Modifying Viruses

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Modifying Viruses

Postby Lance » Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:58 pm

If we can modify a virus to deliver a desired package to a targeted cell type as a treatment or cure for a disease, why can't we modify a virus to attack a certain cell type? For example: create a virus that will only attack Drug-Resistant Streptococcus Pneumoniae?
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Re: Modifying Viruses

Postby tubeswell » Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:14 pm

I think anything is possible with enough spondulix.
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Re: Modifying Viruses

Postby Lance » Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:30 pm

Then there's that.
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Re: Modifying Viruses

Postby Dragon Star » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:57 pm

The answer is pharmaceutical companies. Cures are of zero concern for the industry. Making them reduces vast amounts of profit from years of developed treatments and drugs that help the specific issue but are legit terrible for you in every other way, meaning more money to keep producing better drugs that do basically the same shit.

Good analogy, I'm watching Hell On Wheels right now, and the guy building the Union Pacific Railroad track is being paid like 16k/mi, so instead if making the track straight, he intentionally makes it look like a snake to insure he's making as much money as possible. Welcome to big pharma.
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Re: Modifying Viruses

Postby Lance » Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:10 am

Yeah, but I'm speaking more to the technology involved than the conspiracy theories...
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Re: Modifying Viruses

Postby Enzo » Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:43 am

I have no doubt they are working on exactly that.

As to conspiracies, if we have drug resistant bacteria, that means big pharma has no treatment to sell. They would leap at the chance to patent and sell a viral specific treatment such as Lance suggests. it would be a fresh revenue stream.
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Re: Modifying Viruses

Postby Мастер » Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:20 am

We also have the issue of competition. Even if we are in a situation where it is collectively more profitable not to provide a cure (e.g., do not cure the disease, but treat the symptoms, as the latter is more profitable), it is not individually more profitable, since a firm that produces the cure will capture all of the revenues from curing the disease, but sacrifice only part of the revenues from treating the symptoms.

For the conspiracy theory to work, you need either a monopoly supplier, or a cartel. Cartels have been known to exist (OPEC, for example), but they tend to be plagued by cheating - even though it is collectively better to maintain discipline, each individual cartel member has an incentive to cheat.
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Re: Modifying Viruses

Postby Lance » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:51 am

Мастер wrote:We also have the issue of competition. Even if we are in a situation where it is collectively more profitable not to provide a cure (e.g., do not cure the disease, but treat the symptoms, as the latter is more profitable), it is not individually more profitable, since a firm that produces the cure will capture all of the revenues from curing the disease, but sacrifice only part of the revenues from treating the symptoms.

For the conspiracy theory to work, you need either a monopoly supplier, or a cartel. Cartels have been known to exist (OPEC, for example), but they tend to be plagued by cheating - even though it is collectively better to maintain discipline, each individual cartel member has an incentive to cheat.

This makes so much sense it's scary! And this is probably why the conspiracy theory that sounds so good on the surface doesn't actually happen on a large scale it reality.
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Re: Modifying Viruses

Postby Lance » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:02 am

I would also think, let's say, ABC Inc. produces the treatment for "Arnebitis" and holds the patent for the treatment. They may not be motivated to cure "Arnebitis" ever, but XYZ Associates certainly is. The only way it works is if XYZ Associates also holds a patent for some other treatment and cuts a deal with ABC Inc., but then we have that cartel you spoke of.

So I think you have just completely blown the Big Pharma Conspiracy Theory out of the water.
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Re: Modifying Viruses

Postby Arneb » Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:39 pm

Dragon Star wrote:The answer is pharmaceutical companies. Cures are of zero concern for the industry. Making them reduces vast amounts of profit from years of developed treatments and drugs that help the specific issue but are legit terrible for you in every other way, meaning more money to keep producing better drugs that do basically the same shit.

Good analogy, I'm watching Hell On Wheels right now, and the guy building the Union Pacific Railroad track is being paid like 16k/mi, so instead if making the track straight, he intentionally makes it look like a snake to insure he's making as much money as possible. Welcome to big pharma.


