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Biological weapon

Feng Zhang, Bo Yang, Kailiang Zhang, Mei-Ling Hou, Xue-Chun Lu, Yu-Xin Li
Amifostine (AMF), 2-(3-Aminopropyl) aminoethyl phosphorothioate is a broad-spectrum cytoprotective agent used to treat nuclear radiation and chemical weapon injuries. Recently, amifostine has been shown to have a profound biological influence on tumor cells. In order to examine the effects and mechanisms underlying the effects of amifostine on human acute megakaryocytic leukemia, we evaluated the efficacy of amifostine against Dami cells and observed a cell cycle arrest in G2 /M phase. Amifostine treatment also induced cell apoptosis of Dami cells which corresponds to formal studies...
October 19, 2016: Chemical Biology & Drug Design
Paul M Arnaboldi, Mariya Sambir, Christina D'Arco, Lauren A Peters, Jos F M L Seegers, Lloyd Mayer, Alison A McCormick, Raymond J Dattwyler
Yersinia pestis, one of history's deadliest pathogens, has killed millions over the course of human history. It has attributes that make it an ideal choice to produce mass casualties and is a prime candidate for use as a biological weapon. When aerosolized, Y. pestis causes pneumonic plague, a pneumonia that is 100% lethal if not promptly treated with effective antibiotics. Currently, there is no FDA approved plague vaccine. The current lead vaccine candidate, a parenterally administered protein subunit vaccine comprised of the Y...
October 13, 2016: Vaccine
Amanpreet Singh, Pushap Raj, Narinder Singh
The unregulated use of chemical weapons has aroused researchers to develop sensors for chemical warfare agents (CWA) and likewise to abolish their harmful effects, the degradation through catalysis has great advantage. Chemically, the CWAs are versatile; however, mostly they contain organophosphates that act on inhibition of acetyl cholinesterase. In this work, we have designed and synthesized some novel benzimidazolium based fluorescent cations and their fluorescent aggregates were fabricated using anionic surfactants (SDS and SDBS) in aqueous medium...
October 12, 2016: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Muriel Primon-Barros, Alexandre José Macedo
Microbial infections affect people worldwide, causing diseases with significant impact on public health, indicating the need for research and development of new antimicrobial agents. Animal venoms represent a vast and largely unexploited source of biologically active molecules with attractive candidates for the development of novel therapeutics. Venoms consist of complex mixtures of molecules, including antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). Since the discovery of AMPs, they have been studied as promising new antimicrobial drugs...
September 30, 2016: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Shahryar Khoshtinat Nikkhoi, Fatemeh Rahbarizadeh, Davoud Ahmadvand
Variable heavy chain of HcAb (VHH), the smallest intact antibody fragment, possesses sub-nanomolar affinity to antigens. In spite of conventional antibodies, these fragments recognize concave and linear epitopes. VHHs are one the best weapon for targeted drug delivery in nanomedicine and biopharmaceutics. HER2 is overexpressed in 20-25% of breast and ovarian cancers. For many reasons, HER2 is a prominent target for drug delivery to breast tumor. In this study, we designed a robust prokaryotic expression system to express functional VHHs against HER2 receptor...
January 2017: Protein Expression and Purification
Jason W Sahl, Talima Pearson, Richard Okinaka, James M Schupp, John D Gillece, Hannah Heaton, Dawn Birdsell, Crystal Hepp, Viacheslav Fofanov, Ramón Noseda, Antonio Fasanella, Alex Hoffmaster, David M Wagner, Paul Keim
: Anthrax is a zoonotic disease that occurs naturally in wild and domestic animals but has been used by both state-sponsored programs and terrorists as a biological weapon. A Soviet industrial production facility in Sverdlovsk, USSR, proved deficient in 1979 when a plume of spores was accidentally released and resulted in one of the largest known human anthrax outbreaks. In order to understand this outbreak and others, we generated a Bacillus anthracis population genetic database based upon whole-genome analysis to identify all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across a reference genome...
