The Role of PNG Institute Medical Research in Question: Focus on the issue of the Hahagai

The Role of PNG Institute Medical Research in Question: Focus on the issue of the Hahagai

med
med

August 31st, 2007, 11:28 am #1

i'm still come to question the role of PNG Istitute of Medical Research in Papua New Guinea. To the present time, there is no tangible contribution from PNGIMR to the health and medical issues of the people of PNG.

Is PNGIMR is contributing to the welfare and medical improvement of the people of PNG, or for the interest for outside sources.

the issues of Hahagai people, is one of the very important issue and has to be taken seriously on. it all started with PNGIMR in the 1980s.

note: read the article published on the Weekend Column of The National

________________________________________________________________________

The Hagahai controversy

In part two of a three part article DOMINI SENGI* talks about the controversy that arose in 1996 following the scurry act by PNG-based United States scientists then attached with the Goroka-based PNG Institute of Medical Research (PNGIMR) in whisking away by helicopter 'blood samples' drawn from a male Hagahai tribesman consigned for highly specialized genetic culture collection laboratories overseas.

The PNG Hagahai blood was somewhat of a novelty and enigma to geneticists, microbiologists and virologists alike. It had the chemical characteristics identified by science as HTLV-I (PNG-1). It was a retrovirus - viruses that cause slow death of its host over time. What further interests me was that it was a relative strain of the HIV/AIDS virus whose characteristic is known to science as HTLV-III. The symbol HTLV stands for Human T-cell Lymphotic Virus that lodge itself within the white blood cells and attack this blood producing cells of the human immune system.
I had by then inclined to think that given the relative similarities with the HTLV-III, certainly the Hagahai virus holds by all probability, some firm genetic or virological clues to solving the HIV/AIDs epidemic that was gripping the world of science and threatening human security around the world.
Furthermore, the Hagahai strain itself was isolated by none other than Dr Robert Gallo, who at that time was accused of scientific fraud by French scientists over claims he stole the HIV/AIDs virus and made it his own.
My search had indicated Dr Gallo, a noted virologists/microbiologist became what he is much to the tutelage of Nobel Laureate Dr Carlton Gajdusek who had a long association with the PNGIMR. Dr Gajdusek became world famous in the 1960s for discovering and isolating yet another PNG-based virus, the Kuru, a retrovirus of the brain that kills people slowly. Kuru is known for causing the 'laughing sickness' among the Fore tribe of the Eastern Highlands Province and other diseases of the brain.
I am of the firm belief that the Hagahai strain isolate and the mad rush to patent it without prior informed consent and knowledge of the Hagahai subject, the PNG Medical Research Council and Government had all the markings of bio-piracy by US scientific agents.
I had related the close connections and relations of the scientists and collaborating institutions to conspiracy theories doing their rounds in the Europe and the industrialized world in the early 80's relating HIV/AIDs virus as a biological warfare germ created at the Fort Detrick P4 Lab in 1977 thereabout as part of former US President Richard Nixon's Cold War weapons agenda.
An angle to this theory suggests the germ warfare was aimed at eliminating the black race off the surface of this earth through HIV/AIDS.
Retired East Berlin microbiologist Jacob Segal of Humbolt University wrote a report read throughout Eastern Europe and the West that claimed the AIDS virus was made at Fort Detrick from a deliberate mixture of visna and HTLV-I. Segal's assertion was publicly distributed at the 1986 Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement for which PNG is a member which convened in September in Harare, Zimbabwe.
According to Segal, he has but refused to reveal documents proving that US prisoners were injected with various experimental combinations of visna and HTLV-I until a perfect lethal form. HIV, he claims was indeed the perfect lethal form. Visna is a retrovirus found in sheep.
The Segal notion that AIDS was the result of a sinister CIA plot found favour in many quarters, particularly in African countries that felt unjustly targeted and blamed by mainly American scientists as the origin of AIDS.
Also in the US at the same frame of time, Dr Robert Strecker from Los Angeles gained a large following for his claim that AIDS virus was manufactured by crossing Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV) and Visna virus from animals into man to make the AIDS virus and growing it human tissue culture and that's AIDS causing cancer.
For me, there was in the US no body alive and expert than Carlton Gajdusek and his student Robert Gallo who have the scientific insight into how human-based latent retroviruses could jump the species barrier.
Indeed it was Gajdusek's ground-breaking scientific discovery in the 60s involving the experimentation using the kuru virus with that of monkeys and chimpanzees that proved the linchpin in science that viruses could now jump the species barrier thus, creating for the world of science a molecular model for sophisticated forms of cloning and genetic engineering that would then follow. I remain unfazed by counter-claims that such basic models hadn't yet been invented in 1977.
Certainly and if I was President Nixon, I wouldn't have been looking too far than Fort Detrick, Drs Gajdusek and Gallo and the Kuru virus to start my cold war germ warfare programme.
The fundamental question arises whether beginning with Gajdusek's kuru and linchpin discovery, President Nixon's Cold War Biological Weapons project, the Segal AIDS conspiracy theory, and the subsequent mad rush to marginalize the AIDS-out-of-Fort Detrick claims by the US Government, was the scurry and helicopter ride of the Hagahai virus out of the jungles of PNG justified given the relative similarities in the chemo-geneology of the Hagahai virus and the AIDS? Did both our viral representatives - kuru and the Hagahai - collectively have been the cause and effect of solving America's and the world's most fatal epidemic? I will leave these questions for all to ponder over in the meantime.
According to US Patent Laws, the isolation of the virus involved a 'scientific process' and hence, scientists involved in the process by rights were required by the USPTO regulations to name themselves as 'inventors' of the cell line, hence are therefore assigned legal rights to the virus and holders of the subsequent patent had it been granted.
At this point I came to appreciate the rush. For geneticists especially, a homogenous, freely evolving and intra-breeding group of people, not interbreeding with those outside their homogeneity is a 'gold mine'.
The application for granting of the US patent number 5,397,696 was already in queue and I found myself up against time. Through the assistance of the late Francis Zabala, a close African friend of mine who was then UPNG Computer system manager, I contacted biotechnology experts with the Canada-based Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), a non-governmental organization to assist with access to USPTO patent filing system using the US Freedom of Information Act for further data relating to the Hagahai virus patent application. PNG was late to lodge a formal protest during the preparatory stage of the patent application as there was no information before us.
Given the lack of much political and diplomatic will to maneuver toward seeking an advisory opinion at The Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ), mounting a global offensive against the US scientist and the USPTO using the RAFI network was the only option available.
Domestically, I took to the Fourth Estate issues such as prior informed consent accusing those involved for adopting primitive inducement techniques for securing such consent. This is to arouse public opinion and views to support the international NGOs.
I had also found that the US scientific team together with their PNG counterpart produced little evidence of formal prior informed consent, admitting in the process the use of primitive 'inducement' techniques in deriving such consent. The NGO network exploited this to the fullest.
Locally based scientists fled the country, not after one of them was stopped in the get-away trail to produce documentation wanted by government relating to the so called study of the Hagahais.
My research further established that this known scientist had been named as a 'co inventor' of the cell line patent without the intelligent knowledge of the PNG Government, including the PNG Medical Research Council at that time, that had direct fiduciary duty to protect the Hagahai person.

