18 July 2011

3D Herpes Test Saves Animal Lives

Herpes Simplex
No, not a test to see if you have 3D herpes, or any other kind, but a test to study herpes simplex virus in vivo.  By the way, thanks to your mom for sending this in.  Apparently she's an expert on herpes.

Anyway, Dr. Anke Burger-Kentischer of the Institut für Grenzflächenverfahrenstechnik at Stuttgart, along with her team and the cell systems department recently developed a three-dimensional infection model for the herpes virus.  Because herpes flares up with cold sores on the lip and then hides in a lysogenic phase in the nerve cells, it is difficult to study.  This new model makes it easier to detect if the virus is really gone or just dormant.  Like similar news previously reported here, this approach replaces animal testing with a more useful and less cruel alternative.

Dr. Burger-Kentischer believes that the model can be adapted to study another member of alphaherpesvirinae, the varicella zoster virus, which causes shingles and chicken pox.  Of course, you all received your vaccination for that, right?  I know the vaccine has gelatin in it and is created using chicken embryos, but besides saving human lives, vaccination removes the need for animal testing and research using animal products.  If you want to make a change, go to the crux of the issue and press for vegan vaccines.  In the meantime, circle circle dot dot...