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Biological weapon

Zygfryd Witkiewicz, Slawomir Neffe, Ewa Sliwka, Javier Quagliano
Recent advances in analysis of precursors, simulants and degradation products of chemical warfare agents (CWA) are reviewed. Fast and reliable analysis of precursors, simulants and CWA degradation products is extremely important at a time, when more and more terrorist groups and radical non-state organizations use or plan to use chemical weapons to achieve their own psychological, political and military goals. The review covers the open source literature analysis after the time, when the chemical weapons convention had come into force (1997)...
March 13, 2018: Critical Reviews in Analytical Chemistry
Hsiao-Han Lin, Hsin-Mei Huang, Manda Yu, Erh-Min Lai, Hsiao-Lin Chien, Chi-Te Liu
The bacterial type VI secretion system (T6SS) has been considered the armed force of bacteria because it can deliver toxin effectors to prokaryotic or eukaryotic cells for survival and fitness. Although many legume symbiotic rhizobacteria encode T6SS in their genome, the biological function of T6SS in these bacteria is still unclear. To elucidate this issue, we used Azorhizobium caulinodans ORS571 and its symbiotic host Sesbania rostrata as our research model. By using T6SS gene deletion mutants, we found that T6SS provides A...
March 8, 2018: Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions: MPMI
Richard N McLaughlin
Transposable elements comprise a huge portion of most animal genomes. Unlike many pathogens, these elements leave a mark of their impact via their insertion into host genomes. With proper teasing, these sequences can relay information about the evolutionary history of transposons and their hosts. In a new publication, Larson and colleagues describe a previously unappreciated density of long interspersed element-1 (LINE-1) sequences that have been spliced (LINE-1 and other reverse transcribing elements are necessarily intronless)...
March 5, 2018: PLoS Biology
Nancy G Prouty, E Brendan Roark, Leslye M Mohon, Ching-Chih Chang
Understanding iodine concentration, transport, and bioavailability is essential in evaluating iodine's impact to the environment and its effectiveness as an environmental biogeotracer. While iodine and its radionuclides have proven to be important tracers in geologic and biologic studies, little is known about transport of this element to the deep sea and subsequent uptake in deep-sea coral habitats. Results presented here on deep-sea black coral iodine speciation and iodine isotope variability provides key information on iodine behavior in natural and anthropogenic environments, and its geochemical pathway in the Gulf of Mexico...
February 13, 2018: Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
Dominic Esposito, Andrew G Stephen, Thomas J Turbyville, Matthew Holderfield
Development of therapeutic strategies against RAS-driven cancers has been challenging due in part to a lack of understanding of the biology of the system and the ability to design appropriate assays and reagents for targeted drug discovery efforts. Recent developments in the field have opened up new avenues for exploration both through advances in the number and quality of reagents as well as the introduction of novel biochemical and cell-based assay technologies which can be used for high-throughput screening of compound libraries...
February 9, 2018: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Theodore J Cieslak, Mark G Kortepeter, Ronald J Wojtyk, Hugo-Jan Jansen, Ricardo A Reyes, James O Smith
Background: Defense policy planners and countermeasure developers are often faced with vexing problems involving the prioritization of resources and efforts. This is especially true in the area of Biodefense, where each new emerging infectious disease outbreak brings with it questions regarding the causative agent's potential for weaponization. Recent experience with West Nile Virus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, Monkeypox, and H1N1 Influenza highlights this problem. Appropriately, in each of these cases, the possibility of bioterrorism was raised, although each outbreak ultimately proved to have a natural origin...
January 1, 2018: Military Medicine
Mark Arnold Thomas Blaskovich, Karl A Hansford, Mark Stuart Butler, ZhiGuang Jia, Alan Edward Mark, Matthew A Cooper
Glycopeptide antibiotics (GPA) are a key weapon in the fight against drug resistant bacteria, with vancomycin still a mainstream therapy against serious Gram-positive infections more than 50 years after it was first introduced. New, more potent semisynthetic derivatives that have entered the clinic, such as dalbavancin and oritavancin, have superior pharmacokinetic and target engagement profiles that enable successful treatment of vancomycin-resistant infections. In the face of resistance development, with multi-drug resistant (MDR) S...
