Ebola Cured in Monkeys -- Are Humans Next?

Ebola has a 90% fatality rate among infected humans. But scientists are hopeful that a successful treatment recently tested on monkeys can be used to develop a human counterpart:

Seven of the nine monkeys in the study received the same amount of the drug over a six-day period. Three of the seven monkeys got the drug every other day, while four received it daily. One monkey in each group served as a control animal and didn't receive the drug.

Analysis of the treated monkeys revealed that, ten days after having been infected with Ebola, the first group of monkeys had very low levels of the virus in their blood. Researchers were unable to detect the virus at all in the group that had received daily doses.

"The siRNAs inhibited the replication of the virus and completely protected the monkeys against death from hemorrhagic fever," Geisbert noted. "This has never been done before."


Link | Image (unrelated): CDC | Previously: A Vaccine for the Ebola Virus?

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Makes me wonder how many cures for obscure viruses and diseases out there...and how many possible cures for common viruses and diseases that have been ignored for the sake of more profitable market of treatments.

Once you've cured something, how is a pharmaceutical companies make money? They'll invest money only in things that guarantee a long-term profit, not to help rid world of AIDs, Hepatitis, and various other viruses and diseases that are hugely profitable. That's why there's hundreds of different ageing (both anti-ageing cream, and keeping old people alive even though it would more human to allow them dignity of death) treatments that completely unsuccesful - because there is a constant market for these 'treatments'.
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The RNA interference method used is actually very fascinating. Discovered when I was in grad school - and threw a lot of conventional thinking out the window. Sort of like (yet another) paradigm shift in biology.
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