Toxoplasma gondii Parasite Life Cycle
Eyes Wide Shut: An Enigma
Tuesday morning. Curtis had lots of work to do. Perhaps if he instructed the computer to use the same T. gondiiprotein DNA synthesis process to select the best serum medium to vaccinate humans, it would narrow the choices.
Curtis instructed the quantum computer to process a multiplex, or many modifications to a genome simultaneously inserting into a large batch of T. gondii where the parasite’s own machinery for self-assembling DNA would take over to produce billions of different T. gondii genomes. From there it would be a simple task to select the variants that produced the desired serum. At that point, the process would be to compare the genome, chunk by chunk to the computer simulated desired genome to see where and how the two differed.
Finally, to put all the separate, reworked genetic chunks back into serum DNA. Each would find its own way, via the cells natural ability to assemble DNA, to the proper location.
The computer acknowledged the instructions and went blank. It had many computations to perform.
Daemon came in the office unannounced. He seemed preoccupied. He asked Curtis, “How is it going?” Curtis responded, “…is getting the process focused to a manageable size.” Curtis gave him an update. Daemon seemed satisfied.
Daemon told Curtis he would check on JR and George that afternoon and give Curtis an update Wednesday morning as he walked out of Curtis’ office. Curtis was free to work on his own project to stop Daemon.
Curtis wanted to research the possibility T. gondii could be destroyed by beaming a given frequency to the cells that would produce a resonance that would destroy the cell. If the frequency could be determined, then he would determine the amount of power required..
Curtis, asked the computer, “Is it possible to determine the resonance frequency of an cell that has a diameter in nanometers in size?
The computer responds, “The answer is, yes, it is certainly possible. The physics that define the behavior of damped, driven, or harmonic oscillators are well established Things can be driven by some form of energy (a person pushing a swing, electricity, shaking, etc) and they will respond by moving in a periodic motion (oscillations), and they will eventually stop moving because there is always friction absorbing the energy (damping). In addition, objects have favorite oscillation rates (natural frequencies) that they prefer.”
Curtis interrupts, “If one pushes a child on a swing at just the right frequency (time), then the child will swing with higher and higher amplitude. This is the concept of resonance - drive a system at its natural frequency and you will receive a maximum response, and a happy child.”
The computer responds to Curtis’ comment with, “A mathematical model for bursting T. gondii oscillations is analyzed from a physical point of view as a system of internally coupled fast and slow oscillators. The fast subsystem determines the interburst frequency, whereas altering the kinetics of the slow processes changes the duration of the bursting phase in a resonant manner.
The resonance effect appears between two oscillatory T. gondii buffering mechanisms. This may be important for a highly selective T. gondii signal transduction from cell receptors to target proteins.
This was very good information. It was a lot to absorb. Curtis took the printed summary to his desk. He made sure the acid dis-integrator used to destroy classified papers was adjacent and ready to immediately destroy his printouts. He placed all of his printed summaries on the intake tray. Within hundredths of a second, they could be destroyed with no chance to ever be reconstructed. They would be literally become “soup,” destroyed.
Curtis began to review in his mind the facts he needed to produce a resonant frequency that would eradicate T. gondii . The fundamental point is that every microbe has at least one frequency of mechanical vibration (sound/ultrasound) that can kill it very easily using very low intensity sound/ultrasound.
The frequencies of mechanical vibration generated are odd multiples (1,3,5,7…) of the voltage square wave frequency. So, if one of these frequencies closely matches the lethal ultrasound frequency of T. gondii , it can be destroyed.
It was time to destroy his notes and print summaries. He had acquired the foundation of a method to destroy T. gondii . It was his first step to stop Daemon.
Curtis made a quick check with the computer for an update for Daemon’s project. The computer was still working on the best serum for T. gondii infection of human DNA.
It was a good day. It was time to go home. Curtis’ medallion notified him that Daemon was watching him. It did not matter.