*The writer is a former Foreign Service Officer and currently General Secretary Peoples National Congress Party

Next week: My people, my blood, my revelation



source: http://www.thenational.com.pg/083107/w5.htm

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hola
hola

September 4th, 2007, 3:22 am #2

Do you know what you are saying?Read the papers for goodness sakes and stop accusing PNGIMR.

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Anonymous
Anonymous

September 4th, 2007, 7:18 am #3

Hola, what you and PNGIMR contributed in improving the medical and health condition of the people of PNG.

Or are you and PNGIMR acting on the interest of the outsiders?

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Anonymous
Anonymous

September 4th, 2007, 11:17 am #4

anon, you should not base your whole criticism on one article and event that took place in the 1990's. I suggest you get in touch with NDOH or NAC, or better still attend the medical symposium that is currently going on to find out what the PNGIMR does.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

September 4th, 2007, 2:27 pm #5

Med.....Na pigbel sut yu kisim taim yu stap bebi kam long wok panim out blong overseas institutions or pngimr?


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hola
hola

September 11th, 2007, 12:45 am #6

The issue surrounding the Hagahais' could have been handled in a more appropriate, dignified and ethically sound manner when the research was undertaken at that time. As an individual that deals with ethics on a daily basis in the field of research, I am of this view. However that does not give me the right to question the role of PNGIMR today and link that with the Hagahai issue, an issue that thankfully has brought to surface intellectual property rights and made many people both in the field of research and government agencies aware of IPRs. We still have a long way to go but at least we are doing our best by polishing up on existing legislature and developing new legislatire to protect PNG's resources and also her people from exploitation.

