Carbon Reduction: 0.00
Gambassa Points: 0.00
Project Title: Sleep Paralysis - A Night of Misery
Project Type: Report Project
Jessica De anda
Project Title: Conquering Cancer: The Power of Virotherapy
One form of biotechnological engineering that has gained a lot of support in recent years is oncolytic virotherapy treatment. Many scientists today believe that oncolytic viruses may contain the answer to ending cancer (Vile et al. 2002, 1). Although this technique has been acknowledged and researched since the 1950’s, the lack of adequate resources and technology did not allow it to progress further (Tong et al. 2012, 5)(Vile et al. 2002, 2). However, the rapid growth of today’s society and its ingenuity has resulted in the reemergence and success of oncolytic virotherapy (Vile et al. 2002, 3). Oncolytic virotherapy is the
process by which certain viruses are introduced into the body. Viruses present an ideal way to attack cancer from the inside. These
viruses selectively infect and break down cancer cells while leaving
normal cells unharmed (Thompson 2013, 1) (Paddock 2013, 1). This targeted treatment makes it
easier to kill tumor cells and lessens the impact of cancer on the body
by eliminating cancerous cells (Paddock 2013, 2). Scientists believe
that engineering oncolytic viruses to act as a biological weapon against
cancer might be able to suppress or eliminate the disease completely. Although there are still many obstacles to get through, this new cancer treatment is starting to
become more widely recognized as its unlimited potential continues to
be tapped in to and developed further (Timmer 2013, 3). The promising results indicate that a solution for cancer may soon be found.
oncolytic virotherapy, scientists alter the genetic makeup of viruses
in order to optimize their chances of destroying, eliminating, and
combating cancer (Thompson 2013, 1), (Timmer 2013, 1).
These viruses are specifically made for this purpose and serve no other
function. The process of oncolytic virotherapy is very complex. Viruses
are engineered in many different ways and forms, each with their own
use (Tong et al. 2012, 1). The most commonly used virus in this method of treatment is the adenovirus (Fikes 2013, 2).
This virus is responsible for causing the common cold and has been
intensively explored. It is particularly appealing because biologists
understand its biological impact after years of treating colds and have
abundantly used the virus in molecular biology and other research
(Nettelback & Curiel 2008, 1).
Adenoviruses also carry favorable, distinct traits. For example, the
genes that they carry into a cell work for a short period of time and
then break down, making them viable candidates for genetic selectivity that does not permanently damage the body.
Viruses can be applied through various means. Methods of applications
include intramural (within a body or organ) delivery, viral vectors, and intravenous injections
(Ferguson 2012, 1). Two main strategies are used during virotherapy in
order to reproduce viruses and kill cancerous cells and tumors. The
first strategy, called transductional targeting, involves scientists
attempting to engineer viruses to selectively infect and eliminate cancerous cells from the body (Nettelback & Curiel 2008, 2). This method is the most commonly used.
The second approach occurs when a small part of DNA, known as a tumor
specific promoter, is placed on the genes of the virus. The promoter
activates and allows the gene to function only in cancer
cells. The virus can enter normal cells, but the promoter will not activate within them, disallowing them to reproduce or kill healthy cells. However, once in the cancer cells, the promoter activates and lets
the virus replicate itself millions of times, rupturing the cancer cells
and spreading to other cancerous cells as the process begins to repeat (Nettelback & Curiel 2008, 3).
Oncolytic virotherapy is very advantageous in many different ways. Some of the benefits of this method are that it is safe, can affect many types of cancer, and advances the medical field further than ever before (Taber & Cheung 2010, 2). Another reason that this method is favorable is because it is more efficient than traditional cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy (Taber & Cheung 2010, 3). Oncolytic virotherapy kills a lower amount of healthy cells within the body, making it less damaging to important parts of the body such as bone marrow. It can also affect a very broad spectrum of cancer types, making it a diverse and viable option. This method is very efficient at finding and eliminating cancer cells in the body without risking extra damage to other healthy cells that are not a threat (Taber & Cheung 2010, 1). The range at which oncolytic virotherapy is effective is wide. One administration of a dose into an individual’s body can kill a large number of cancer cells and also provide access to tumors within the body that are in hard to reach places (Fikes 2013, 1). Lastly, the symptoms of oncolytic viruses are relatively tame in comparison to how much they help an individual. Within most clinical trials, patients given high dosage levels of oncolytic viruses only suffered flu-like symptoms lasting anywhere from twenty four to forty eight hours (Paddock 2013, 3) (Tong et al. 2012, 4).
