Saturday, December 06, 2008

An exciting new vaccination technology to write home about...

[Click on Post Title for Link to External Article]

Reading this article took me back to the first time I read about the genius that Louis Pasteur applied to come up with the world's first vaccine. The concepts of vaccination have been building on the same basic principle - create an opportunity for the body to fend off the disease by vaccination and watch the body fight away the disease when it attacks later.

Read about the mechanism in the brief:

An "incapacitated" version of the flu-virus A is used as the train bearing a string of amino acids attached to a gene of the virus B and inserted into the body. This apparently (and I get it!) sets off an automatic and aggressive response, and what follows is similar to the antibody-antigen mechanism.

Next time the virus attacks, the body is ready!

The Novo Nordisk Foundation and Novo A/S are set to make a fortune I presume, if all of this succeeds!

But, there is more - there are two key aspects of the technology's effectiveness that the article refers to that deserve a plagiaristic re-mention:

1. The technology, InVacc proffers a rapid response - and, without expanding we are also informed that the vaccination will be effective even against rapidly evolving and mutating bacteria and viruses. I would like to know what mechanism dictates this second aspect.

2. The technology also instigates the activity of the CD4+ cells (in case you are wondering - CD stands for Cluster of Differentiation, a type of grouping of immune cells) that control the body's immune response. They lead to the active production of CD8+ cells - cells that form the body's defense mechanism.

It appears that the technology has already worked quite well in mice. I wonder how long it will be, before we see the first vaccine to come out of the this technology. More on this as it evolves!

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