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Synthetic Biology

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NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Yale University has launched its Biodesign Institute focused on bringing together cell biologists with engineers for the discovery of systems and design principles uniting living and synthetic materials at the nano-scale…

The university said the institute’s work will focus on the creation of what [James] Rothman has called “natural machines,” or nano-machines capable of tasks ranging from functioning inside cells, to producing materials for tissue engineering, to carrying out programmed tasks as DNA robots…

The Biodesign Institute …campus, acquired from Bayer HealthCare in 2007, consists of 1.6 million square feet of research, office and warehouse space…

‘The institute will position Yale to be a world leader in several exciting areas, including the discovery and analysis of cellular nano-machines, synthetic biology, bio-inspired design of active materials and dynamic optical microscopy on the nanoscale,’…


Written by citizen2009

January 17, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Deadly Fungus

leave a comment » …a tropical fungus, killing people in the Pacific Northwest


Friday 07 May 2010

by: H.P. Albarelli Jr., t r u t h o u t | Report

(Photo: chickeninthewoods; Edited: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t)

Media outlets across the Northwest United States began reporting on April 24 that a strange, previously unknown strain of virulent airborne fungi that has already killed at least six people in Oregon, Washington and Idaho is spreading throughout the region. The fungus, according to expert microbiologists, who have expressed alarm about the emergence of the strain, is a new genotype of Cryptococcus gatti fungi. Cryptococcus gatti is normally found in tropical and subtropical locations in India, South America, Africa and Australia. Microbiologists in the United States are reporting that the strain found here, for reasons not yet fully understood, is far deadlier than any found overseas.

…The strain can be treated successfully, if detected early enough, with oral doses of antifungal medication, but it cannot be prevented, and there is no preventative vaccine. Undiagnosed, the fungus works its way into the spinal fluid and central nervous system and causes fatal meningitis.

The estimated mortality rate is about 25 percent of 21 cases analyzed. Several newspapers and media outlets in the US and overseas quote a researcher at Duke University’s Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Edmond Byrnes, as stating: “This novel fungus is worrisome because it appears to be a threat to otherwise healthy people. Typically, we see this fungal disease associated with transplant recipients and HIV-infected patients, but that is not what we are seeing.”

Microbiologists and epidemiologists studying the strain say the mystery fungus came from an earlier fatal fungus that was first found on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island in the fall of 2001, and perhaps as early as 1999… Several researchers in California also note that the Cryptococcus gatti fungus has been researched for decades, extending back to the 1950’s, at the US Army’s biological warfare center, Fort Detrick…

The same microbiologist, who declined to speak on the record and who recounted extensive fungus work at Fort Detrick, also stated that researchers at Israel’s Institute for Biological Research, located in Ness-Ziona about 20 km from Tel Aviv, have worked with the Cryptococcus gatti fungus. They also report that mysterious Israeli-American scientist Joseph Moshe, 56 years old, may have conducted covert studies with the fungus while he was recently living in California. This report concerning Moshe is especially interesting because Moshe was briefly in the international spotlight in 2009 when he was the subject of a spectacular chase and arrest by the LA police department and SWAT team, assisted by the FBI, Secret Service, CIA, US Army and several other unidentified federal officials. That highly unusual arrest has never been fully explained to the media, and the whereabouts of Moshe has remained unknown since its occurrence. Compounding the mystery surrounding the Moshe case is that there is another scientist named Moshe Bar-Joseph who works in Israel and who looks remarkably like Joseph Moshe, except that he is about 20 years older…

Other reliable sources, including two former Fort Detrick biochemists, have also linked Moshe to a mysterious disease that is becoming alarmingly common in Vermont and other states, including California. The disease is known to have killed or incapacitated at least 10 to 20 rural dwellers and farmers. This disease is said to be Morgellons disease or “a rare, mutated form of Morgellons disease.” Former Fort Detrick scientists, speaking off the record, say that the disease is one that was “experimented with intensely” in the late 1960’s at several “test sites in New England.” Morgellons causes patients to suffer horrible skin problems as well as fatigue, confusion and serious memory problems, as well as joint pain and the strange sensation that pins and needles are piercing the body or that something is crawling beneath one’s flesh. Some researchers and physicians believe that Morgellons is actually a psychiatric condition called “delusional parasitosis.” Other physicians, who are familiar with treating the disease, say it may be caused by “an airborne, unidentified spore” and that it was developed in the laboratory from an affliction that was first identified in the 1700’s. Regardless of its origin, some researchers say that Morgellons is becoming “a very real medical problem in some parts of the country.”