Oomph. Finally, someone found that out. Now I know why we have highly effective antibiotics, can cure a deadly liver disease that I hardly knew the name of when I graduated (hepatitis C) and can completely avoid and even eradicate infectious diseases that have plagued humans for millenia by vaccinating people at less than a dollar a shot. It all makes sense now.
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Re: Modifying Viruses

Postby Lance » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:17 pm

I once read some research that claimed people that live a healthy lifestyle, ride bikes to work everyday and such, are worse polluters and do more harm to the environment than a lazy couch slug does. The logic being, they live longer so they pollute longer. Maybe not as much, but for a greater period of time.

So there is incentive for the drug companies to cure the things that will kill you, so you can be alive but sick longer.
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Re: Modifying Viruses

Postby Мастер » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:20 pm

Arneb wrote:Oomph. Finally, someone found that out. Now I know why we have highly effective antibiotics, can cure a deadly liver disease that I hardly knew the name of when I graduated (hepatitis C) and can completely avoid and even eradicate infectious diseases that have plagued humans for millenia by vaccinating people at less than a dollar a shot. It all makes sense now.


Wow, so there's a hep C cure now? I didn't know that.
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Re: Modifying Viruses

Postby Lance » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:57 pm

Мастер wrote:
Arneb wrote:Oomph. Finally, someone found that out. Now I know why we have highly effective antibiotics, can cure a deadly liver disease that I hardly knew the name of when I graduated (hepatitis C) and can completely avoid and even eradicate infectious diseases that have plagued humans for millenia by vaccinating people at less than a dollar a shot. It all makes sense now.

Wow, so there's a hep C cure now? I didn't know that.

Yeah. There have been ads running here for a while now, suggesting that if you're in the "Baby Boomer" generation and participated in any "risky behaviors" when you were younger, you should be tested for Hep C. I believe "risky behaviors" include IV drug use and unprotected sex with many different partners.

I actually just got the test a week ago. It was negative, thankfully.
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Re: Modifying Viruses

Postby Arneb » Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:41 pm

Congrats! You just saved a sum that would buy a large sedan, well-equipped and spanking new, right there.
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Re: Modifying Viruses

Postby Мастер » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:20 pm

Arneb wrote:Congrats! You just saved a sum that would buy a large sedan, well-equipped and spanking new, right there.


Probably wouldn't buy a large new well-equipped sedan where I live.
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Re: Modifying Viruses

Postby Lance » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:42 pm

I'm lucky if I could afford a large, well equipped matchbox car...
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Re: Modifying Viruses

Postby Lance » Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:25 pm

Мастер wrote:We also have the issue of competition. Even if we are in a situation where it is collectively more profitable not to provide a cure (e.g., do not cure the disease, but treat the symptoms, as the latter is more profitable), it is not individually more profitable, since a firm that produces the cure will capture all of the revenues from curing the disease, but sacrifice only part of the revenues from treating the symptoms.

For the conspiracy theory to work, you need either a monopoly supplier, or a cartel. Cartels have been known to exist (OPEC, for example), but they tend to be plagued by cheating - even though it is collectively better to maintain discipline, each individual cartel member has an incentive to cheat.

I'd like to repost this on FB. I'll do so without attribution for now, but can add it back in later if preferred.
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Re: Modifying Viruses

Postby Arneb » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:12 pm

Wait a minute, say that again: You want to counter conspiracy therories with arguments. Like, information? Reasoning? What are you trying to do, barf into gale force wind?
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Re: Modifying Viruses

Postby Lance » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:14 pm

Arneb wrote:Wait a minute, say that again: You want to counter conspiracy therories with arguments. Like, information? Reasoning? What are you trying to do, barf into gale force wind?

Yeah, that makes no sense at all...

ETA: I've invited a friend to come read this thread. I've also invited her to join the board if she's interested.
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