Curtis had lots of thinking to do. Daemon could not monitor his thoughts. He drove slowly ten miles to Mojave Air and Space Port Diner. Many cutting edge engineers, technicians, and pilots frequented this diner. Curtis enjoyed their food and the “pioneer” atmosphere. There were pictures of history-making pilots and their planes autographed on the walls.
Curtis walked to the booth in the far corner and ordered a cup of coffee while he decided what to order. Curtis notices George is seated alone with his back to him reading his laptop. Curtis reads the word across the top:The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is a Department of Defense combat support agency and a member of the national Intelligence Community (IC). NGA develops imagery and map-based intelligence solutions for U.S. national defense, homeland security, and safety of navigation. Why would George be reading that?
Curtis needed to talk to JR. Curtis ordered his steak. An Air Force Captain came in and sat at George’s table. After pleasantries were exchanged, Curtis focused on their conversations. The captain asked George how his work was progressing and George responded with OK, but he feels he is overpaid to study veterinary medicine. The captain laughed and asked him what he was studying. George responded T. gondii , you know, the cat parasite.
Curtis thought that was strange. How would the Air Force Captain know about George’s new job? Curtis’ suspicious grew when the Captain asked who he was working for. George told him, “An Air Force General that must have a side job because he works off the base and the General works somewhere else.” The captain asked, “What is the general’s name,”George told him, “General Daemon.” The captain leaned forward and said, “General Daemon?” George replied, “Yep.” The captain lowered his voice and asked, “Why would the General have a side job working with cats?” George said, “It does not make any sense, a stupid General playing with cats and paying big bucks to have two people to research T. gondii . Everybody knows all cats have it and most humans have it too.”
The Captain pressed for more information, “What do you think is the real reason you are researching T. gondii ?” George, animated, blurts out, “I think he is researching T. gondii in humans and trying to keep his agenda hidden.”
George then blurts out, “He has a friend who works for the NGA, you know, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and had his friend watch Daemon leaving George’s office to disappear into an underground Top Secret Facility in Edwards Air Force Base. You know they can see everything from the satellites.”
The captain leans back relaxed and says, “That explains it. The General has farmed out a declassified portion of a Top Secret project. Who knows why he has you research cats. It could be for germ warfare.” George smiles, and says, “Maybe so, the money is good and I do not care.”
Their conversation drifted onto other topics that were of no interest to Curtis. Curtis would rather leave now before George sees him. He may ask about Daemon and he did not want to tell George anything about Daemon. George talked too much. It was time to go home.
JR called and they explained small talked. Curtis told JR he was going to spend the evening reading a James Rollins novel and relax. JR took the hint. Curtis wanted to be alone to think. His medallion indicated Daemon was still watching. Curtis wondered what Daemon thought about George…
After settling down with his book, Curtis was still being watched by Daemon. Curtis would read his book while he reflected about his efforts to stop Daemon.
Going to work Wednesday morning Curtis’ medallion indicated he was still being watched.
Daemon had indicated he was going to get an update from JR and George on their research. Perhaps he wanted a context that JR and Curtis were working in. Curtis was sure that Daemon was watching George too. It was apparent, George did not know and did not care.
Curtis arriving at his office immediately began to work. He was being monitored. He looked forward to Daemon reporting the updates from JR and George. Perhaps it would be a large incremental step that would help Daemon, but perhaps help Curtis to stop Daemon. Beneath every cow dung, there was a teeming bio system… He could hide in plain sight too.
After lunch, Daemon walks in. He is not happy. Daemon, scowling says, “What the hell is George talking about?” I stopped by to get an update from JR and George and the first thing George says, “If you want me to research about T. gondii human infection, I will.” Daemon said, “What do you know about him? Is he OK?” Curtis tells Daemon what he already knows, “He is a friend of JR. He is OK. He is a carefree spirit. Nothing bothers him. He works hard and plays hard. He sleeps well at night. What you see is what you get.”
Curtis knew if Daemon really were worried, George would simply die a quick natural death. You had to be very careful with Daemon. He was committed to his goal. Nothing would stop him.