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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Quantum Weapons (Part VI) Biological Defenses

With any weapon system, is the counter-weapon. Just like an antidote for an ailment. The antidote for a sword is a shield, the antidote for a bullet is ballistic armor. But there may be a new form of shielding from weaponry, and it is the body.

Researchers have genetically engineered mice with the ability to heal wounds at an accelerated pace. The research started with analysis of genes linked to blood vessel formation and inadvertently created a breed of mouse with significantly thickened skin, swollen ears, noses and eyelids. With this mutation, tests showed these mice also had the ability to rapidly heal wounds - two millimeter-wide holes created in the mice's ears closed completely within 28 days.

Yuichi Oike of the Keio University in Tokyo said, "This finding is very interesting and could lead to novel therapies for skin diseases such as psoriasis, allergies or wound healing."

The genetically modified mice produced large amounts of a protein called Angiopoietin-related Growth Factor, or AGF, in a type of thickened skin cell called epidermal keratinocytes. The resulting transgenic mice showed an increased number of blood vessels in the dermis, suggesting that AGF does indeed promote blood vessel formation.

Further experiments revealed that AGF was also found in particularly high concentrations at the site of wounds. This suggests that the protein also plays a role in wound healing by increasing skin cell formation and improving blood flow to the area.

"AGF could prove hopeful in treating ischemic diseases, where an organ receives insufficient blood supply, heart disease and blood vessel disorders," Oike told New Scientist. However he warns that further work is required for a full understanding of the function of AGF.

The research path quickly changed from blood vessel formation to creating knock-out mice that lack the AGF gene to help further ascertain the protein's role in the body. After figuring out such information, a gene could be added to the human genome sequence to accelerate wound repair.

Imagine a soldier being shot who's wound self-cauderizing before the solder got to the infirmary. Or imagine simple cuts being healed as quickly in a 60 year old as they are in three year olds. If the best offense is a good defense, then this would be a powerful weapon.


More quantum theory weapons:
Part V, Atmospheric Vortex Engine
Part IV, Atmospheric Vortex Engine
Part III, Ionospheric Heaters
Part II, Woodpecker Grid
Part I, Scalar Howitzer

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