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Breakthrough The Future of Fighting Pandemics Produced by Ron Howard - Recap

Breakthrough" The Future of Fighting Pandemics
The National Geographic Channel and GE present "Breakthrough" The Future of Fighting Pandemics a new 6-part mini-series that gives an brief recap of the 2014 Ebola Outbreak featuring healthcare and scientific experts who fight everyday to contain, understand, create vaccines and teach prevention of the spread of deadly diseases.

The Future of Fighting Pandemics (Recap) is produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, directed and narrated by Peter Berg. The series kicks off with hollywood style, intense subliminal flashes of bloody and horrific graphics, jumbles it with real life government labs, interviews, and scientists in action all against a dark industrial soundtrack. The first episode of the Nat Geo's Breakthrough series focuses on pandemics, but specifically on the 2014 Ebola outbreak that plagued West African countries like Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. There is little mention of other deadly transmittable diseases that also have Influenza-like symptoms and could also cause pandemics.

The Future of Fighting Pandemics takes you inside the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) Biosafety Level 4 Lab where you meet with Chief Research Scientist of The viral immunology Branch, Dr. John M. Dye.
Dr. John M. Dye USARIDD
"There was this article the "10 worst jobs" and I think I was number one." 
"Trying to understand how a virus survives and evolves over time. Then using that information to help drive development of treatments. Is what really gets me going in the morning, That's what I really like about it."
Alessandro Vespignani 
Researcher Alessandro Vespignani speaks about a program he created that collects 'big data." He uses this data to predict the movements of the seven billion people on earth. He gathers intelligent information using the internet's data streams that track the demographics, public health records, airlines, social media and uses mobile phones as a proxy for human mobility. Vespignani then cross references his data with the behavior of deadly viruses to potentially forecast pandemics using a computational platform to look at the worst case scenarios.
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Professor Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire, head of the Military Intelligence at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. Dr Saphire explains how her team of scientists are using the latest-in-technology.
Professor Dr Erica Ollmann Saphire
By using an X-ray crystallography, a tool the team uses to identifying the atomic and molecular structure of viruses. This provides a roadmap in trying to create the right antibodies to create a vaccine.
Dr. Saphire explains how x-ray laser beams shatter crystallized proteins so they can mathematically reconstruct the molecular.
X-RAY CRYSTALLOGRAPHY
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Scientist Zach Bornholt

"I've heard phenomenal stories of what people have done to get their proteins to crystallize. pickle juice, tequila, sweat anything. At that points it's out of our hands. You know we often say, you gotta pray to the crystal gods."
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Dr Saphire is also the director of The Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium, "The VIC" - a consortium, where laboratories from all over the world can ship their antibodies to her lab for free, their The VIC "blinds" them so nobody knows, what antibody is what.  Then the antibodies ship to FILOVirus researchers like Dr. Dye to out the best antibodies for treatment. This process can be used for any virus or bacteria in the future.
"Breakthrough" The Future of Fighting Pandemics
It takes up to 10 days to get blood tested for Ebola, Dr Saphire's team is using latest technology to develop a affordable diagnostic that is designed around a viral protein in ebola called vp40. The team uses molecular roadmaps to synthesise enough vp40 to create the ebola testing kits. The kits are like a pregnancy test where you the results in minutes, if two red lines appear you have ebola.
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Dr. Daniel Bausch
Dr. Daniel Bausch is a specialist in viral hemorrhagic fevers explained his nightmare situation in Kenema.
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Dr. Ian Crosier, a World Health Organization lead clinician who was treating the infected Ebola patients in West Africa contracted Ebola September 2014. Dr. Crosier was the third American to catch Ebola and was said to have had one of the worst cases of Ebola reported and survived, his stay of 40 days in isolation was the longest out any Ebola patient. As of May 2015 doctors found strains of Ebola virus had survived in Dr. Crozier's eye changing the color to green.
Dr. Crozier Ebola Eye
West African Ebola Graves
"Ebola kills twice—three times, in a sense, It kills patients, and it kills their caretakers. It kills their husbands and wives, their mothers and fathers, and then it kills their children and their direct clinical caretaker"
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The moral of the "Breakthrough" The Future of Fighting Pandemics-is that human immune system can adapt to almost anything at any given time. If we want to fight deadly viruses we need to make ourselves immune to them. 
Watch the full premiere below-- comment and let me know what you think!


*2014-2015 Ebola Outbreaks infected more than 28,000 people and more than 11,000 people died. 

courtesy of: http://breakthrough.nationalgeographic.com/pandemics



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