To the individual that raised this issue, take a look at the newspaper coverage of the PNG Medical Symposium that was held recenlty or more better attend the sessions in future nand see first hand what PNGIMR is doing in PNG.
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Joined: April 23rd, 2009, 8:06 am

April 28th, 2009, 4:51 am #7

HTLV 1 for dummies

HTLV-I is an abbreviation for the human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1, also called the Adult T-cell lymphoma virus type 1, a virus that has been seriously implicated in several kinds of diseases including HTLV-I-associated myelopathy, Strongyloides stercoralis hyper-infection, and a virus cancer link for leukemia (see adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma). Between one in twenty and one in twenty-five infected persons are thought to develop cancer as a result of the virus.

HTLV was discovered in 1977 in Japan. The virus was first isolated by Drs. Bernard Poiesz and Francis Ruscetti and their co-workers in the laboratory of Robert C. Gallo at the NCI. It was the first identified human retrovirus.

Infection with HTLV-I, like infection with other retroviruses, probably occurs for life and can be inferred when antibody against HTLV-1 is detected in the serum.
Contents


Prevalence
HTLV-I infection in the United States appears to be about half as prevalent as HIV infection among IV drug users and about one-tenth as prevalent in the population at large. Although little serologic data exist, prevalence of infection is thought to be highest among blacks living in the Southeast. A prevalence rate of 30% has been found among black intravenous drug abusers in New Jersey, and a rate of 49% has been found in a similar group in New Orleans. It is possible that prevalence of infection is increasing in this risk group.

HTLV-I infection in Australia is very high among the Indigenous peoples of central and northern Australia, with a prevalence rate of 10-30%. It is also high among the Inuit of Northern Canada, Japan, in northeastern Iran, in Peru, in the Pacific coast of Colombia and Ecuador, in the Caribbean, and in Africa.

Transmission
Transmission of HTLV-I is believed to occur from mother to child via breastfeeding; by sexual contact; and through exposure to contaminated blood, either through blood transfusion or sharing of contaminated needles. The importance of the various routes of transmission is believed to vary geographically.

* In Japan, the geographic clustering of infection and the rarity of unprotected sexual contact suggest that the virus is more dependent on mother-to-child transmission.

* In the Caribbean, the geographic distribution of the virus is more uniform, and it is more common among those with many sexual partners, indicating that sexual transmission is more common.

Tropism
The term viral tropism refers to which cell types HTLV-I infects. Although HTLV-1 is primarily found in CD4+ T cells, other cell types in the peripheral blood of infected individuals have been found to contain HTLV-1, including CD8+ T cells, dendritic cells, and B cells. HTLV-I entry is mediated through interaction of the surface unit of the virion envelope glycoprotein (SU) with its cellular receptor GLUT1, a glucose transporter, on target cells.

Opportunistic infections
Individuals infected with HTLV-1 are at risk for opportunistic infections, diseases not caused by the virus itself, but by alterations in the host's immune functions.

Mechanism
HTLV-1, unlike the distantly related retrovirus HIV, has an immunostimulating effect, which, however, turns out to be immunosuppressive. The virus activates a subset of T-helper cells called Th1 cells. The result is a proliferation of Th1 cells and overproduction of Th1 related cytokines (mainly IFN- and TNF-). Feedback mechanisms of these cytokines cause a suppression of the Th2 lymphocytes and a reduction of Th2 cytokine production (mainly IL-4, IL-5, IL-10 and IL-13). The end result is a reduction in the ability of the infected host to mount an adequate immune response to invading organisms that require a predominantly Th2 dependent response (these include parasitic infections and production of mucosal and humoral antibodies).

Examples
In the central Australian Aboriginal population, HTLV-1 is thought to be related to their extremely high rate of death from sepsis.

It is particularly associated with bronchiectasis, a chronic lung condition predisposing to recurrent pneumonia.

It is also associated with chronic infected dermatitis, often superinfected with Staphylococcus aureus and a severe form of Strongyloides stercoralis infection called hyper-infection which may lead to death from polymicrobial sepsis.

HTLV-1 is also associated with adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma, and has been quite well studied in Japan. The time between infection and onset of cancer also varies geographically. It is believed to be about sixty years in Japan, and less than forty years in the Caribbean. The cancer is thought to be due to the pro-oncogenic effect of viral DNA incorporated into host lymphocyte DNA, and chronic stimulation of the lymphocytes at the cytokine level may play a role in development of malignancy. The malignancy ranges from a very indolent and slowly progressive lymphoma to a very aggressive and nearly uniformaly lethal proliferative lymphoma.

