Scientists have developed a quick and safe Ebola vaccine, that shows its effect against the Ebola strain with just one dose.

Created by an interdisciplinary team from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Profectus BioSciences, Inc., the vaccine, effective against Ebola Zaire with a single dose in a nonhuman primate model, has been undergoing testing in the Galveston National Laboratory, the only fully operational Biosafety Level 4 laboratory on an academic campus in the U.S.

This new vaccine employs a virus not harmful to humans called vesicular stomatitis virus that had a part of the Ebola virus inserted into it. This “Trojan horse” vaccine safely triggered an immune response against Ebola Zaire.

UTMB professor Thomas Geisbert said that the findings may pave the way for the identification and manufacture of safer, single dose, high efficiency vaccines to combat current and future Ebola outbreaks.

Washington: A large global study spanning over two decades has revealed that humans carry an average of one to two mutations per person that can cause severe genetic disorders or prenatal death when two copies of the same mutation are inherited.

Most genetic disorders that result in sterility or childhood death are caused by recessive mutations — DNA sequence variants that are harmless when a person carries only one copy.

But if such mutations are present at both copies (where one copy was inherited from each parent), they can cause devastating diseases like cystic fibrosis.

The new numbers were made possible by a long-term collaboration between medical researchers and a unique community that has maintained detailed family histories for many generations.

“These records offered a fantastic opportunity to estimate disease mutation carrier rates in a new way that disentangles the effects of genetic and socioeconomic factors,” said lead author Ziyue Gao from the University of Chicago.

For the study, the team studied genetic contributions to disease using a large 13-generation family tree that traces the ancestry of more than 1,500 living people.

Using this information, the team estimated that there were around three mutations of this type for every five people among the original founders.

But that only counted mutations that allow children carrying two copies to survive at least until birth.

Based on estimates of the proportion of recessive mutations that cause death during fetal development, the team concluded that each founder carried approximately one to two recessive mutations that cause sterility or death before adolescence.

“This number is probably lower than the real average for most populations. Most importantly, unlike previous estimates, it is unaffected by socioeconomic factors,” Gao noted.

The number of recessive disease mutations will vary from person to person and the new number does not necessarily help predict a specific couple’s risk for passing on a genetic disorder.

Gao also pointed out that most infant mortality worldwide is caused by non-genetic factors like nutrition and infectious disease, rather than inherited disorders.

It is an interesting evolutionary question for further research, the authors concluded.

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