January 24, 2018: ACS Infectious Diseases
Yi-Ming Shi, Helge B Bode
Covering: up to November 2017Organismic interaction is one of the fundamental principles for survival in any ecosystem. Today, numerous examples show the interaction between microorganisms like bacteria and higher eukaryotes that can be anything between mutualistic to parasitic/pathogenic symbioses. There is also increasing evidence that microorganisms are used by higher eukaryotes not only for the supply of essential factors like vitamins but also as biological weapons to protect themselves or to kill other organisms...
January 23, 2018: Natural Product Reports
Jingwei Huang, Kang Xiong, Houshuang Zhang, Yanzhen Zhao, Jie Cao, Haiyan Gong, Yongzhi Zhou, Jinlin Zhou
BACKGROUND: Human babesiosis is an infectious disease that is epidemic in various regions all over the world. The predominant causative pathogen of this disease is the intra-erythrocytic parasite Babesia microti. The thioredoxin system is one of the major weapons that is used in the resistance to the reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) produced by host immune system. In other intra-erythrocytic apicomplexans like the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, anti-oxidative proteins are promising targets for the development of anti-parasitic drugs...
January 15, 2018: Parasites & Vectors
Moumita Ray, Yi-Wei Lee, Joseph Hardie, Rubul Mout, Gulen Yesilbag Tonga, Michelle E Farkas, Vincent M Rotello
We present here an integrated nanotechnology/biology strategy for cancer immunotherapy that uses arginine nanoparticles (ArgNPs) to deliver CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing machinery into cells to generate SIRP-α knockout macrophag-es. The NP system efficiently co-delivers single guide RNA (sgRNA) and Cas9 protein required for editing to knock out the "don't eat me signal" in macrophages that prevents phagocytosis of cancer cells. Turning off this signal increased the innate phagocytic capabilities of the macrophages by 4-fold...
January 3, 2018: Bioconjugate Chemistry
Talia Golan, Michele Milella, Aliza Ackerstein, Ranaan Berger
In the past decade, the oncology community has witnessed major advances in the understanding of cancer biology and major breakthroughs in several different therapeutic areas, from solid tumors to hematological malignancies; moreover, the advent of effective immunotherapy approaches, such as immune-checkpoint blockade, is revolutionizing treatment algorithms in almost all oncology disease areas. As knowledge evolves and new weapons emerge in the "war against cancer", clinical and translational research need to adapt to a rapidly changing environment to effectively translate novel concepts into sustainable and accessible therapeutic options for cancer patients...
December 28, 2017: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research: CR
Massimo Caruso, Jaymin Morjaria, Rosalia Emma, Maria Domenica Amaradio, Riccardo Polosa
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory multifactorial disorder of the airways characterized by the involvement of immune cells and mediators in its onset and maintenance. Traditional therapeutic strategies have been unsatisfactory in controlling the underlying pathology, especially in the more severe states. Hence in the last couple of decades, new biological approaches targeting molecular mediators have been developed. In this narrative review we examine biological agents currently available for the management of severe asthma, focusing our attention on their clinical application, pros and cons, and in particular on gaps regarding the use of these agents...
December 14, 2017: Internal and Emergency Medicine
Ce Yang, Jie Gao, Juan Du, Xuetao Yang, Jianxin Jiang
During the occurrence and development of injury (trauma, hemorrhagic shock, ischemia and hypoxia), the neuroendocrine and immune system act as a prominent navigation leader and possess an inter-system crosstalk between the reciprocal information dissemination. The fundamental reason that neuroendocrinology and immunology could mix each other and permeate toward the field of traumatology is owing to their same biological languages or chemical information molecules (hormones, neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, cytokines and their corresponding receptors) shared by the neuroendocrine and immune systems...