2016: MBio
J M Ageitos, A Sánchez-Pérez, P Calo-Mata, T G Villa
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are short peptidic molecules produced by most living creatures. They help unicellular organisms to successfully compete for nutrients with other organisms sharing their biological niche, while AMPs form part of the immune system of multicellular creatures. Thus, these molecules represent biological weapons that have evolved over millions of years as a result of an escalating arms race for survival among living organisms. All AMPs share common features, such as a small size, with cationic and hydrophobic sequences within a linear or cyclic structure...
September 20, 2016: Biochemical Pharmacology
Samuel M Pope
The purpose of this communication is to explore the implications of genome editing techniques, such as CRISPR/Cas9, on public health-related responses to outbreaks of disease. The recent commercialization of genome editing techniques makes the creation and release of genetically altered pathogens a much easier task, increasing the possibility to the point of needing discussion. Three areas need to be addressed: predictions concerning potential genetic alterations, predictions and implications concerning the release of genetically altered pathogens, and the short- and long-term implications of the release of genetically altered pathogens...
September 19, 2016: Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Changzhao Li, Ritesh K Srivastava, Mohammad Athar
Arsenicals are highly reactive inorganic and organic derivatives of arsenic. These chemicals are very toxic and produce both acute and chronic tissue damage. On the basis of these observations, and considering the low cost and simple methods of their bulk syntheses, these agents were thought to be appropriate for chemical warfare. Among these, the best-known agent that was synthesized and weaponized during World War I (WWI) is Lewisite. Exposure to Lewisite causes painful inflammatory and blistering responses in the skin, lung, and eye...
August 2016: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Michael J Kangas, Raychelle M Burks, Jordyn Atwater, Rachel M Lukowicz, Pat Williams, Andrea E Holmes
There is a significant demand for devices that can rapidly detect chemical-biological-explosive (CBE) threats on-site and allow for immediate responders to mitigate spread, risk, and loss. The key to an effective reconnaissance mission is a unified detection technology that analyzes potential threats in real time. In addition to reviewing the current state of the art in the field, this review illustrates the practicality of colorimetric arrays composed of sensors that change colors in the presence of analytes...
September 16, 2016: Critical Reviews in Analytical Chemistry
Panagiotis Diamantopoulos, Helen Gogas
The incidence of melanoma is increasing worldwide and despite early detection and intervention, the number of patients dying from metastatic disease continues to rise. The prognosis of advanced melanoma remains poor, with median survival between 6 and 9 months. Over the past 30 years and despite extensive clinical research, the treatment options for metastatic disease were limited and melanoma is still considered as one of the most therapy-resistant malignancies. Single-agent and combination chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biochemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted agent therapy and combination regimens failed to show a significant improvement in overall survival (OS)...
July 2016: Annals of Translational Medicine
Leanne M Taylor-Smith, Robin C May
The global burden of fungal infections is unacceptably high. The human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans causes cryptococcosis and accounts for a significant proportion of this burden. Cryptococci undergo a number of elaborate interactions with their hosts, including survival and proliferation within phagocytes as well as dissemination to the central nervous system and other tissues. In this review we highlight a number of exciting recent advances in the field of cryptococcal biology. In particular we discuss new insights into cryptococcal morphology and its impact on virulence, as well as describing novel findings revealing how cryptoccoci may 'talk' to each other...
August 11, 2016: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Ufuk Mert, Ahter Dilsad Sanlioglu
TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a prominent cytokine capable of inducing apoptosis. It can bind to five different cognate receptors, through which diverse intracellular pathways can be activated. TRAIL's ability to preferentially kill transformed cells makes it a promising potential weapon for targeted tumor therapy. However, recognition of several resistance mechanisms to TRAIL-induced apoptosis has indicated that a thorough understanding of the details of TRAIL biology is still essential before this weapon can be confidently unleashed...