HTLV-1 is also associated with a progressive demyelinating upper motor neurone disease known as HAM/TSP for HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis characterized by sensory and motor deficits, particularly of the lower extremities, incontinence and impotence.[7] Less than 2% of infected individuals develop HAM/TSP, but this will vary dramatically from one geographic location to another.[citation needed]
Treatment

Treatment for opportunistic infections varies depending on the type of disease and varies from careful observation to aggressive chemotherapy and antiretroviral agents.
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Joined: April 23rd, 2009, 8:06 am

April 28th, 2009, 4:56 am #8

i'm still come to question the role of PNG Istitute of Medical Research in Papua New Guinea. To the present time, there is no tangible contribution from PNGIMR to the health and medical issues of the people of PNG.

Is PNGIMR is contributing to the welfare and medical improvement of the people of PNG, or for the interest for outside sources.

the issues of Hahagai people, is one of the very important issue and has to be taken seriously on. it all started with PNGIMR in the 1980s.

note: read the article published on the Weekend Column of The National

________________________________________________________________________

The Hagahai controversy

In part two of a three part article DOMINI SENGI* talks about the controversy that arose in 1996 following the scurry act by PNG-based United States scientists then attached with the Goroka-based PNG Institute of Medical Research (PNGIMR) in whisking away by helicopter 'blood samples' drawn from a male Hagahai tribesman consigned for highly specialized genetic culture collection laboratories overseas.

