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Chemist Sets Path to Taming Deadly Anthrax, Meningitis

by Tanya Thomas on  June 26, 2011 at 8:33 PM Research News   - G J E 4
A chemist from the University of Copenhagen has done what most renowned doctors could not do.

He has revealed the mechanism behind deadly infections like anthrax, septicemia and meningitis.
 Chemist Sets Path to Taming Deadly Anthrax, Meningitis
Chemist Sets Path to Taming Deadly Anthrax, Meningitis
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Till date, doctors lacked the basic insight to prevent and cure these diseases caused by the so-called Gram-positive bacteria.

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However, Danish synthetic chemist Christian Marcus Pedersen has created a synthetic version of a Gram-bacterial endotoxin that is sure to explain the particular symptoms of these diseases.

"No one knew what substance Gram-positive bacteria released to make us sick. But because Pedersen can supply us with substances that are entirely pure, and have a known structure and composition, we are able to get a more precise answer as to why we show symptoms when these bacteria enter our body," explained professor Ulrich Zahringer, leader of the Centre in Borstel.

Lipoteichoic acid is a substance created and present in the cell wall of Gram-positive bacteria. It appears to be the culprit of stimulating immune response symptoms such as fever, inflammation and organ failure.

"Biologists have been trying to isolate this poison from living organisms for years. But the substance has a number of active groups. That is to say, the spiked parts of the molecule, which enable the entire molecule to bind to cells. This makes it extremely difficult to purify. And dirty molecules are not conducive to viable research. Therefore, it's a great advantage to fabricate the substance synthetically, because we can 'build' a molecule in which everything is included... Or where we ourselves decide which part of the structure to leave out," said Christian Marcus Pedersen. (ANI)

Source: ANI
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