HIV integrates its genetic material into the genome of a host cell, meaning available therapies just can’t remove it. A team of scientists at Temple University and the University of Nebraska Medical Center managed to remove the virus completely from mice during preclinical testing using a combination of CRISPR and antiretroviral therapy. They also found no adverse events that could be linked to the therapy in the study, published back in 2019.
The company is also working on similar treatments for other viruses, including herpes and hepatitis B.
September 27, 2021
Excision’s CRISPR gene editing therapy for HIV is heading into human testing after FDA clearance
[A few months ago a male friend (who I suspect is bi-sexual) pointed out that COVID-19 is not the first pandemic our generation has lived through. My thinking about this enabled a quick response to different friend just a few days later who was pontificating on how COVID-19, “Hit the sweet spot of infectiveness and lethality.” I disagreed, “It could be a lot more lethal.” “Not really”, he replied, “It would be hard to be more lethal and still infect a lot of people because it would kill people before they could infect as many people as it does.” I had a three letter acronym response, “HIV”.
He immediately conceded. A disease as infectious as chickenpox with the silent latency and deadliness of HIV would have the potential to exterminate humanity.
I fear that as long as we have global trade if we don’t develop the ability to respond to new diseases in timeframes of weeks, or perhaps days, some disease will, “Find the sweet spot” (or be engineered) to close the curtain on humans.
HIV was first recognized as a new disease in 1981. At the time I figured scientists would have it figured out and curable in “five or ten years”. Forty years later a promising cure is going into human trials.
Herpes too was a pretty big deal in the mid 1980s. Like HIV, herpes is now treatable but incurable. That may be changing in the next few years.
Think of all these diseases as practice for the future.—Joe]
True, as any virus that takes years to kill you, will have years to spread.
Also true is that the hardiest viruses don’t kill. Witness the common cold. Which also works to help clean your lungs and sinus cavities.
In most of these it’s the immune response that has to be controlled. Not the virus.
True killers like EBOLA are easily controlled by isolation. Let us pray the two never meet.
Covid is different in that it’s an engineered bio-weapon. And the vaccine will be the real killing agent. Which is the best way to control it’s destructive power.
In construction, we use to say the first sign of AIDS was a deep pounding sensation in one’s butt. It seems quite avoidable.
I think you are missing my point. I was trying to say that we have been lucky that we haven’t had a symptomless spreader, high lethality pathogen (that we know of) infect our species. Our luck has protected us from the all natural developments of such a threat. Our technology has enabled the possibility (probability?) of human designed extinction class threats.
The solution, if there is one, will probably involve investment in many different defenses. I envision early detection, economically sustainable isolation, and rapid development of treatments and immunizations as some of the building blocks. mRNA “vaccines” may or may not be the best approach but it does have the advantage of being relatively easy and very quickly developed and deployed. The CRISPR approach has it’s advantages as well but I suspect the suspicions of it will equal or exceed that of mRNA approaches to disease control.
As usual, I will advocate for a free market approach. Everyone educating themselves and others as best they can and placing their “bets” as they see fit will result in something less than optimal, when viewed in hindsight, but most likely to result in a net win for the species as a whole.
Maybe I I’m. But I would submit the virus with mutation/time/lethality all in one, outside of a lab, would be a very, very, rare bug indeed. But they do exist. Human papilloma viruses being one?
And as such, I’m all in to technologies. To me, humans, with all their faults are still a lot of fun.
And not that there aren’t true kill everyone psychos out there.
But elitists aren’t interested in killing their friends and family. Only ours.
The free market is always the best solution. I just wish we had one.
And a government willing to protect it.
It’s entirely possible that a civilization-ending pathogen evolves naturally – yersinia pestis (the bacteria that causes Bubonic Plague, aka “the Black Death” that occurred in the 14th century) is naturally occurring. Now, however, we have treatment for the infection. Back in the 1400s, no such luck.