Written by citizen2009

April 23, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Nano Spies?

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Gold, DNA Mix Could Result in Biological Nano Spies

Scientists use genetic material to develop gold nanostructures that could report on a cell’s inner workings in real time
By Jaya Jiwatram Posted 07.08.2008 at 1:21 pm 0 Comments
Nano Rush? A gold nanostructure tethered together with DNA could report information about changes at a cellular level. iStockphoto

Gold is valuable to many in copious quantities, but for a team of Duke University scientists, a sub-cellular amount was all that was needed to create a nanostructure which could potentially act as a tiny biological sensor. One which could penetrate individual cells and report back on a cell’s inner workings in real time.

But creating the nanostructure—a few thousandths the size of a living cell—wasn’t as simple. A team of materials engineers and chemists worked together using DNA to assemble the structure. Constructed to resemble a planet, the nanostructure, also named the “core-satellite,” has smaller moons tethered to it by strands of DNA, essential not only as glue but also as a biological component to recognize other molecules within a living organism. When faced with the right DNA molecules, the DNA tethers contract and expand and the satellites move in relation to the core, altering the optical properties of the structure. Since the structure is able to absorb and scatter light as the structure changes, researchers can tell what is happening at a molecular level by measuring color changes. Such measurements could provide essential information about cell processes to the medical and scientific fields.

The Duke University team is going to continue experimenting with pure metals and alloys to figure out a mix of components that will allow them to better detect results.

Written by citizen2009

March 13, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Molecule of the Month

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“December 2004 Molecule of the Month 
  by David S. Goodsell
  Previous Features

“Nothing lasts forever. Many proteins, in fact, don’t last more than a few minutes. Our cells are continually building proteins, using them for a single task, and then discarding them. For instance, proteins that are used for signaling or control, such as transcription regulators and the cyclins that control division of cells, lead very brief lives, carrying their messages and then being thrown away. Specialized enzymes are also built just when they are needed, allowing cells to keep up with their minute-by-minute synthetic needs. This approach of planned obsolescence may seem wasteful, but it allows each cell to respond quickly to its constantly changing requirements.

Out with the Old

“Of course, cells need to control the destruction of their own proteins, making sure that they remove only proteins that aren’t needed any more. The small protein ubiquitin plays a central role in this job. Ubiquitin is attached to obsolete proteins, signaling to the cell that they are ready to be disassembled. As shown in the figure, a string of ubiquitin molecules (colored pink and tan here, from PDB entry 1ubq) is attached to old proteins, such as the src protein shown here (colored blue, from PDB entry 2src). The ubiquitin is then recognized by the destruction machinery of the cell.

Ubiquitous Ubiquitin

“As its name implies, ubiquitin is found in all eukaryotic cells and in cells throughout your body. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded this year to the three researchers who discovered its essential function in 1980. In the subsequent years, it has become apparent that apart from its role in protein disposal, ubiquitin is also used for other tasks, such as directing the transport of proteins in and out of the cell. By connecting ubiquitin together in short or long chains, or using different types of linkages between the molecules, many different signals may be encoded. Because of the important roles it plays, ubiquitin has changed very little over the evolution of life, so you can find a similar form in yeast cells, plant cells, and in our own cells. For more information on ubiquitin from a genomic perspective, see the Protein of the Month at the European Bioinformatics Institute.



Ubiquitin may actually be the Molecule of the Millenium. The Hungarians like Soros are very interested. Coupled with an enzyme, ubiquitin may effectively bind and destroy specific target proteins. One of Project BioShields grantees, Veritas president George Oyler, is working on the properties of ubiquitin (c&p from the Project BioShield page):

#10, Veritas Inc, Rockville MD.
President George A. Oyler –medical license revoked for drugging and drinking, Nov.2003 ; 2009 – president of Synapic Research LLC, George A. Oyler , specializing in ubiquitin applications: “Ubiquitin is the subject of intense research in a number of biomolecular fields because researchers believe that control of ubiquitin could allow treatment of diseases by selectively destroying disease-causing proteins. Synapic Research is working to develop a “designer ubiquitin ligase” engineered to attach ubiquitin to a target protein of choice”…
Veterinary Dictionary: ubiquitin
  “Heat shock (cell stress) protein present in mammalian cytosol; attaches to other cytosolic proteins and marks them for degradation either by specific proteases or by lysosomal enzymes.”
Heat shock protein basics: ; “Although it was clear that animals could be vaccinated against cancer, for a long time it was not known how it worked. Then about 25 years ago, a graduate student named Pramod Srivastava began a series of experiments. He took tumor cells, broke them open, and separated the different parts of the cells into fractions. He then used each of the fractions as ‘vaccines’ to see which fraction protected the mice from developing cancer. After many experiments, he found that the element responsible for protecting the mice was heat shock proteins.”
Pramod Srivastava; Mr. Srivastava founded the biopharmaceutical company Antigenics Inc. in 1994 with Garo H. Armen to exploit heat shock protein (HSP) technology. George Soros is a controlling owner of Antigenics Inc. 