The PNG Hagahai blood was somewhat of a novelty and enigma to geneticists, microbiologists and virologists alike. It had the chemical characteristics identified by science as HTLV-I (PNG-1). It was a retrovirus - viruses that cause slow death of its host over time. What further interests me was that it was a relative strain of the HIV/AIDS virus whose characteristic is known to science as HTLV-III. The symbol HTLV stands for Human T-cell Lymphotic Virus that lodge itself within the white blood cells and attack this blood producing cells of the human immune system.
I had by then inclined to think that given the relative similarities with the HTLV-III, certainly the Hagahai virus holds by all probability, some firm genetic or virological clues to solving the HIV/AIDs epidemic that was gripping the world of science and threatening human security around the world.
Furthermore, the Hagahai strain itself was isolated by none other than Dr Robert Gallo, who at that time was accused of scientific fraud by French scientists over claims he stole the HIV/AIDs virus and made it his own.
My search had indicated Dr Gallo, a noted virologists/microbiologist became what he is much to the tutelage of Nobel Laureate Dr Carlton Gajdusek who had a long association with the PNGIMR. Dr Gajdusek became world famous in the 1960s for discovering and isolating yet another PNG-based virus, the Kuru, a retrovirus of the brain that kills people slowly. Kuru is known for causing the 'laughing sickness' among the Fore tribe of the Eastern Highlands Province and other diseases of the brain.
I am of the firm belief that the Hagahai strain isolate and the mad rush to patent it without prior informed consent and knowledge of the Hagahai subject, the PNG Medical Research Council and Government had all the markings of bio-piracy by US scientific agents.
I had related the close connections and relations of the scientists and collaborating institutions to conspiracy theories doing their rounds in the Europe and the industrialized world in the early 80's relating HIV/AIDs virus as a biological warfare germ created at the Fort Detrick P4 Lab in 1977 thereabout as part of former US President Richard Nixon's Cold War weapons agenda.
An angle to this theory suggests the germ warfare was aimed at eliminating the black race off the surface of this earth through HIV/AIDS.
Retired East Berlin microbiologist Jacob Segal of Humbolt University wrote a report read throughout Eastern Europe and the West that claimed the AIDS virus was made at Fort Detrick from a deliberate mixture of visna and HTLV-I. Segal's assertion was publicly distributed at the 1986 Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement for which PNG is a member which convened in September in Harare, Zimbabwe.
According to Segal, he has but refused to reveal documents proving that US prisoners were injected with various experimental combinations of visna and HTLV-I until a perfect lethal form. HIV, he claims was indeed the perfect lethal form. Visna is a retrovirus found in sheep.
The Segal notion that AIDS was the result of a sinister CIA plot found favour in many quarters, particularly in African countries that felt unjustly targeted and blamed by mainly American scientists as the origin of AIDS.
Also in the US at the same frame of time, Dr Robert Strecker from Los Angeles gained a large following for his claim that AIDS virus was manufactured by crossing Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV) and Visna virus from animals into man to make the AIDS virus and growing it human tissue culture and that's AIDS causing cancer.
For me, there was in the US no body alive and expert than Carlton Gajdusek and his student Robert Gallo who have the scientific insight into how human-based latent retroviruses could jump the species barrier.
Indeed it was Gajdusek's ground-breaking scientific discovery in the 60s involving the experimentation using the kuru virus with that of monkeys and chimpanzees that proved the linchpin in science that viruses could now jump the species barrier thus, creating for the world of science a molecular model for sophisticated forms of cloning and genetic engineering that would then follow. I remain unfazed by counter-claims that such basic models hadn't yet been invented in 1977.
Certainly and if I was President Nixon, I wouldn't have been looking too far than Fort Detrick, Drs Gajdusek and Gallo and the Kuru virus to start my cold war germ warfare programme.
The fundamental question arises whether beginning with Gajdusek's kuru and linchpin discovery, President Nixon's Cold War Biological Weapons project, the Segal AIDS conspiracy theory, and the subsequent mad rush to marginalize the AIDS-out-of-Fort Detrick claims by the US Government, was the scurry and helicopter ride of the Hagahai virus out of the jungles of PNG justified given the relative similarities in the chemo-geneology of the Hagahai virus and the AIDS? Did both our viral representatives - kuru and the Hagahai - collectively have been the cause and effect of solving America's and the world's most fatal epidemic? I will leave these questions for all to ponder over in the meantime.
According to US Patent Laws, the isolation of the virus involved a 'scientific process' and hence, scientists involved in the process by rights were required by the USPTO regulations to name themselves as 'inventors' of the cell line, hence are therefore assigned legal rights to the virus and holders of the subsequent patent had it been granted.
At this point I came to appreciate the rush. For geneticists especially, a homogenous, freely evolving and intra-breeding group of people, not interbreeding with those outside their homogeneity is a 'gold mine'.
The application for granting of the US patent number 5,397,696 was already in queue and I found myself up against time. Through the assistance of the late Francis Zabala, a close African friend of mine who was then UPNG Computer system manager, I contacted biotechnology experts with the Canada-based Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), a non-governmental organization to assist with access to USPTO patent filing system using the US Freedom of Information Act for further data relating to the Hagahai virus patent application. PNG was late to lodge a formal protest during the preparatory stage of the patent application as there was no information before us.
Given the lack of much political and diplomatic will to maneuver toward seeking an advisory opinion at The Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ), mounting a global offensive against the US scientist and the USPTO using the RAFI network was the only option available.
Domestically, I took to the Fourth Estate issues such as prior informed consent accusing those involved for adopting primitive inducement techniques for securing such consent. This is to arouse public opinion and views to support the international NGOs.
I had also found that the US scientific team together with their PNG counterpart produced little evidence of formal prior informed consent, admitting in the process the use of primitive 'inducement' techniques in deriving such consent. The NGO network exploited this to the fullest.
Locally based scientists fled the country, not after one of them was stopped in the get-away trail to produce documentation wanted by government relating to the so called study of the Hagahais.
My research further established that this known scientist had been named as a 'co inventor' of the cell line patent without the intelligent knowledge of the PNG Government, including the PNG Medical Research Council at that time, that had direct fiduciary duty to protect the Hagahai person.

*The writer is a former Foreign Service Officer and currently General Secretary Peoples National Congress Party

Next week: My people, my blood, my revelation



source: http://www.thenational.com.pg/083107/w5.htm
So....

HTLV-1, unlike the distantly related retrovirus HIV, has an immunostimulating effect, which, however, turns out to be immunosuppressive. The virus activates a subset of T-helper cells called Th1 cells. The result is a proliferation of Th1 cells and overproduction of Th1 related cytokines (mainly IFN- and TNF-).

The HIV (prev know as HTLV-III) infects the T Helper cells (containing a glycoprotein surface molecule called CD4), and reprograms these CD4 cells with the help of the enzyme reverse transcriptase to produce more viral particles which then bud out of the CD4 cells to infect other CD4 cells eventually destroying them.
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Joined: April 23rd, 2009, 8:06 am

April 28th, 2009, 5:25 am #9

i'm still come to question the role of PNG Istitute of Medical Research in Papua New Guinea. To the present time, there is no tangible contribution from PNGIMR to the health and medical issues of the people of PNG.

