New anthrax antidote performs well in animals

first_img Rai P, Padala C, Poon V, et al. Statistical pattern matching facilitates the design of polyvalent inhibitors of anthrax and cholera toxins. Nature Biotech 2006 Apr 23 (early online publication) [Full text] Apr 24 NIH news releasehttp://www.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/2006/Pages/AMD_06.aspx In test-tube experiments, the antitoxin was 10,000 times more potent than single peptides, the NIH said. The NIH-supported research was done by a team led by Ravi S. Kane, PhD, of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and Jeremy Mogridge, PhD, of the University of Toronto. Their report was published Apr 23 in Nature Biotechnology. See also: The PA molecule has a number of sites that can bind to host cells, the NIH said. Therefore, Kane and colleagues created a molecule that can cling to PA at multiple sites. The protein-studded bubble they produced is called a peptide-functionalized liposome. “Just as a glove matches the shape of a hand more closely than a mitten, and so fits more snugly, the polyvalent inhibitor binds the toxin at multiple sites and is orders of magnitude more potent than an inhibitor that binds at a single site,” the agency said. “The multiple peptides on the functionalized liposome are arranged with the same average spacing as the binding sites of the PA molecule, which permits a firmer bond between the two, explains Dr Kane.” The researchers created a fatty bubble, studded with proteins, that binds to a key component of anthrax toxin at multiple sites, preventing it from attaching to host cells, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said in a news release.center_img “This novel approach to the design of anthrax antitoxin is an important advance, not only for the value it may have in anthrax treatment, but also because this technique could be used to design better therapies for cholera and other diseases,” said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, MD. The investigators used the same liposome-based technique to develop a polyvalent inhibitor of cholera toxin, which also worked well in test-tube experiments, the NIH said. As explained in the NIH release, the toxin produced by Bacillus anthracis has three parts: a protein called protective antigen (PA), which binds to receptors on target cell surfaces, and two enzymes. When PA binds to a host cell, it creates a pore that enables the enzymes to enter the cell. Apr 25, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Scientists have come up with a new approach to neutralizing the toxin produced by anthrax bacteria and have tested it successfully in a small number of animals, according to a report published this week. The antitoxin was also tested in rats. When nine rats were simultaneously injected with anthrax toxin and relatively small doses of the new antitoxin, five of them remained healthy. When slightly higher doses of the inhibitor were used, eight of nine rats were protected. The journal article says the experiment was the first to show that a liposome-based polyvalent inhibitor works in animals. The team next plans to infect animals with B anthracis and allow the disease process to begin before treating them with the anthrax antitoxin, the agency said.last_img read more

Italy begins to emerge from world’s longest nationwide lockdown

first_imgBut bars and even ice cream parlors will remain shut. The use of public transport will be discouraged and everyone will have to wear masks in indoor public spaces.”We are feeling a mix of joy and fear,” 40-year-old Stefano Milano said in Rome.”There will be great happiness in being able to go running again carefree, in my son being allowed to have his little cousin over to blow out his birthday candles, to see our parents,” the father-of-three said.”But we are also apprehensive because they are old and my father-in-law has cancer so is high risk”. ‘Worried about reopening’ The economic toll of all those shutdowns has been historic.Italy’s economy — the eurozone’s third-largest last year — is expected to shrink more than in any year since the global depression of the 1930s.Half of the workforce is receiving state support and the same number told a top pollster that they were afraid of becoming unemployed.And some of those who are out of a job already say they do not entirely trust in Conte’s ability to safely navigate the nation out of peril.”I am worried about the reopening. The authorities seem very undecided about how to proceed,” 37-year-old Davide Napoleoni told AFP.Conte’s popularity has jumped along with that of most of other world leaders grappling with the pandemic thanks to a rally around the flag effect.But a Demos poll conducted at the end of April found some of Conte’s lustre fading.Confidence in his government has slipped by eight percentage points to a still-strong 63 percent since March. ‘Moment of responsibility’ Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus emerged in December, led the world with an unprecedented lockdown on January 23 that lasted 76 days. Weeks later Italy followed suit, becoming the first Western democracy to shut down virtually everything in the face of an illness that has now officially killed 28,884 — the most in Europe — and some fear thousands more.The lives of Italians began closing in around them as it became increasingly apparent that the first batch of infections in provinces around Milan were spiraling out of control.Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte began by putting a quarter of the population in the northern industrial heartland on lockdown on March 8.The sudden measure frightened many — fearful of being locked in together with the gathering threat — into fleeing to less affected regions further south.The danger of the virus spreading with them and incapacitating the south’s less developed health care system forced Conte to announce a nationwide lockdown on March 9.”Today is our moment of responsibility,” Conte told the nation. “We cannot let our guard down.”The official death toll was then 724.More waves of restrictions followed as hundreds began dying each day.Almost everything except for pharmacies and grocery stores was shuttered across the Mediterranean country of 60 million on March 12.Conte’s final roll of the dice involved closing all non-essential factories on March 22.Italy’s highest single toll — 969 — was reported five days later. Stir-crazy Italians will be free to stroll and visit relatives for the first time in nine weeks on Monday as Europe’s hardest-hit country eases back the world’s longest nationwide coronavirus lockdown.Four million people — an estimated 72 percent of them men — will return to their construction sites and factories as the economically and emotionally shattered country tries to get back to work.Restaurants that have managed to survive Italy’s most disastrous crisis in generations will reopen for takeaway service.center_img Psychological toll Italy’s staggered reopening is complicated by a highly decentralized system that allows the country’s 20 regions to layer on their own rules.Venice’s Veneto and the southern Calabria regions have thus been serving food and drink at bars and restaurants with outdoor seating since last week.The area around Genoa is thinking of allowing small groups of people to go sailing and reopening its beaches.Neighboring Emilia-Romagna is keeping them closed — even to those who live by the sea.All this uncertainty appears to be weighing on the nation’s psyche.A poll by the Piepoli Institute showed 62 percent of Italians think they will need psychological support with coming to grips with the post-lockdown world.”The night of the virus continues,” sociologist Ilvo Diamanti wrote in La Repubblica daily.”And you can hardly see the light on the horizon. If anything, we’re getting used to moving in the dark.” Topics :last_img read more