Written by citizen2009

February 11, 2010 at 12:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The American-Israeli Chamber

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“The Israel-America Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AmCham Israel) established in 1965, is a voluntary organization of companies and individuals dedicated to the promotion and enhancement of two-way trade and investment between Israel and the United States of America.
The U.S. Ambassador to Israel serves as Honorary Chairman of the AmCham.”


“Harlan Jacobs…, president of Genesis Business Centers, Ltd., is also the acting executive director of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Minnesota (AICCMN).” 

Central Atlantic Region:

Southeast Region:

Florida:  “Today, there are more Israeli companies listed on American securities exchanges than any country after the US and Canada.”…; the J.A.C.O.B.(Jewish American Chamber of Business) in Florida



Georgia Bio is truly deserving of the 2008 Community Partner Award for their role in working with American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, SE Region to support Israeli medical device and biotech companies. 
The relationship began in 1993 when the two organizations discussed the idea of bringing a delegation of Israeli companies to Atlanta to meet medical technology companies in Georgia, resulting in Southeast-Israel Healthcare Informatics Business Exchange in 1994, the first such industry-specific matchmaker event that has proven to be the most effective mechanism ever created to bring together US and Israeli companies to pursue business relationships.  Georgia Bio was also instrumental in supporting the Southeast-Israel Medical Technology Business Exchange held in Atlanta in 2002.
Georgia Bio has featured Israel and Israeli companies a number of times over the years through its educational events in conjunction with AICC. Videoconference events have brought audiences together in Atlanta and Tel Aviv through interactive presentations and discussions on sectors of mutual interest such as Cell & Tissue Therapy and Cardiology Innovations.  Israel was featured with a special panel of companies at their premier annual event—the Georgia Life Sciences Summit. 
Georgia has emerged as a major center of Israeli company activity through the partnership between the two organizations.  Given Imaging, Mazor Surgical Technologies, Algotec, Alpha Omega Engineering, and dbMotion established US headquarters in the Atlanta area.  The joint venture of Israel-based Proneuron with Shepherd Center, Cell Dynamics, and the Marcus Foundation was recognized as the 2004 Eagle Star “Deal of the Year.
Founded in 1989, Georgia Bio is a non-profit, membership-based organization that promotes the interests and growth of the life sciences industry.  Members include companies, universities, research institutions, government groups and other industry associations involved in discovery and application of life sciences products and related services that improve the health and well-being of people throughout the world.
Georgia Bio’s mission is to foster an environment in which life sciences companies can succeed in Georgia. To accomplish this mission, GaBio conducts business and economic development activities; advocates on behalf of the industry on public policy matters; educates the public about the benefits of life sciences research and product development; and provides a network for the exchange of ideas, information and opportunities.Georgia Bio is the state affiliate of the Washington, D.C.-based Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), making Georgia Bio members part of statewide, national and international promotional and advocacy networks for the life sciences industry.


The Israeli companies named above:

Given Imaging  – makers of the “pill-camera”; On the board of directors; Michael Grobstein, also a director of Bristol-Myers-Squibb

Mazor Surgical Technologies –  robotically guided spinal surgery;

Algotec – radiology; beginnings from 1993 to 2000 ; Algotec merger with Eastman Kodak of Rochester New York, Jan.2004

Alpha Omega Engineering – neuroscience tech;

dbMotion – medical data collection

Proneuron – partnering with the Shepherd Center


Israeli Company of the Year

Metrolight – Netanya, US HQ in Brentwood, TN; HID lighting systems

TTI Telecom – Rosh Ha’ayin, operations center in Atlanta, GA

Waves – Tel Aviv, US HQ in Knoxville, TN; “world’s leading developer and supplier of software-based audio signal processing tools”

T.I.B.A. Parking –


Verint – “Witness” system

Cellint – “detection” solutions “Cellint is a global pioneer in providing detection solutions based on mobile networks. Cellint’s proprietary, patented technology utilizes pattern matching analysis on anonymous, real-time data extracted from the signaling links of mobile networks for all active mobile phones.”