Is PNGIMR is contributing to the welfare and medical improvement of the people of PNG, or for the interest for outside sources.

the issues of Hahagai people, is one of the very important issue and has to be taken seriously on. it all started with PNGIMR in the 1980s.

note: read the article published on the Weekend Column of The National

________________________________________________________________________

The Hagahai controversy

In part two of a three part article DOMINI SENGI* talks about the controversy that arose in 1996 following the scurry act by PNG-based United States scientists then attached with the Goroka-based PNG Institute of Medical Research (PNGIMR) in whisking away by helicopter 'blood samples' drawn from a male Hagahai tribesman consigned for highly specialized genetic culture collection laboratories overseas.

The PNG Hagahai blood was somewhat of a novelty and enigma to geneticists, microbiologists and virologists alike. It had the chemical characteristics identified by science as HTLV-I (PNG-1). It was a retrovirus - viruses that cause slow death of its host over time. What further interests me was that it was a relative strain of the HIV/AIDS virus whose characteristic is known to science as HTLV-III. The symbol HTLV stands for Human T-cell Lymphotic Virus that lodge itself within the white blood cells and attack this blood producing cells of the human immune system.
I had by then inclined to think that given the relative similarities with the HTLV-III, certainly the Hagahai virus holds by all probability, some firm genetic or virological clues to solving the HIV/AIDs epidemic that was gripping the world of science and threatening human security around the world.
Furthermore, the Hagahai strain itself was isolated by none other than Dr Robert Gallo, who at that time was accused of scientific fraud by French scientists over claims he stole the HIV/AIDs virus and made it his own.
My search had indicated Dr Gallo, a noted virologists/microbiologist became what he is much to the tutelage of Nobel Laureate Dr Carlton Gajdusek who had a long association with the PNGIMR. Dr Gajdusek became world famous in the 1960s for discovering and isolating yet another PNG-based virus, the Kuru, a retrovirus of the brain that kills people slowly. Kuru is known for causing the 'laughing sickness' among the Fore tribe of the Eastern Highlands Province and other diseases of the brain.
I am of the firm belief that the Hagahai strain isolate and the mad rush to patent it without prior informed consent and knowledge of the Hagahai subject, the PNG Medical Research Council and Government had all the markings of bio-piracy by US scientific agents.
I had related the close connections and relations of the scientists and collaborating institutions to conspiracy theories doing their rounds in the Europe and the industrialized world in the early 80's relating HIV/AIDs virus as a biological warfare germ created at the Fort Detrick P4 Lab in 1977 thereabout as part of former US President Richard Nixon's Cold War weapons agenda.
An angle to this theory suggests the germ warfare was aimed at eliminating the black race off the surface of this earth through HIV/AIDS.
Retired East Berlin microbiologist Jacob Segal of Humbolt University wrote a report read throughout Eastern Europe and the West that claimed the AIDS virus was made at Fort Detrick from a deliberate mixture of visna and HTLV-I. Segal's assertion was publicly distributed at the 1986 Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement for which PNG is a member which convened in September in Harare, Zimbabwe.
According to Segal, he has but refused to reveal documents proving that US prisoners were injected with various experimental combinations of visna and HTLV-I until a perfect lethal form. HIV, he claims was indeed the perfect lethal form. Visna is a retrovirus found in sheep.
The Segal notion that AIDS was the result of a sinister CIA plot found favour in many quarters, particularly in African countries that felt unjustly targeted and blamed by mainly American scientists as the origin of AIDS.
Also in the US at the same frame of time, Dr Robert Strecker from Los Angeles gained a large following for his claim that AIDS virus was manufactured by crossing Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV) and Visna virus from animals into man to make the AIDS virus and growing it human tissue culture and that's AIDS causing cancer.
For me, there was in the US no body alive and expert than Carlton Gajdusek and his student Robert Gallo who have the scientific insight into how human-based latent retroviruses could jump the species barrier.
Indeed it was Gajdusek's ground-breaking scientific discovery in the 60s involving the experimentation using the kuru virus with that of monkeys and chimpanzees that proved the linchpin in science that viruses could now jump the species barrier thus, creating for the world of science a molecular model for sophisticated forms of cloning and genetic engineering that would then follow. I remain unfazed by counter-claims that such basic models hadn't yet been invented in 1977.
Certainly and if I was President Nixon, I wouldn't have been looking too far than Fort Detrick, Drs Gajdusek and Gallo and the Kuru virus to start my cold war germ warfare programme.
The fundamental question arises whether beginning with Gajdusek's kuru and linchpin discovery, President Nixon's Cold War Biological Weapons project, the Segal AIDS conspiracy theory, and the subsequent mad rush to marginalize the AIDS-out-of-Fort Detrick claims by the US Government, was the scurry and helicopter ride of the Hagahai virus out of the jungles of PNG justified given the relative similarities in the chemo-geneology of the Hagahai virus and the AIDS? Did both our viral representatives - kuru and the Hagahai - collectively have been the cause and effect of solving America's and the world's most fatal epidemic? I will leave these questions for all to ponder over in the meantime.
According to US Patent Laws, the isolation of the virus involved a 'scientific process' and hence, scientists involved in the process by rights were required by the USPTO regulations to name themselves as 'inventors' of the cell line, hence are therefore assigned legal rights to the virus and holders of the subsequent patent had it been granted.
At this point I came to appreciate the rush. For geneticists especially, a homogenous, freely evolving and intra-breeding group of people, not interbreeding with those outside their homogeneity is a 'gold mine'.
The application for granting of the US patent number 5,397,696 was already in queue and I found myself up against time. Through the assistance of the late Francis Zabala, a close African friend of mine who was then UPNG Computer system manager, I contacted biotechnology experts with the Canada-based Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), a non-governmental organization to assist with access to USPTO patent filing system using the US Freedom of Information Act for further data relating to the Hagahai virus patent application. PNG was late to lodge a formal protest during the preparatory stage of the patent application as there was no information before us.
Given the lack of much political and diplomatic will to maneuver toward seeking an advisory opinion at The Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ), mounting a global offensive against the US scientist and the USPTO using the RAFI network was the only option available.
Domestically, I took to the Fourth Estate issues such as prior informed consent accusing those involved for adopting primitive inducement techniques for securing such consent. This is to arouse public opinion and views to support the international NGOs.
I had also found that the US scientific team together with their PNG counterpart produced little evidence of formal prior informed consent, admitting in the process the use of primitive 'inducement' techniques in deriving such consent. The NGO network exploited this to the fullest.
Locally based scientists fled the country, not after one of them was stopped in the get-away trail to produce documentation wanted by government relating to the so called study of the Hagahais.
My research further established that this known scientist had been named as a 'co inventor' of the cell line patent without the intelligent knowledge of the PNG Government, including the PNG Medical Research Council at that time, that had direct fiduciary duty to protect the Hagahai person.