Although its potential is evident, using virotherapy to treat cancer also presents some disadvantages. When patients are given multiple doses of virus therapy, the immune system begins to send out antibodies and white blood cells that start to recognize the virus (Ferguson 2012, 4). As a result, subsequent doses end up being less effective because the immune system will immediately lock on to and disable the virus (Vile et. al 2002, 5). One of the major concerns with this form of treatment is that its long term effects are still relatively unknown. In 1999, an 18 year old died after receiving an injection of virotherapy (Nettelback & Curiel 2008, 4). His body shut down after an overwhelming immune reaction to the large dose of viruses he had been given (Nettelback & Curiel 2008, 5). Since virotherapy is relatively new and expanding, scientists are still working on making viruses safer and are taking several precautions (Nettelback & Curiel 2008, 7). However, it is still too soon to determine if there are any significant factors that could permanently damage a patient using this form of therapy. Also, creating these new viruses and altering their genes presents the danger of creating serious mutations or dangerous new diseases altogether (Taber & Cheung 2010, 4). However, these risks are always present in any type of anti-cancer therapy. In order to cure a dangerous and deadly disease, researchers must be able to take risks within reasonable boundaries.
There have been many successful clinical trials of oncolytic viruses as cancer treatment. Many companies involved in oncolytic virotherapy have made significant progress and great strides in the field (Anonymous 2010, 4)(Vile et al. 2002, 4). In clinical trials, different phases are tested. Phase 1 tests are designed to make sure that the drugs are safe for patients receiving them. Phase 2 and 3 trials are performed in order to determine the correct dosage levels and how much power it takes to produce an effect (Nettelback & Curiel 2008, 6). After these phases, the treatment gets reviewed and, if it is approved, eventually gets put on the market.
Onyx-015, developed by Onyx Therapeutics, is one example of a unique virus that is being tested to determine if it has the potential to treat cancer effectively. Onyx-015 was
created by genetically modifying an adenovirus and was extensively
tested in trials to see if it could treat cancer (Thompson 2013, 2). This virus has the
ability to detect the absence of p53, a specific protein with the body
that all cancer cells do not carry (Timmer 2013, 2). As a result of this adaptation, the virus
ignores normal cells and can only attack cancerous cells that lack the p53 protein. Onxy-015 is
currently capable of targeting and destroying half of all major cancer
types but is less effective against others (Vile et al. 2002, 6). This virus has been tested in clinical trials extensively, with
data suggesting that it is safe and selective for cancer (Tong et al. 2012, 2). However, the
drug is ineffective alone and needs to be paired with chemotherapy for
optimal use, somewhat limiting its long term effectiveness (Ferguson 2012, 2). Research
and funding has mostly ceased until the virus can show further potency.
However, one of the most effective clinical trials to date utilizes a genetically engineered vaccinia virus, known as JX-594, as its test subject (Ferguson 2012, 3). This virus is already widely used in vaccinations and has a reputation of being safe, making it a viable candidate to test against cancer. This particular virus was modified in order to make it more cancer selective and also has the ability to increase immune system stimulation Tong et al. 2012, 3). The JX-594 virus works in two different ways. First, the virus recognizes and targets cancerous cells and reproduces inside of them, resulting in their death. Secondly, it helps induce immune responses towards cancerous cells and makes the body attack cancer cells (Fikes 2013, 3). The results, reviewed by analysts, determined that all dosage levels resulted in anti-tumor activity (Tong et al. 2012, 4). Further research showed that a large number of patients displayed some form of resistance to cancer. The average life span of cancer patients utilizing this drug was also increased (Thompson 2013, 3). The JX-594 virus is currently in phase 3 clinical testing and its data looks very encouraging .