August 10, 2016: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences: CMLS
Saida Aliyeva, Peter Flanagan, April Johnson, Lisa Strelow
This review especially describes the dangerous pathogens research program in Azerbaijan (AJ) funded by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency under the Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) from 2011 through 2015. The objectives of the CBEP are to prevent the proliferation of biological weapons; to consolidate and secure collections of dangerous pathogens in central repositories; to strengthen biosafety and biosecurity of laboratory facilities; and to improve partner nations' ability to detect, diagnose, report, and respond to outbreaks of disease caused by especially dangerous pathogens...
2016: Frontiers in Public Health
Xuezhi Zhang, Thierry Soldati
Since the discovery of the formation of DNA-based extracellular traps (ETs) by neutrophils as an innate immune defense mechanism (1), hundreds of articles describe the involvement of ETs in physiological and pathological human and animal conditions [reviewed in Ref. (2), and the previous Frontiers Research Topic on NETosis:]. Interestingly, a few reports reveal that ETs can be formed by immune cells of more ancient organisms, as far back as the common ancestor of vertebrates and invertebrates (3)...
2016: Frontiers in Immunology
Fabiana Aparecida Cavalcante Silva, Melquisedec de Sousa Oliveira, Juliana Maria de Souza, Paulo Geovani Silva Martins, Maria Clara Pestana-Calsa, Tercilio Calsa Junior
Environmental biotic stress factors act continuously on plants, through multiple molecular interactions that eventually lead to the establishment and progress of symbiotic or pathogenic complex interactions. Proteins and peptides play noteworthy roles in such biological processes, usually being the main effectors since the initial recognizing and elicitor functions until the following transduction, gene regulation and physiological responses activities. Ranging from specific regulators to direct antimicrobial agents, plant or pathogen proteins and peptides comprise the arsenal available to each side in this biological war, resulting from the genetic coding potential inherited by each one...
July 24, 2016: Current Protein & Peptide Science
Anastasia Atanasova Chokoeva, José Carlos Cardoso, Uwe Wollina, Georgi Tchernev
Pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) represents a rare skin disorder, with several clinical variants and still not fully understood ethiopathogenesis. Often associated with inflammatory or neoplastic disease, PG is nowadays considered an inflammatory neutrophilic disease with common underlying morbidity. Modern treatment options are oriented towards key mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of the disease, namely inflammatory mediators, and seem to be the most effective treatment currently available. Although promising, the results are not invariable and these treatments are sometimes surrounded by controversy, as recent studies have reported cases that are refractory to therapy with biological agents...
July 5, 2016: Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift
Steven Lehrer, Sheryl Green, Kenneth E Rosenzweig
BACKGROUND: High dose ionizing radiation can induce ovarian cancer, but the effect of low dose radiation on the development of ovarian cancer has not been extensively studied. We evaluated the effect of low dose radiation and total background radiation, and the radiation delivered to the ovaries during the treatment of rectosigmoid cancer and breast cancer on ovarian cancer incidence. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Background radiation measurements are from Assessment of Variations in Radiation Exposure in the United States, 2011...
2016: Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention: APJCP
R Gasparini, D Amicizia, P L Lai, D Panatto
Influenza is a serious public health problem, since seasonal epidemics affect approximately 5-10% of the population and thus give rise to a heavy social and healthcare burden. The heavy burden of disease is due to several factors, one of which is the biological features of the pathogen. Indeed influenza viruses display high mutation rates and undergo frequent genetic reassortment. Minor variations cause seasonal epidemics and major variations, which result from the hybridization of viruses typical of different animal species, can lead to pandemics...
2016: Journal of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene
Lorena R Braid, Wei-Gang Hu, John E Davies, Les P Nagata
UNLABELLED: : Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are being exploited as gene delivery vectors for various disease and injury therapies. We provide proof-of-concept that engineered MSCs can provide a useful, effective platform for protection against infectious disease. Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) is a mosquito-borne pathogen affecting humans and equines and can be used in bio-warfare. No licensed vaccine or antiviral agent currently exists to combat VEEV infection in humans...
August 2016: Stem Cells Translational Medicine
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