*The writer is a former Foreign Service Officer and currently General Secretary Peoples National Congress Party

Next week: My people, my blood, my revelation



source: http://www.thenational.com.pg/083107/w5.htm
As the originator of this post brought up. The question of patenting is important. The patent should be for the benefit for both the institution that will us the HTLV I virus and the people of Hagahai. However the mechanism of infection for HTLV 1 is different to HIV. There are numerous works done on HTLV-1 - HIV-1 co-infection in the Americas, but whether the few viral proteins/structures can produce a vaccine that will elicit significant immune response to both giving significance to HTLV-1 in HIV vaccination is still to be seen. Workers the world over are now looking at an enzyme in the human host that restricts the two viruses, however, through different pathways... (see below)


article
APOBEC3G is a cellular cytidine deaminase that was recently identified as the Vif-sensitive antiviral host factor responsible for the restriction of vif-defective HIV-1 in primary human cells and certain non-permissive T cell lines. Inhibition of HIV-1 replication is thought to be the result of APOBEC3G-induced hypermutation of the viral genome that occurs early during reverse transcription. Against this backdrop is a new report from the Uchiyama laboratory that proposes deaminase-independent restriction of HTLV-1 by APOBEC3G (Sasada et al. Retrovirology 2005, 2:32). These findings combined with recent reports of deaminase-independent inhibition of Hepatitis B virus as well as HIV-1 suggest that cytidine deaminase activity and antiviral activity may be separable functional properties of APOBEC3G

APOBEC3G & HTLV-1: Inhibition without deamination
Klaus Strebelcorresponding author1
1Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, Viral Biochemistry Section; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH; Building 4, Room 310; 4 Center Drive, MSC 0460; Bethesda, MD 20892-0460, USA
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Klaus Strebel: kstrebel@niaid.nih.gov
Received May 18, 2005; Accepted May 29, 200
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Joined: April 23rd, 2009, 8:06 am

April 28th, 2009, 5:32 am #10

i'm still come to question the role of PNG Istitute of Medical Research in Papua New Guinea. To the present time, there is no tangible contribution from PNGIMR to the health and medical issues of the people of PNG.