Although oncolytic virotherapy has not yet been proven to completely cure the deadly disease of cancer, the success that it has experienced and impact it has made on the medical field has been undeniable. This form of virotherapy shows a promising future as more and more companies and biologists alike continue to invest their time into finding a cure for cancer. Although great strides have been made in this area, there is still plenty of room for more development. More viruses are continuing to be genetically modified and virotherapeutic strategies continue to be investigated. It is expected that the collective efforts of the biological researchers and pharmaceutical companies will continue to contribute to the development of effective and safe viruses for cancer therapy. Scientists have done the previously unthinkable. Viruses, things that were once a cause of sickness, are now being used to wage warfare against one of the top killers in the world. Medicine is being revolutionized once again as the goals of science are being tested upon and expanded further than ever previously thought. In order to move forward and continue with this promising research, we must continue to probe, dissect and understand the potential that viruses carry.
Acs, Charles. "Cancers Facts & Figures 2013." 2013. Web <http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/
Anonymous. "Cancer Overview." 2010. Web. <http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/
Ferguson, Mark. "Systemic Delivery of Oncolytic Viruses: Hopes and Hurdles." Systemic Delivery of Oncolytic
Viruses: Hopes and Hurdles. 2012. <http://www.hindawi.com/journals/av/2012/805629/>.
Fikes, Bradley. "Cancer Gets Deadly Tan." 11 Feb. 2013. Web. <http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/feb/11/
Li, Shoudong, and Jessica Tong. "Oncolytic Virotherapy for Ovarian Cancer." 22 Aug. 2012. Web.
Nettelback, Dirk, and David Curiel. "Tumor-Busting." 2003. Web. <https://www.mcdb.ucla.edu/Research/Goldberg/HC70A_W04/
Paddock, Catharine, PhD. "Virus That Kills Prostate Cancer Cells Shows Treatment Potential." 26 Feb. 2013. Web. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/256871.php>.
Siegel, Rebecca. "Cancer Statistics, 2013." 17 Jan. 2013. Web. <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.21166/full>.
Taber, Andrew, and Alex Cheung. "Using Viruses to Combat Cancer." 2011. Web. <escholarship.org/uc/item/1z28t72x.pdf>.
Thompson, Brad, PhD. "Virotherapy as a Key to Cancer Treatment." 04 Jan. 2013. Web. <http://www.genengnews.com/
Timmer, John. "Latest Trial of a Virus Engineered to Kill Cancer Shows Promise." 2013. Web. <http://arstechnica.com/
Vile, Richard, and Dale Ando. "The Oncolytic Virotherapy Treatment Platform for Cancer: Unique Biological and Biosafety
Points to Consider." 2002. Web. <http://www.nature.com/cgt/journal/v9/n12/full/7700548a.html>.
Project Title: Olivia's Opossum Species
Project Type: Local Species
Project Title: Jessica and Trevor's Special Species Project
Description: Jessica and Trevor's Special Species Project
The introduction of the grey squirrel to Britain brought a painful outbreak to the native red squirrel species. The red squirrel species has rapidly decaresed over the last fifty years. The grey squirrels are better adapted in obtaining the resourses that red squirrels also need, thus causing a fight for nutrients, a fight that the red squirrels are losing. One way the red squirrels have been any to prosper, is through special feeders that the grey sqiurrel can't get ahold of. In order to stop this invasive species cage trapping, or habitat management is used to push away the grey squirrels.
The Greater Bamboo Lemur is an endangered species because of habitat loss and hunting. They are found in eastern humid forests of Madagascar. Part of the reason the lemur's are going extinct is because there is little known about the species, making it hard to preserve their resources and habitat. They are also a specialist speices. They mainly eat a specific type of bamboo called Cathariostachys Madagascariensis. This type of bamboo is 95% of the lemur's diet. In addition to bamboo, they eat fruits, grasses, and types of fungui. Its habitat is being destroyed by massive clearing for agricultural purposes. Hunting, habitat destruction, fragmentation, and disturbance all contribute to the extinction of the Greater Bamboo Lemur.
Elephants are necessary in the survival of the grasslands. They knock down trees with their heads and strive to eat the leaves or the roots of trees. Take away the elepants anhd the grasslands will overgrow with large, woody plants and become a forest. The elephants stop the reproduction of large trees that ultimately will block the sun from reaching the grass and will degrade the high grasses. With the grass gone, many herbivore and grazing species will go extinct due to lack of nutrition and resources. So, elephants create a habitat that is needed for a variety of species, without elephants these environments will lose a myriad of animals.
