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Disease management in space colonies

Posted by: Electrolyte - Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:35 pm
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Disease management in space colonies 
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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 08, 2005 5:47 pm
spacecowboy...

There is other team working on similar approach by the development of nanoshells that started around 1998, I think at Rice university.. Mice were injected with nanoShells then they used the used a near-infra-red light to heat up the gold nanoshells. The mice were then cancer free after 10 days

read this http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow ... hells.html
maybe this too: PMID: 14750891 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Quote:
NOVA scienceNOW: Now, you have done tests using nanoshells to kill tumors in mice. How did those go?

Halas: The animal experiments were quite stunning to all of us, because there was no way to really guide the judgment for how many nanoshells should be injected into a mouse, how long they should stay in the bloodstream, and how long irradiation should happen. So the experiments were designed with just a very basic knowledge of the physiology of mice and of the tumors. And the result was 100 percent remission of all the tumors.

That was really stunning for us, because it worked so extraordinarily well the first time it was done—and that, in experimental science, never happens. So that shows you that the effect is very strong, it can be controlled, and it is relatively easy to work with. It's caused a tremendous amount of excitement within our own work and within the company. [In 2001, Halas formed Nanospectra Biosciences with Rice University bioengineer Jennifer West. The company seeks to commercialize nanoshell-based life-science applications, particularly cancer treatment

NOVA scienceNOW: Once they're there, how do you use them to kill the tumor?

Halas: Once they're in place, infrared light is shined through the skin and down into the tumor site. It's a very simple handheld laser, and it's only for three minutes. Nanoshells absorb light and convert it to heat extremely efficiently, and three minutes is sufficient to kill the cells in the tumor.

In mouse studies, we were able to observe complete remission of all tumors within 10 days. There were two control groups of mice, and their tumors all continued to grow very drastically until their end. But the mice that were treated with nanoshells, they survived the study. The study was actually a 60-day survivability test. That's considered long-term survivability. Well, at the end of that study, there was 100 percent survivability, and the survivability persisted. That test was done in 2003. It's almost two years later. So it looks like most of those mice will be dying of old age.

NOVA scienceNOW: So they get the nanoshells, get heated for three minutes, and 10 days later the tumor's gone?

Halas: Yeah, within 10 days to two weeks, it's gone. Interestingly, it gives a direct illustration for what a human patient would undergo with this: an injection, then waiting a certain period of time, then a completely noninvasive illumination, either through the skin or at most with a fiber-optic probe into the region of interest, for just a few minutes, and that's it. That's incredibly noninvasive if you consider other types of cancer therapies.


These treatments are proving far better and have no side effects that come with the drugs we have now.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:41 pm
Hey, I'm all in favor of it if it works. Now let's see if the FDA approves it.

But you still haven't answered my last question: how does this fit in with the topic at hand?

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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:41 pm
I have already explained.

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Post Brave Doctors   Posted on: Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:36 pm
As a historic note, several scientists have solved the medical research dilemma by infecting themselves with suspected pathogens. I believe this was the case with at least one form of “Snail Fever” (Schistosomiasis). Probably this will happen again with alien bioactive materials, since the alternative testing methods are slow and uncertain.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:01 am
Hey Matt could you please just explain it again. Thanks.

Rp. Um, which alien bioactive materials?

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:54 am
Bacteria and viruses

maybe this part was more relevant

I mentioned about how nano-coatings ( sharp nano silver spikes ) could penetrate and kill 99.9% of bacteria on contact and these can be applied to any clothing and other materials. Something like Silver-Nano could be very useful and minimize risk of infection or carrying live bacteria and spreading it. We also don't know what effect alien bacteria could have anyway. It may be harmless?

there are some viruses that never leave the body, as someone said... they are just inactive andt can sometimes be reactivated. So it wouldn't be easy to leave them behind on earth =/

I apoligise if I have misunderstood what the thread was about when I posted the results of the nanoshells against cancer. I was thinking that Radiation in space is a problem and cancer is a disease. The reason I posted about them breakthroughs were because I thought it was relevant to controlling a disease that will remain with us regardless of leaving earth.

Maybe DNA repairing enzymes could be carried by nanoparticles. I think that when cells are damaged by radiation they produce a 'marker' that maybe the nanoparticle could identify, and then do its work.

What I am concerned about is the Reproduction In Space and how defects because of radiation could be passed onto future generations without using better repair mechanisms.

But if all this is irrelevant, then sorry...

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:46 pm
There's lots of scope that what your talking about is debateably within the confines of this thread. But then any current and successful treatments against a variety of microflora are equally valid discussion points, although we can't cover them all. Heck, even soap is valid in this context.

I think disease management in space, as anywhere, is first about prevention. Perhaps that might be a more sensible framework in which to discuss different possibilities.

Discussion about alien microflora is loopy.

