X-Message-Number: 19945
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 15:52:20 -0700
From: James Swayze <>
Subject: [off topic] Deadly secret of anthrax

Deadly Secret of
Anthrax Revealed

By Cathryn Conroy, Netscape News Editor

The secret is out:

When we're exposed to anthrax, the deadly bacteria tricks the body's immune
cells into attacking it and then quietly kills those immune cells before they
can call for help. That's the word from Michael Karin and Jin Mo Park of the
University of California, San Diego who have figured out how anthrax
operates--the first step in designing an antitoxin to combat it.

How is anthrax made into a weapon of death?

The researchers learned that anthrax produces two potent compounds, which they
called "lethal factor" and "protective antigen." The two team up to deactivate
macrophages, which are the body's immune system cells and the first responders
of the immune system. Macrophage means "big mouth," which is fitting. When the
cells are attacked, the macrophages actually swoop them up, engulfing them.
Then the macrophages start screaming for help to other cells by sending out a
chemical SOS. But when anthrax invades the macrophages, it sabotages the
chemical help call.  In other words, the robber gets into the house and then
deactivates the alarm system.  Anthrax inactivates an enzyme called p38 MAP
kinase, which causes the macrophage to commit suicide (or apoptosis in proper
scientific language) before it can send out signals to other cells.  When
anthrax is inhaled and the spores land in the lungs, it kills 90 percent of the
time.  Symptoms take a while to develop, and during that time victims have no
idea they are sick.  "Feeling sick is actually good," Karin told Reuters.  "It
means we're fighting the effects of infection with a fever or runny nose. Not
being sick means your immune system is not detecting the infection."

10 things you should know about anthrax--before it's too late.

MY WEBSITE: http://www.geocities.com/~davidpascal/swayze/
A COLLECTION of photos of me and some of my artwork:
A RADIO INTERVIEW on Dr.  J's ChangeSurfer Radio program with me and the father
of cryonics Prof. Robert Ettinger, author of "The Prospect of Immortality":
A RELIGION I actually recommend:
A FAVORITE quote: Last lines of the first Star Trek the Next Generation movie.
Capt.  Picard: "What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived,
after all Number One, we're only mortal."
Will Ryker: "Speak for yourself captain, I intend to live forever!"

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