The serval cat is thought of as a predator because it has very large ears with acute hearing to listen for their prey. It also has long legs compared to the size of its body, with their back legs being longer than their front. This enables the serval to leap and jump in able to catch birds. These predators live in Africa's grassland. Because of competition with the caracal, the serval tends to prey on smaller animals like ground squirrels, mole rats, and snakes. They also have the ability to be hunt during the day or night, based on their prey. The main predators of the serval are leopards, hyennas and humans. They are hunter for their fur.
The Clownfish has the coolest prey adaptation because it has many adaptations that aid it in its survival. One of its adaptation includes its rounded fins that help them make quick darting movements while swimming. They are also resistant to the stinging of the anemones they live in because of the mucus produced by the clownfish's body, thus allowing the fish to hide from predators and a place to live. Although this adaptation is not permanent; if the fish is away from the anemone for a while, to be able to live in the anemone again it must readapt to the stings in order to be unharmed. The clownfish mainly resign in the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. While their major predators consist of sharks and stingrays.
Project Title: Shannon and Lexi's Timeline
Description: Shannon and Lexi's Timeline
APES LIFE HISTORY ANALOGY If all of life's history (4.6 billion years) were the time it takes a spacecraft to get into orbit(8.5 minutes), then the following events would happen at
At the end of their sohpomore year Alexis Hood and Shannon Singh enrolled in Mr.Pitts's AP Environmental Science class.
Hurricane Katrina was one of the strongest storms to impact the coast of the Unites States during the last 100 years.With sustained winds during landfall of 125 mph (110 kts) (a strong category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale) and minimum central pressure the third lowest on record at landfall (920 mb), Katrina caused widespread devastation along the central Gulf Coast states of the US. Cities such as New Orleans, LA, Mobile, AL, and Gulfport, MS bore the brunt of Katrina's force and will need weeks and months of recovery efforts to restore normality.
On October 15th Shannon's directfamily grew to its current state of six people. Her dad remarried a woman named Kristi who had a son named Michael. They joined my brother Ayden, sister Kali, and father Todd. Shannon's family also has three pets two dogs named Hope and Rocky and one cat named Neo.
Alexis's direct family has four members. Her father named Scott, mother Lisa, and brother Taylor. They also have three dogs named Ally, Shasta, And Tails.
Alexis was Born September 24th 1996
About 65 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous, a large fraction of plant and animal families suddenly went extinct. In this Cretaceous-Tertiary or K-T mass extinction (K is for Kreide, meaning chalk in German, which describes the chalky sediment layer from that time; T is for Tertiary, the next geologic period), all land animals over about 55 pounds went extinct, as did many smaller organisms. The K-T mass extinction obliterated the dinosaurs , pterosaurs, plesiosaurs, mosasaurs, ammonites, some families of birds and marsupial mammals, over half the plankton groups, many families of teleost (bony) fishes, bivalves, snails, sponges, sea urchins and others. This catastrophe eventually led to the Age of Mammals.
Progressive opening of the Atlantic Ocean between the Americas and at first Africa, laterIberia and finally Europe caused large differential motions between these continents. This happened during the Mesozoic era.
Mammals are vertebrates. They have a backbone which encloses a sheath of nerves which leads in turn to a brain in a box or skull. They also have four limbs and special pentadactyl ends to these limbs (i.e. 5 fingers and toes). Reptiles, amphibians and even birds, as well as the awe inspiring dinosaurs, are built around this same simple plan. Before this there were fish which had the backbone and the skull, but not the pentadactyl limbs. these are the first known mammals.
At the end of the Permian period, 248 million years ago, many groups of animals including the Goniatites and Trilobites become extinct. they became extinct thanks to background extinction. Nothing caused them to become a mass extinction.
Origin of Earth
The history of Earth began 4.6 billion years ago, when a gigantic cloud of gas and dust began to concentrate due to the effect of gravity.With the help of gravity and heat, the sun and planets were formed. Beginning as a burning liquid rock, the Earth eventually formed into the planet we know today.
Friday, Apr 12, 2013
Thursday, Feb 21, 2013
Sunday, Jan 27, 2013