A doctor in Iowa State University spiked the rabbits he had immunized, with human anti-Hiv antibodies to show that his vaccine was successfull; he was caught and faces now up to 20 years of federal justice, says a report by CNN of yesterday.
Obviously not enough criminal intelligence on the side of this doctor. Still one wonders where he got the human antibodies to spike the rabbits, and whether the test applied did not discriminate human from rabbit antibodies. How the head of department got suspicious? Maybe we will never get answers to these questions?
CNN reports today that the two Americans which were infected with Ebola while fighting the disease in Africa received an experimental drug from Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc (San Diego) and improved. There are obviously other untested drug ready to test. This drug is a mouse monoclonal antibody which raises many question about safety and rejection.
Even a vaccine is in the pipeline, but will only be tested from September on. Since the patients are usually not able to pay for the treatment and profit not at all expected, few companies dare to develop a medicine. But hopefully this is the beginning of fighting this devasting infection.
Gerald Maurice Edelman died in La Jolla California at the age of 84.
Immunologist worldwide recognize him for his contribution to the antibody enigma. Trained in medicine and chemistry his first publication on antibodies established that these molecules can be subjected to urea and sulfhydryl treatment and yield smaller chains as we know now very well but was new in 1959 when first published. For his work on antibody strucuture which e.g. lead to the first sequence of Ig γ-chain he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1972 together with Rodney R. Porter.
The antibody enigma was only solved by Susumu Tonegawa who showed that recombination of the same DNA could lead to millions of different mRNAs from which finally antibody molecules are translated. He obtained the Nobel Prize in 1987 as well.