Scientists Make Ebola Breakthrough

Create new synthetic vaccine that can survive long enough to be effective
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2011 8:05 AM CST
Ebola virus particles are seen in this color-enhanced electron micrograph.   (PLoS Pathogens/Thomas W. Geisbert)

(Newser) – Scientists have made a major breakthrough in the fight against Ebola, developing a new synthetic vaccine that successfully protected 80% of the mice into which it was injected. More importantly, the new vaccine can be dried down and frozen for storage, the BBC reports; past Ebola vaccines have used real but crippled viral proteins, but have not been able to withstand long-term storage.

The results were published recently in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences. Researchers next intend to try the vaccine on a strain of the disease closer to the one that afflicts humans.

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