Biology Classes Testing Ebola Starting Winter, 2015

The CDC has enlisted the help of Miami University to create an online version of Ebola awareness training including what to do when one suspects there has been contact with Ebola. The news has been quite explosive around the recent outbreaks of Ebola in the USA but truth be told, there isn’t too much to worry about if our universities are going to be helping with developing an immunization or some kind of effective treatment.

Organic Chemistry Classes Meet the Immunization Challenge with ELISA Testing Kits

Ebola ELISA kitMany universities around the US have hopped on board to begin research on developing an antiserum for the Ebola virus. While there has been much research to date, it has never hit home and thus hasn’t gained the attention it has needed in order for major funding the research needed to improve the odds against this virus. With the funding, universities have purchased elisa kits from which are used to provide an organic substrate for testing for the presence of a particular antibody. While an ELISA kit can be used for many different kinds of organic testing – proteins or DNA, strains of viruses etc… they are being sold to universities at record levels for the Ebola strain of virus. Each testing kit has 48 or 96 different testing capsules which, when the capsule is activated with the testing agent containing the reagent, it turns color based on the presence and saturation of the particular pathogen or antibody.

Vaccine Close for University of Maryland Scientist

It’s quite common that the latest in scientific research and biological advancement comes from universities. The universities are recipients of large private and governmental grants, which fuel research and development of vaccines, products, and many more advances of modern science. One of the large assurances that donors have when giving to schools is that there is a fiduciary responsibility held by the chair of science, the university as a whole, and the board of educators – or however the university has their organization setup. The point is that there is oversight of spending, not often seen in the corporate world. To that end, the University of Maryland has a research scientist,  Alan Schmaljohn, Ph.D., who has been inching closer to a vaccine for Ebola.

Dr. Schmaljohn is one of the research fellows in partnership with the Department of Defense and has been working with his students to discover the types of antibodies and the saturation needed in order to be effective in humans. “Three of these antibodies have been developed as a candidate mixture for human therapy against Ebolavirus, which seems to be true with an American who was infected with Ebolavirus during the current outbreak,” he said recently in an interview.

The school’s facility and think tank have been producing research and gene therapy associated with HIV and were the prime candidates to come up with an immunization and / or therapy for Ebola. The kind of research that already exists within the school around HIV will inform their campaigns built around the Ebola virus.

If there is any hope for us on against diseases like Ebola and HIV, then it will come from our young and bright students under the tutelage of such individuals as Dr. Schmaljohn and Robert C. Gallo, M.D.

As for our students getting ready for a winter break, be ready after the holidays to hit the books and help us put an end to Ebola.

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