissues.

This is a valid point, but I believe, and I may be wrong, that there was a
rapid move away from using animal systems where possible, into recombinant
systems using bacteria or yeast to raise vaccines.

Remember, a vaccine does not have to contain a whole virus perticle to be
effective.  I know that some still do, but as I understand it, most vaccines
in use today only contain a strongly antigenic portion of teh virus or
bacteria they are used against.

>There is no test, yet,  to tell whether a given cow is infected.
>Prions are essentially just proteins, and are not killed by
>usual methods such as heating  (e.g., when you eat a cooked
>hamburger patty, you are still getting protein- it hasn't
>been totally "destroyed" as such).

I thought the problem with prions was people eating steak etc that wasn't
"well done", therefore not cooked through, and THOROUGH cooking denatured
the protein.  But as many people don't cook steaks etc thoroughly ie, until
it is all brown all the way through, this method of transfer was a cause of
Glenn Wall-Manning
Dental Research Group                 Standard disclaimers apply
Wellington School of Medicine
New Zealand

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