Mexican president vows justice for massacre victims

first_imgNovember’s gangland attack on a remote stretch of road in northernSonora state killed three mothers and six children when their vehicles cameunder heavy gunfire then were torched. Two rival gangs, factions of the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels, are knownto fight over lucrative cross-border smuggling routes in the area.    La Mora, like other northern Mexican settlements where relatives of thelarge families live, was founded decades ago by breakaway Mormon leaders whofled the US, seeking a safe haven for their beliefs.(Reuters) Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gestures as he speaks during his visit to the Mexican-American Mormon community in La Mora, Sonora, Mexico on Jan. 12. REUTERS/CARLOS JASSOcenter_img President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador promised to keep relativesappraised of the investigation into the ambush carried out by cartel gunmen twomonths ago. LA MORA – Mexico’s president pledged on Sunday that those behind amassacre that killed nine members of a United States (US)-Mexican family ofMormon origin will be punished.last_img read more

Okagbare Runs First Sub-11secs in Almost Two Years

first_imgMany local athletics watchers had been doubting Okagbare’s ability to bounce back after a rather disappointing 2016 season when she not only failed to race inside 11 seconds in the 100m but also could not make the final of the event at the Rio Olympics.The last time she ran a sub-11 seconds in the 100m was way back in September 2015 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Zurich where she closed her season with a 10.98 seconds performance.Interestingly, the Nigerian ran an incredible six sub-11 seconds in the 100m that season, topping it with the 10.80 seconds she ran at the IAAF Diamond League meeting at the Stade De France in Paris on July 4. It was her and Nigeria’s second fastest 100m time ever.It was also the third fastest time in the world that year. Okagbare broke 11 seconds for the first time in 2012 when she ran 10.96 seconds to place second in the first semi-final at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Crystal Palace, London on July 14.She ran three more sub-11 seconds to close the season with a 10.92 personal best on August 4 at the Olympics in London.She ran three more the following year with an incredible 10.79 seconds performance to become the first Nigerian nay African woman to break 10.80 seconds in the 100m.It was then a new African record which proved to be the second fastest in the world that year behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pyrce’s IAAF World-title winning 10.71 seconds performance in Moscow.In 2014,Okagbare broke 11 seconds thrice like she did the previous year and ended the season with a 10.85 seconds personal season’s best which not only fetched her the Commonwealth Games gold but also ensured she ended the year with the second fastest time in the world, again behind USA’s Torie Bowie (10.80 seconds).The following year she ran six times inside 11 seconds and was on course to becoming the first Nigerian to win a 100m medal at the IAAF Worlds in Beijing but wishes refused to turn to horses as she finished last in the final. Last year she did not legally break 11 seconds as the 10.92 seconds she ran at the Istvan Guylai Memorial Grand Prix in Hungary on July 18 was aided by a +2.6 metres per second trailing wind which rendered it illegal.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram *Picks bronze in IAAF Diamond League in LondonReigning Nigeria sprint queen Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor on Sunday at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London ran 10.99 seconds, her first sub-11 seconds performance of the season to place third behind Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson (10.94) and Dutch girl, Dafne Schippers (10.97). She has thus raced back to reckoning ahead of next month’s 16th IAAF World Championships also in London.It was the Nigerian’s first sub-11 seconds performance in the 100m in over 21 months and 17th of a very storied career since she raced into the limelight in Abuja on July 25 when she won her first national title in the blue ribband event.last_img read more