Saturday, March 14, 2009

Scientists Developing One-Size-Fits-All Bioterrorism Vaccine

Via -

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute are developing a new method of vaccination that could potentially be used to provide instantaneous protection whether the target is a cancer cell, flu virus, or a toxin like anthrax in the event of a bioterrorism attack. Normally, it takes days or weeks for the body to build immunity against a pathogen. The scientists injected mice with chemicals designed to trigger a universal immune reaction, as well as “adapter molecules” that they had developed to recognize the target cells causing the disease. The adapter molecules cooperate with the antibodies to create “covalent antibody-adapter complexes” within the body of the animal. “The antibodies in our vaccine are designed to circulate inertly until they receive instructions from tailor-made small molecules to become active against a specific target,” says Scripps professor Carlos Barbas III. “The advantage of this method is that it opens up the possibility of having antibodies primed and ready to go in the time it takes to receive an injection or swallow a pill.” This presents an exciting possibility for the field of biodefense, especially.

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