Advanced Search
Current and Breaking News for Professionals, Consumers and Media



Click here to learn how to advertise on this site and for ad rates.

Vaccine Issues Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Dec 16, 2013 - 4:42:57 PM



Zombie Virus Research Could Make Vaccines Last Longer, be More Available

By Staff Editor
Dec 16, 2013 - 4:37:54 PM



Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Ezine
For Email Marketing you can trust


Email this article
 Printer friendly page

(HealthNewsDigest.com) - Portland, OR - Researchers at Portland State University (PSU) have found a way to preserve viruses in a glassy, dissolvable substance - a technique that could extend the shelf life of vaccines and allow for storage at room temperatures.

The discovery by PSU biology professor Ken Stedman and graduate student James Laidler shows that viruses - which form the basis of many vaccines - can be covered with a silicate coating that keeps them in a state of suspended animation. The coating harmlessly melts away when it's ingested by or injected into a living host. Stedman nicknamed the process "zombification" because the "undead" viruses come back to life once the coating has been removed.

Vaccines are often extremely fragile and will spoil quickly if they're not stored at cold temperatures. Up to 50 percent of vaccines spoil due to inadequate refrigeration during transport. The new preservation technique could drastically reduce spoilage and allow for easier, more inexpensive transport and storage within the developing world.

"It's really hard to put a fridge on the back of a donkey," Stedman said.  "This process has the potential to stabilize vaccines so that they can get to more places and more people more often. Six million people per year - mostly children - die from diseases that could be helped with vaccination." The process could save the pharmaceutical companies that make vaccines about $2.3 billion per year by cutting product losses, Stedman added. It would also reduce the cost of shipping and encourage the development of new markets.

Stedman and Laidler discovered "zombie" viruses while taking samples from bubbling hot springs in the American West.  Silica from the hot springs protected the viruses from drying out, and allowed them to stay viable outside their natural environment.  Their study, which was recently published in the Journal of Virology, was partially funded by NASA because the survivability of the viruses could give clues to the origins of life on earth and the possibility of life on other planets, Stedman said. He estimates another five to 10 years of research will be required before the technique can go into widespread use.

About Portland State University (PSU)
Located in Portland, Oregon, PSU has about 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. PSU's motto is "Let Knowledge Serve the City," and we provide every student with opportunities to work with businesses, schools and organizations on real-world projects. Our downtown campus exhibits PSU's commitment to sustainability with green buildings, while sustainability is incorporated into much of the curriculum.

###
For advertising and promotion on HealthNewsDigest.com, call Mike McCurdy: 877-634-9180 or [email protected] We have over 7,000 journalists as subscribers.



Top of Page

HealthNewsDigest.com

Vaccine Issues
Latest Headlines


+ Flu Vaccine Reduced Children’s Risk of Intensive Care Unit Flu Admission by Three-Fourths
+ 8 in 10 Adolescent Girls in the Americas Have Access to HPV Vaccine, Following its Introduction in Brazil
+ Growth and Improvement in Pharmacy-based Immunizations
+ Vaccines: A Critical Tool in Protecting and Promoting Public Health
+ It's Still Not Too Late to Get Your Flu Vaccine
+ Parents Urged To Vaccinate Kids Against HPV
+ Flu Vaccine Still Viable Option During Holiday Break
+ Zombie Virus Research Could Make Vaccines Last Longer, be More Available
+ New Report Highlights Benefits of Flu Vaccine
+ USciences Professor Debunks Common Flu Shot Myths



Contact Us | Job Listings | Help | Site Map | About Us
Advertising Information | HND Press Release | Submit Information | Disclaimer

Site hosted by Sanchez Productions