The real worry will be “government” because it’s primarily “government” that has the money (and other, associated resources) to fund development of manufactured pathogens (for a variety of reasons, including so-called “defensive” ones) and, theoretically, also develop and manage counter programs. Not that an Ian Fleming-type Bad Guy is an impossibility, but most of that ilk seem to have some tie to a government program someplace.
As for the “most likely to result in a net win for the species as a whole” approach, the greatest success there will – probably – come from the freedoms that allow unlimited searches for solutions by unlimited numbers of searchers using unlimited techniques.
“as long as we have global trade if we don’t develop the ability to respond to new diseases in timeframes of weeks, or perhaps days, some disease will, ‘Find the sweet spot'”
I assert that the ability to respond—administratively, through the executive power—is all we have in the United States, and it may be enough.
It will take a few big moves, such as collecting all incoming international flights through a small number of airports and seaports and equipping those ports with capacity to quarantine incoming travelers for up to 30 days within hours of an announcement, and some small moves, such as granting the Executive the unquestioned power to make that announcement upon an objective finding.
It may have worked for COVID had it been given a chance. Still waiting for public health experts to declare the curve to have been flattened. That is a different problem, that may require an overhaul of government-financed and -conducted science itself to solve.
I was around when HIV was still called HTLV3, and even when the causative virus had not yet been identified, or known even to be a virus. And my wife and I have been watching to see when we would have our turn at something like the Spanish Flu.
There’s always been a form of “global trade” in the form of various kinds of migratory animals. If you discount a few continents, there’s been “global” trade between humans for millennia as well. Just sayin’. Also, the Black Plague was vastly more deadly, and it seems to have spread more easily, than our current flu, or HIV.
It’s germ warfare….and the germs generally win. That’s because they can mutate and adapt far faster than humans can. Science talks about the inevitability of SMOD and the end of most life on planet earth. It’s just as probable that sooner or later some infectious organism will evolve that has a long latency/incubation period, easy to spread and a high level of morbidity. Combine that with modern society where you can literally travel halfway round the planet in less than a day and you have the perfect recipe for a REAL pandemic….one that brings civilization to it’s knees….if not totally ends it.
commercial aircraft flights to nearly everywhere are one of the very best justifications to back Elon Musk’s and other futurists dreams to colonize Mars and other bodies in the solar system. Travel from Earth will take weeks or months, and spacecraft are fragile. An incoming plague ship can be easily eliminated with current technologies. For Earths entire existence all of our eggs have been in one basket. We now have the ability to ensure humanity is not sniffed out by one cosmic or laboratory accident. We need self sustaining colonies off of earth ASAP. They can raise my taxes 5% to fund it, or better yet stop flushing taxpayers money down the drain of the post1965 welfare state and use some of those funds to pay off the debt and fund a Mars colony
If some virus, manufactured or natural, does manage to hit the sweet spot, will there not be some set of people set of people naturally immune that will preserve the species. Perhaps in a modified form. If said virus is manufactured, one has to assume the manufacturer will have developed a treatment or engineered the thing in the first place to bypass some favored group. Only the Watermelons would be crazy enough to not take these precautions.
” If said virus is manufactured, one has to assume the manufacturer will have developed a treatment or engineered the thing in the first place to bypass some favored group.”
OK, then, other than the (quite) young, what group has COVID-19 been “manufactured to bypass”? And, since the leadership of the CCP is not “young children,” where’s the evidence of an available antidote? Were it – the antidote, or “protective dosage” of something – to be distributed in the inner circle(s) of Beijing something would leak out, somewhere.
Or, as is widely suspected, are we really looking at a “loose cannon” of bureaucratic malevolence on both sides? (“Both sides” meaning development of the pathogen and co-development of a so-called “treatment” through a “vaccine” that has adjoining negative effect(s).)
Why make a doomsday bug that kills you and your friends to? Why not hype a weak one and let the vaccine for it kill everyone over the following years?
Politicians aren’t taking it serious. But their sure forcing us to. Their problem is that their killing the useful idiot workforce.
Possible ammo savings being the silver lining?
Tom Clancy’s novel “Executive Orders” deals with a scenario along these lines.
Rainbow Six but that activates the Watermelon wacko scenario.