Big Pharma At It Again: Super Strain of E. Coli Unleashed
The headlines should be filled with news of tornado survivors in need of aide. Though that was pushed out of the way for Weiner jokes, and new of Mitt Romney deciding to run for GOP candidate 2012. So what is the only thing that could take away those 'newsworthy' subjects?
Deadly New Strain of E. Coli Unleased in Germany
So far, the new strain of E. Coli (known as E. Coli O104.H4) has only killed 18 people, and only sickened around 1600. Which is less people than the flu annually kills. Many of those that died or whom have been hospitalized, are being now being treated for a potentially fatal kidney complication known as Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). This kidney disorder is more commonly seen in E. Coli O157.H7 (known as Shiga Toxin) which is known to exist in cow manure, and commonly infects milk, beef products and vegetables that grow near by.
Though it's interesting to note, that while scientist and medical professionals are "sure" that this is a new super-strain, there is no actual way to identify the new strain from older similar strains. They are so sure that its a new super-strain, that they are already spreading the news and hinting at a possible epidemic, while at the same time reminding everyone that they never officially said the new strain would create an epidemic.
So far, this new strain has cropped up mostly in Germany, and has only been found in other places by people who recently visited Germany or by someone they knew who visited Germany. Scientists are baffled by the strains strange behavior, as it appears to mostly ignore young children, to spread through other means besides food and to infect mostly adult women. It also seems to be a "mixture" of several strains of E. Coli. All characteristics that are very unusual for former identified strains of E. Coli. Oh yeah, and the strain is highly resistant to antibiotics...
This new strain of E. Coli was originally blamed on cucumbers from Spain, which has strangely been turned into a push against Organic produce. Even though only two of the cucumbers found so far were organic, and the rest have been tested as being produced by non-organic methods. Not to mention, the link to the cucumbers has been dismissed as a cause, as even though they did have some E. Coli in them, they were not the same strain as the strain coming from the patients. Even still, officials are warning against eating tomatoes, cucumbers or lettuce from Spain.
Next on the list for the blame game, is the Slug. Being that it eats almost any plant source around, is commonly found everywhere and climbs on everything - the slug would make a perfect scape goat for the recent out-break. All except for the fact that they haven't found one slug doctor who has reported any sick slug patients...
The technical name for E. Coli is Escherichia Coli. There are two well know types of E. Coli - the kind that naturally lives in every living body and the strain that is used to produced GMO foods. There are many subtypes to E. Coli, mostly to ones that come from non-human creatures that can cause food poisoning and flu-like illnesses in people.
Not without irony, E. Coli was first discovered and named after a German pediatrician and professor named Theodor Escherich. After his discovery, it was not long before scientist, chemists and biologists discovered how easy E. Coli is to manipulate. This knowledge led to the wide spread practice of using the E. Coli bacteria to experiment with genes, DNA and splicing.
Now, even though most E. Coli strains are easily treated by light antibiotics, that hasn't stopped scientists, chemists and pharmacological researchers from trying to come up with an E. Coli vaccine. In 2006, a vaccine was created that is said to be safe for adults and young children. Then in 2007, a Canadian biopharmaceutical company announced it had created a cattle vaccine to reduce the spread of e. coli through beef. Yet again in 2009, a Michigan State University researcher came out with the news that he had created a working E. Coli vaccine and immediately began contacting pharmaceutical companies to contract with for commercial production.
Some things you might not know...
*Ever since 1988, an ongoing experiment with E. Coli was started by a man named Richard Lenski. This man started out as a simple evolutionary biologist, and is now currently working for the United States National Academy of Science. This research, which is said to be completely safe from spreading outside the research facilities, puts E. Coli under controlled experiments which test it's ability to mutate, reproduce and spread. Over the last few decades, Lenski has experimented with over 44,000 generations of E. Coli.
*E. Coli is regularly used to synthesize DNA, which has lead to the creation of Insulin and enzymes for various pharmaceuticals.
*Because E. Coli is so easy introduced into the human body and so virulent, it has already been tested a bioweapon by experimenters. In 2010, a confidential report was declassified in the UK, that revealed secret biological weapon experiments that had happened in 1965 and 1967, where strains of E. Coli was purposely introduced into the populations of two cities known as Swindon and Southampton. The strains were released to test their potential as a bioweapon, in which they reported it was an "excellent choice".
*In 1980, the US did their own bioweapon experiments where E. Coli was spliced with an Anthrax gene that made the E. Coli give off all the effects of a dose of anthrax. The US has also sent dozens of deadly super-strains of E. Coli to Iraq (no surprise there), which started under the Reagan adminstration and continued under the latest Bush admin. Besides Anthrax, several strains of E. Coli were also mixed with West Nile Virus, Strep Throat and Botulism. In 2002, the reports of these tests were released to show that the Bush admin sent at least 72 batches of these deadly E. Coli mixes to Iraq, which were known to be able to destroy wheat crops, to create massive bone deformations in children and animals, as well as a nerve gas more deadly than any other created so far.
*Germany was recently home to some of the largest anti-nuclear protests which managed to achieve the promise to shut down all nuclear facilities and programs...
Now... While these tidbits might have absolutely no barring on the current strain of E. Coli that has been unleashed on the world. Though I find it important to be aware of all that we can be aware of. Nothing wrong with that, right?
What do you think?
Conspiracy or Coincidence?
I find it no coincidence that this new super strain of E. Coli happens to have strange new behaviors, has no known source and acts liked a mixed bag of several strains of E. Coli. Nor do I find it unusual for the bug to have cropped up in a place that was recently home to successful anti-nuclear protests.
Seeing as several super nations have already conducted numerous experiments on E. Coli, including the testing of it as a bioweapon against unsuspecting and innocent citizens, it makes more sense for this to be another test.
The only truly difficult hole in this hypothesis, is that E. Coli can and does mutate on it's own. E. Coli can copy other species DNA, so there is a chance that this new super strain just so happened to have appeared on it's own.... Maybe one strain of E. Coli walked into a bar one day, met a cousin version of itself, and after too many drinks, they mated to create this new super strain. It could happen... right?
Big Pharma At It Again?
With the recent outbreak of H1N1 having gone so poorly for Big Pharma, it would make sense for them to want to find a way to recoup all they spent hoping people would flock to get their vaccines.
There are several new E. Coli vaccines on the market, and it would not surprise me to see new headlines suggesting special anti-e. coli vaccines or medications being released. In fact, the only thing that could truly sway me from this view, is if pharma never produces anything to attempt to promote a "cure" for this new super strain of E. Coli. Though from there, it could easily still be an experiment by one of many governments. Though we wouldn't known about it for at least another 20 years when the information of the experiment is finally released to the public.