One of the things I positively did not like while serving in the Armed forces was the series of ANTHRAX immunization shots I was given. It was a series of three shots — I was given mine while I was serving in Korea — designed to protect us against a variety of chemical blood agents. I’ll never know for sure if those shots would have helped because I was never in a situation where I felt threatened by a chemical attack. But the shots themselves underscore the threat we are faced with: the threat of bioterrorism.
The scariest aspect about bioterrorism is that it can hit us and we might not even be aware of it until it’s too late. Think back to incidents in Tokyo or the Middle East. There have been enough bio-terrorist acts in the last 10 years or so to make us realize that is not a joke.
The biggest scare factor is that because a virus — let’s Smallpox or Ebola or even Marburg is difficult to detect – first responders to the scene of an attack would be particular caught unawares.
But thanks to a new about-to-be-unveiled invention being tweaked by Aethlon Medical (www.aethlonmedical.com) this bio-terrorism worst case scenario may have a happy ending.
Aethlon is developing a portable device called the Hemopurifier — no bigger than the size of a pen — that removes viruses from the blood. The Hemopurifier — when made available — will filter out the above mentioned viruses and more.
The Hemopurifier looks a bit like a shrunken dialysis cartridge – a device about the size of a rolling pin that purifies the blood of patients whose kidneys have failed or don’t function properly. Personally, the Hemopurifier reminds me of the atropine injector widely used in the armed forces and given to soldiers deployed in the field to neutralize destructive blood agents.
Like the dialysis cartridge, the Hemopurifier uses its filter to remove toxins from the blood. But unlike dialysis, the Hemopurifier goes one step further: using plant-derived antibodies that bind to a variety of viruses and work to eliminate them from the bloodstream of a contaminated individual. And if everything goes according to plan, the Hemopurifier will also be able to detect and weed out genetically engineered germs.
The Hemopurifier works like this:
– The infected blood flows into the Hemopurifier through a tube extending from an artery.
– The toxin-filter works kind of like a colander: blocking large red and white blood cells while allowing small viruses to pass
– The purified blood travels back into the body through a second tube inserted into another artery. The human body contains about 5 liters of blood and the entire amount can be filtered in about 12-14 minutes.
– The process can be repeated until all toxins have been removed – which could take a few hours.
As you can imagine this is good news for commanders of our military forces. Aside from modern warfare becoming more urbanized, modern warfare is also be pitting us against an enemy we may not be able to see, smell or touch.
Aethlon is currently working on two versions of the Hemopurifier. One model is to be used in hospitals and is about a foot long and the other is a field model for foot soldiers and is only about the size of a large pen. Both versions of the Hemopurifier attach to a pump that will filter the blood, but the portable field model can be used without it – using instead a patient’s own heart as the pumping mechanism that will push the blood through the filter.
While Aethlon is currently conducting its own tests on animals, the company has shipped several Hemopurifiers to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) in Atlanta for cell culture tests on human blood infected with the Ebola virus. Concurrently, safety trials have wrapped in India with a clinical safety report issued in late 2006.
According to its own website, the Hemopurifier has expansive therapeutic capabilities that address: global pandemics (HIV-AIDS); chronic infectious diseases (Hepatitis-C); naturally evolving pathogens; and pathogens weaponized for bioterrorism attacks against U.S. military and civilian populations.
Good news indeed in a small and easily produced package.