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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 106  
Subject: DARPA and vaccines Date: 7/30/2012 5:29 PM
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Evidently DARPA has achieved the milestone of producing 10M vaccine doses in a 1 month period. Such high rates of production could be vital to stemming a pandemic. Seems significant to this non-professional (i.e. I'm not a MD or specialist in any relevant field). I also must add the disclaimer that I am not familiar with this particular website. I stumbled upon the story by accident. But it does cite a source at the bottom of the article.

http://endthelie.com/2012/07/28/darpas-blue-angel/#ixzz223GL...

The Pentagon’s DARPA lab has announced a milestone, but it doesn’t involve drones or death missiles. Scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency say they’ve produced 10 million doses of an influenza vaccine in only one month’s time.

<snip>

Researchers have before relied on using chicken eggs to harvest compounds to use in influenza vaccines. With a future outbreak requiring scientists to step up with a solution as soon as possible, though, they’ve turned to tobacco plants to help produce the vaccines.
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Author: LorenCobb Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 51 of 106
Subject: Re: DARPA and vaccines Date: 7/31/2012 6:33 PM
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DARPA has achieved the milestone of producing 10M vaccine doses in a 1 month period.

Well, that's a big improvement.

Imagine, though, what will happen if and when there is an outbreak of communicable avian influenza... Some 7 billion people will want the vaccination yesterday! At the rate of 10 million doses per month, it will take 700 months (i.e. 58+ years) to make the vaccine.

Of course, what will really happen is that the CDC will help other countries to build the plants necessary to create their own vaccines. Still, the delays will be too much for most of the world.

Loren

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 52 of 106
Subject: Re: DARPA and vaccines Date: 7/31/2012 8:33 PM
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Still, the delays will be too much for most of the world.

True.

Of course, the spread of the disease will be finite (i.e. not instantaneous), so that would have to be factored into the 'need' equation, I would think.

As you say, it's an improvement. If we can deploy that capability on a larger scale (building more plants) that will help. Also, this new technique may have room for improvement. We may get even more out of it in a few years than we can now.

Which will be of little consolation to the (probably) millions who will die before the bug can be isolated, a vaccine developed, and distribution can occur. I'm no expert, but I expect the isolating is probably the easiest of the steps (and it's likely not that easy).

1poorguy

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