News & Perspective

Oct 25, 2001

Oct 25, 2001

Studies raise hopes for invention of drugs to block anthrax toxin

Oct 25 (CIDRAP News) – Two studies published online by Nature this week help explain how anthrax toxin works, possibly paving the way for the development of drugs that could block the toxin's action. One group of researchers explains how it identified the cell-surface receptor that enables anthrax toxin to invade host cells, while another group describes the precise molecular structure of a key component of the toxin.

Oct 09, 2001

Oct 09, 2001

Plague genome suggests organism evolved from gut to blood pathogen

Oct 10, 2001 (CIDRAP News) – Genetic mapping of Yersinia pestis, the agent that causes plague, indicates that the organism used numerous genes collected from other bacteria and viruses to change from a relatively innocuous enteric pathogen into a lethal bloodborne pathogen, according to a report in the Oct 4 issue of Nature.

Sep 20, 2001

Sep 20, 2001

New prion assay suggests ophthalmic surgical instruments could transmit vCJD

(CIDRAP News) – A new immunoblot method for detecting prion protein related to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) is much more sensitive than existing bioassay techniques, according to a recent report in The Lancet. The new assay revealed significant amounts of prion protein in the eye tissue of vCJD patients, prompting researchers to suggest that ophthalmic surgical instruments may pose a risk of transmitting the disease.

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