How Ebola works


Wow, Now I won’t sleep for a week.

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it’s a good read if you’ve ever wondered how the virus creates hemorrhaging…

I have never actually wondered about that. Am I weird?

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No, but some of us are. So …


D: wow. I think this says it all “Few viruses have the ability to turn internal organs into a soup that promptly flows out of the body, so those that do tend to capture the public eye.”


There is a summary paragraph in the article that 'splains it and I’ll add a bit:

Ebola prevents the various intracellular signal transduction pathways that cause the transcription and secretion of powerful antiviral cytokines like interferon.

The virus also prevents the activation of the enzymes that would attack double stranded viral RNA inside the cell.

Infected cells evade the notice of the CD8 cells (Natural Killer T cells or “NKT”) by disguising their viral cell surface antigens.

Bleeding is caused by the disruption of a several glycoproteins responsible for cell-cell adhesion

That’s the part that got me: “Expression of Ebola GP in cultured cells causes a disruption in cell adhesion that results in a loss of cell-cell contacts, as well as a loss of attachment to the culture substrate.” I didn’t understand most of the article, but with the above, I imagined a very large brick building… and something making the mortar dissolve.

It seems like any virus that gets into the cells of a species is able to evolve multiple mechanisms to suppress the immune response.

This is especially impressive because the virus, a completely mindless thing, is able to manipulate pathways that man doesn’t even understand very well.

And the virus is able to do this by the molecular evolution of just a couple proteins that also serve other functions in the viral life cycle. One protein can have several distinct function.

This is so far ahead of anything man can do, and maybe man isn’t ready for that kind of responsibility.

The virus goes at it with a simple strategy of making LOTS of lousy copies. Many flawed ones are not viable. Some are more viable in a given context than others. These get better chance for more multiplication. Iterative mutation-selection is a powerful thing.

Luckily, computer scientists don’t worry if we are or are not ready for whatever and just do it.

TL;DR this wormy thing gets ya.

PS: I love soup.

Isn’t it a million monkeys, million typewriters kinds of affair?

PS; can we update this idiom already?

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