Written by citizen2009

January 18, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Anti-Radiation Drugs

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                                Will this make for ‘winnable’ nuclear war?


On November 14, 2007, BARDA held its “Industry Day”, listing these four corporate presenters and their radiopharmaceuticals:

ImmuneRegen; Hal Siegel presenting ‘Homspera’; IR Biosciences also has the product Radilex; “The Company will..address the role that Radilex can play in mitigating the effects of a ‘dirty bomb.’…After multiple delays, the RFP was cancelled on March 7, 2007 because none of the companies that submitted to the RFP met the government’s requirements. ImmuneRegen’s Radilex was not submitted in response to the initial RFP in early 2006 as insufficient data had been collected. While this leaves the Nation without a next-generation candidate radioprotective compound for procurement into the Strategic National Stockpile, it highlights the possibility that ImmuneRegen’s Radilex, an 11-amino acid, non-steroid, peptide analog of the endogenous neuromodulator Substance P, could provide a safe and effective candidate once additional data is collected. Animal studies have shown Radilex to protect mice from lethal gamma irradiation, as well as a number of bacterial and viral infections.”


Exponential Biotherapies; Zsolt Harsanyi presenting a radioprotect peptide for acute exposure. Dr. Harsanyi is the founder of DynPort Vaccine, former CEO/pres. of Porton International plc, and current director of Emergent BioSolutions (BioPort), makers of the only licensed anthrax vaccine BioThrax. Hasanyi is also chairman of the American Hungarian Foundation, furthering the biotech interests of George Soros,, and has been a Bio-terror consultant to the US gov’t since the the 1980s.  Jerome Hauer (below) also became a director of Emergent BioSolutions at the same time as Dr. Harsanyi in the summer of 2004.


RxBio Inc.; presenting a novel drug RX100 ;


Cleveland BioLabs Inc.; Alan Wolfman presenting CBLB502; >>Board of Directors                    


La Jolla, California –  BIOTECH

Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals Hollis-Eden is spending millions to develop its ‘radioprotection’ drug candidate NEUMUNE …”Hollis-Eden is collaborating in its radiation protection program with The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine and the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI), an agency within the U.S. Department of Defense specializing in research on and development of countermeasures to radiation injury.”

…”Also in radiation and chemotherapy protection, Hollis-Eden has begun profiling for near-term development a series of compounds that have the potential to protect against DNA mutations believed to be an underlying cause of the increased incidence of cancer that has been demonstrated as a late effect of radiation injury and is also associated with secondary cancers following chemotherapy. The lead compound in the series being developed for radiation protection is PHOSPHONOL(TM), which, like NEUMUNE, may be eligible for approval under the FDA’s new animal efficacy rule in this indication. Hollis-Eden obtained the rights to this series of compounds in the first quarter of 2004 through the acquisition of Congressional Pharmaceutical Corporation.” Jerome Hauer, a leading figure in the events of September 11, became a director of Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals in 2004. Dwight Stickney directed radiation research for Scripps and handed out the Radiation Study research grants for the NIH. Stickney also held positions with the CDC and Burroughs Wellcome

[posted at]


“Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a development-stage pharmaceutical company based in San Diego, California, working to become the world leader in the development of a new class of investigational drugs known as Immune Regulating Hormones (IRHs). The goal of IRH therapy is to direct, through controlling gene expression, the production of key cytokines and enzymes that re-regulate immune and metabolic functions”…

“Hollis-Eden’s political and scientific quest to get a potential BioShield drug approved and purchased by the federal government could serve as a road map for biotechs with similar ambitions. For Hollis-Eden, the road to Washington began at Ground Zero. Just days after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in September 2001, Hollis said he received a telephone call from Navy Adm. James Zimble, a top military health official.” 

Neumune –  for the treatment of Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) which is “a potentially lethal condition caused by high-dose radiation exposure that might result from a nuclear or radiological terrorist attack or from an accident at a nuclear facility.” Permission for Phase I trials on humans was registered in May of 2005, according to the statement of CEO Richard Hollis, formerly of Genentech. Neumune was deemed “technically unacceptable” by the Department of Health and Human Services according to this March 2008 article. CEO Michael Wilhelm from competitor company ImmuneRegen BioSciences of Scottsdale Arizona with the Radilex product, suggests a lack of data may have caused HHS to cancel its contract with Hollis-Eden. The article mentions a ‘radioprotectant molecule’ is also in development by Cleveland BioLabs Inc.