DKH

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 10, 2005 1:54 pm
First off, we don't have the slightest clue what alien bacteria would be like, or if they would even really be bacteria in the first place. For all we know, the life-form might be incapable of surviving more than a few seconds without a nearby and very strong source of gamma radiation -- in which case I seriously doubt that we'd invite it over for dinner, or that it would accept. So let's just completely ignore the whole possibility of alien life for simplicity's (and sanity's) sake, shall we?

Matt: I apologize. Nanotech and disease prevention definitely go hand-in-hand, and I don't (and didn't) challenge that. You just started off with the cancer stuff, which is what made me question you.

The only problem I see, even with the nanotech, is this: everything we hear about "kills 99.9% of bacteria on contact", from Lysol to these new nano-coatings (those make a lot of sense, by the way. I like 'em). What I'm worried about is if one of those 0.1% critters comes into an environment that it hasn't existed in before. In agriculture, this is called an "invasive species" -- something that hadn't previously existed in a particular place, but happens to be well suited to the conditions found in that particular place. An invasive species becomes a problem when the native flora and fauna have no effective natural defense against the invader, which they rarely do because they've never dealt with the thing before. When a human experiences an invasive species, we get sick. When a normal, diverse, generally resistant human population experiences an invasive species, we see an epidemic. When a human monocultural population, such as would exist in an isolated space colony, experiences an invasive species that does not resemble ones that have invaded before then, we see a pandemic.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 06, 2005 6:56 am
The article "Test Equipment Finds Life in Mars-like Conditions" ( www.space.com/scienceastronomy/051004_mars_like.html ) is reporting that there was a successful test of instruments and equipment to look for alien life on other planets. During the test the instruments etc. detected life in a forzen volcano in Norway.

What about the chances that out of these or similar instruments a technology may evolve or be developed that enables a warning or alert system to protect station crews, settlers or colonists against alien bacteria, microbes and virusses the impact on human health of which isn't known sufficiently or already has been proven to be bad?



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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 09, 2005 9:40 am
To add an information about a possible germ of a substance for prevention of alien disease:

The german journal Wirtschaftswoche in its printed version (6th of October 2005) is reporting that the company Schott has found out that a mixture of finely ground glass made of molten Silicium, Calcium, Natrium and Phosphor is destructing microbes. It is not known which way but the effect is there.

The glaas-powder consists of nanometer-sized particles. It is called Vitryxx. Currently it is used by the american make-up-company Prestige Brands (Cutex) and the polish make-up-company Delia Cosmetics - the reason why I call it a germ only for a disease prevention subatnce.



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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:04 am
The Wirtschaftswoche of the 24th of November 2005 is reporting another possibility to handle microbesThe company Petra-Electric in Burgau, Germany, has developed and produces a a special waterboiler for sensitive tea- and coffee-drinkers.

The boiler has an integrated filter which contains ino-changing salts. The salt capture the ions of heavy metals and active carbon ("Aktivkohle") which is mixed with paticles of silver and binds Chlor and other bad chamicals.

The silver particles are of nano-size and are acting antimicrobially. Because of this there are no germs created during loner periods

It's called Silver Nano Health Syetem and is to be had at a price of 650 Euros.

Of course this would have to be tested and further developed for use on Mars I think.

...



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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 27, 2005 11:41 am
One of the things I think that may become a problem is that humans who live in totally serile environments for long periods of time might loose their immunity to everyday microbes.

This would be a serious problem when they returned to Earth or came into contact with new people (possibly when rotating crews on a Martian base for instance) as germs that were considered normally harmless might become serious health risks.

The above could be complete rubbish of course as I have no idea whether any of it is a concern but I read a while back that humans need a certain amount of exposure to various bugs to reaffirm their immunity. What about it Dr K is this correct?

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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 27, 2005 4:10 pm
The argument seems to be correct so far but I suppose that it is harder to handle diseases etc. caused by unknown alien microbes than to handle known causes and reasons for weakened immunity systems.



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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 27, 2005 4:57 pm
Andy Hill wrote:
What about it Dr K is this correct?


Unfortunately for us, Dr. Keith has, as last I heard, decided to stop visiting us altogether, much less post. So unless y'all can find a way to drag him back here, we're without our resident biologist.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 27, 2005 6:07 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
The argument seems to be correct so far but I suppose that it is harder to handle diseases etc. caused by unknown alien microbes than to handle known causes and reasons for weakened immunity systems.


I think that it is always harder to protect against the unknown (there is always the possibility that alien bugs dont exist of course). Not getting too X-filish here but you might not even know you had a disease until you returned to Earth.

But my point is that we dont want to create an environment that will cause problems later by making it over sterile and perhaps it might be a good idea to allow some of the normal microbes in that we are exposed to every day.


spacecowboy wrote:
Unfortunately for us, Dr. Keith has, as last I heard, decided to stop visiting us altogether, much less post. So unless y'all can find a way to drag him back here, we're without our resident biologist.


Pity about that, although he could be caustic at times he was still quite amusing occationally. What caused the old fart to desert us (goad, goad), I thought he was pretty immune (excuse the pun given the current thread) to insults and criticism.

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