2017: International Journal of Biological Sciences
Michael Schwenk
Synthetic toxic chemicals (toxicants) and biological poisons (toxins) have been developed as chemical warfare agents in the last century. At the time of their initial consideration as chemical weapon, only restricted knowledge existed about their mechanisms of action. There exist two different types of acute toxic action: nonspecific cytotoxic mechanisms with multiple chemo-biological interactions versus specific mechanisms that tend to have just a single or a few target biomolecules. TRPV1- and TRPA-receptors are often involved as chemosensors that induce neurogenic inflammation...
November 29, 2017: Toxicology Letters
Uzma Shabir, Sajad Ali, Aqib Rehman Magray, Bashir Ahmad Ganai, Parveena Firdous, Toyeeba Hassan, Ruqeya Nazir
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are generally considered as an essential component of innate immunity, thereby providing the first line of defense against wide range of pathogens. In addition, they can also kill the pathogens which are generally resistant to number of antibiotics, thereby providing the avenues for the development of future therapeutic agents. Fishes are constantly challenged by variety of pathogens which not only shows detrimental effect on their health but also increases risk of becoming resistant to conventional antibiotics...
January 2018: Microbial Pathogenesis
Deyu Tian, Akihiko Uda, Eun-Sil Park, Akitoyo Hotta, Osamu Fujita, Akio Yamada, Kazuhiro Hirayama, Kozue Hotta, Yuuki Koyama, Mika Azaki, Shigeru Morikawa
Francisella tularensis, which causes tularemia, is an intracellular gram-negative bacterium. F. tularensis has received significant attention in recent decades because of its history as a biological weapon. Thus, development of novel vaccines against tularemia has been an important goal. The attenuated F. tularensis strain ΔpdpC, in which the pathogenicity determinant protein C gene (pdpC) has been disrupted by TargeTron mutagenesis, was investigated as a potential vaccine candidate for tularemia in the present study...
January 2018: Microbiology and Immunology
Christine Yi Lai Luk
Radiobiology assesses the biological hazards of exposure to radioactive substances and nuclear radiation. This article explores the history of radiobiology in twentieth-century China by examining the overlapping of radium research and biophysics, from roughly the 1920s Nationalist period to the 1960s Communist period; from the foreign purchase of radium by the Rockefeller Foundation's China Medical Board during the Republican era, to the institutional establishment of radiobiology as a subset of biophysics in the People's Republic...
November 2, 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Daniel Gerstein, James Giordano
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 14, 2017: Health Security
Hanseul Oh, C-Yoon Kim, Chang-Hwan Kim, Gyeung-Haeng Hur, Ji Min Lee, Seo-Na Chang, Jae-Hak Park
Francisella tularensis (FT), a highly infectious pathogen, is considered to be a potential biological weapon owing to the current lack of a human vaccine against it. Tul4 and FopA, both outer membrane proteins of FT, play an important role in the bacterium's immunogenicity. In the present study, we evaluated the immune response of mice-humanized with human CD34+ cells (hu-mice)-to a cocktail of recombinant Tul4 and FopA (rTul4 and rFopA), which were codon-optimized and expressed in Escherichia coli. Not only did the cocktail-immunized hu-mice produce a significant human immunoglobulin response, they also exhibited prolonged survival against an attenuated live vaccine strain as well as human T cell in the spleen...
November 14, 2017: Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Johanna Boutillier, Sébastien De Mezzo, Caroline Deck, Pascal Magnan, Pierre Naz, Rémy Willinger
To better protect soldiers from blast threat, that principally affect air-filled organs such a lung, it is necessary to develop an adapted injury criterion and, prior to this, to evaluate the response of a biological model against that threat. The objective of this study is to provide some robust data to quantify the chest response of post-mortem swine under blast loadings. 7 post-mortem swine (54.5 ± 2.6 kg), placed side-on to the threat and against the ground, were exposed to 5 shock-waves of increasing intensities...
October 25, 2017: Journal of Biomechanics
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