Who is Jerome Hauer; the first director of the New York City (Mayor Giuliani’s) Office of Emergency Management, a position created in 1996, 3 years after the first WTC bombing. During his tenure, Hauer organized the construction of the WTC7 Command post, begun in June of 1998, and directed the pesticide spraying for St. Louis encephalitis and/or West Nile Virus He’s considered the nation’s leading expert on bioterrorism, and has himself contributed to work on bioweapons, although his Hollis-Eden biography lists his academic field as psychology and history (at NYU) with a Master’s degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins.

Hauer was in the TV studio to lay blame on Osama Bin Ladin in the minutes after the WTC attack    JEROME HAUER: Director of Mayor RUDOLPH GIULIANI‘s Office of Emergency Management between February 1996 and March 2000 (as such he was primary in building the City’s Emergency Command Center on the 23rd floor of World Trade Center Building 7 and in warning about emergence of the West Nile Virus one year before it appeared in New York City); Managing Director of Kroll, Inc. [WTC security] on 9/11/01 (when he advised Dan Rather of CBS that demolition had not brought down a Twin Tower and that the day’s attacks bore “the fingerprints of Osama bin Laden”; Senior Adviser to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services for National Security and Emergency Management between June 2001 and November 2003; coordinator of the National Institute of Health’s investigation of anthrax deaths in Fall of 2001, deaths that came from the Ames strain of anthrax thought to be available only at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, the N.I.H. investigation producing no suspects named by Jerome Hauer except Osama bin Laden and al Queda; current Director on the Boards of the companies Emergent Biosolutions and San Diego-based Hollis Eden Pharmaceuticals.”


MAXY-G34, developed by Maxygen Inc., for treating ARS neutropenia, licensed to Cangene  May 2009
About ARS – ARS is an acute and potentially life threatening illness caused by exposure to ionizing radiation over a very short period of time. About Neutropenia – Neutropenia is a severe decrease in neutrophil cell counts in the blood. Neutropenia is a common side effect of chemotherapeutic treatments for many forms of cancer, including breast cancer, lung cancer, lymphomas and leukemias. Neutropenic patients are at increased risk of contracting bacterial infections, some of which can be life threatening. Further, and most importantly, neutropenic patients may receive reduced or delayed chemotherapy treatment, which can result in cancer progression. Severe neutropenia is also an early, potentially life threatening feature of the hematopoietic syndrome of ARS (h-ARS).”

Cangene has..submitted a bid to develop a therapeutic for treating ARS under a request for proposal (RFP) issued March 13, 2009 by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Cangene’s submission under the RFP specifies its intention to develop MAXY-G34 for the ARS indication.”


Cangene news:


Vaccines “Not Strong Enough”

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Kids’ Swine flu shots recalled; not strong enough     

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  • Swine flu shots for infants, toddlers recalled in US AFP/DDP/File – A nurse drawing up a syringe with swine flu vaccine. More than three-quarters of a million doses of swine …


    By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer Mike Stobbe, Ap Medical Writer 1 hr 1 min ago

    ATLANTA – Hundreds of thousands of swine flu shots for children have been recalled because tests indicate the vaccine doses lost some strength, government health officials said Tuesday.

    The recall is for about 800,000 pre-filled syringes intended for young children, ages 6 months to nearly 3 years. The shots, made by Sanofi Pasteur, were distributed across the country last month and most have already been used, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Doctors were notified of the voluntary recall on Tuesday. Dr. Anne Schuchat, a CDC flu expert, stressed that parents don’t need to do anything or to worry. The vaccine is still safe, she said.

    The issue is the vaccine’s strength. Tests done before the shots were shipped showed that the vaccines were strong enough. But tests done weeks later indicated the strength had fallen slightly below required levels. Why the potency dropped isn’t clear.

    Children in that age group are supposed to get two doses, spaced about a month apart. Health officials don’t think children need to get vaccinated again, even if they got two doses from the same lots, said Schuchat.

    Swine flu vaccine has been available since early October, and since then manufacturers have released about 95 million doses for distribution in the United States.

    The recalled shots were made by Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of France-based Sanofi-Aventis Group. The company reported the potency findings to the government officials and did a voluntary recall. A Sanofi Pasteur representative could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

    Sanofi Pasteur bills itself as the No. 1 manufacturer of flu vaccines in the world. It makes flu vaccine at sites in France and in Pennsylvania.

    Written by citizen2009

    December 15, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Posted in Uncategorized