Is PNGIMR is contributing to the welfare and medical improvement of the people of PNG, or for the interest for outside sources.

the issues of Hahagai people, is one of the very important issue and has to be taken seriously on. it all started with PNGIMR in the 1980s.

note: read the article published on the Weekend Column of The National

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The Hagahai controversy

In part two of a three part article DOMINI SENGI* talks about the controversy that arose in 1996 following the scurry act by PNG-based United States scientists then attached with the Goroka-based PNG Institute of Medical Research (PNGIMR) in whisking away by helicopter 'blood samples' drawn from a male Hagahai tribesman consigned for highly specialized genetic culture collection laboratories overseas.

The PNG Hagahai blood was somewhat of a novelty and enigma to geneticists, microbiologists and virologists alike. It had the chemical characteristics identified by science as HTLV-I (PNG-1). It was a retrovirus - viruses that cause slow death of its host over time. What further interests me was that it was a relative strain of the HIV/AIDS virus whose characteristic is known to science as HTLV-III. The symbol HTLV stands for Human T-cell Lymphotic Virus that lodge itself within the white blood cells and attack this blood producing cells of the human immune system.
I had by then inclined to think that given the relative similarities with the HTLV-III, certainly the Hagahai virus holds by all probability, some firm genetic or virological clues to solving the HIV/AIDs epidemic that was gripping the world of science and threatening human security around the world.
Furthermore, the Hagahai strain itself was isolated by none other than Dr Robert Gallo, who at that time was accused of scientific fraud by French scientists over claims he stole the HIV/AIDs virus and made it his own.
My search had indicated Dr Gallo, a noted virologists/microbiologist became what he is much to the tutelage of Nobel Laureate Dr Carlton Gajdusek who had a long association with the PNGIMR. Dr Gajdusek became world famous in the 1960s for discovering and isolating yet another PNG-based virus, the Kuru, a retrovirus of the brain that kills people slowly. Kuru is known for causing the 'laughing sickness' among the Fore tribe of the Eastern Highlands Province and other diseases of the brain.
I am of the firm belief that the Hagahai strain isolate and the mad rush to patent it without prior informed consent and knowledge of the Hagahai subject, the PNG Medical Research Council and Government had all the markings of bio-piracy by US scientific agents.
I had related the close connections and relations of the scientists and collaborating institutions to conspiracy theories doing their rounds in the Europe and the industrialized world in the early 80's relating HIV/AIDs virus as a biological warfare germ created at the Fort Detrick P4 Lab in 1977 thereabout as part of former US President Richard Nixon's Cold War weapons agenda.
An angle to this theory suggests the germ warfare was aimed at eliminating the black race off the surface of this earth through HIV/AIDS.
Retired East Berlin microbiologist Jacob Segal of Humbolt University wrote a report read throughout Eastern Europe and the West that claimed the AIDS virus was made at Fort Detrick from a deliberate mixture of visna and HTLV-I. Segal's assertion was publicly distributed at the 1986 Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement for which PNG is a member which convened in September in Harare, Zimbabwe.
According to Segal, he has but refused to reveal documents proving that US prisoners were injected with various experimental combinations of visna and HTLV-I until a perfect lethal form. HIV, he claims was indeed the perfect lethal form. Visna is a retrovirus found in sheep.
The Segal notion that AIDS was the result of a sinister CIA plot found favour in many quarters, particularly in African countries that felt unjustly targeted and blamed by mainly American scientists as the origin of AIDS.
Also in the US at the same frame of time, Dr Robert Strecker from Los Angeles gained a large following for his claim that AIDS virus was manufactured by crossing Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV) and Visna virus from animals into man to make the AIDS virus and growing it human tissue culture and that's AIDS causing cancer.
For me, there was in the US no body alive and expert than Carlton Gajdusek and his student Robert Gallo who have the scientific insight into how human-based latent retroviruses could jump the species barrier.
Indeed it was Gajdusek's ground-breaking scientific discovery in the 60s involving the experimentation using the kuru virus with that of monkeys and chimpanzees that proved the linchpin in science that viruses could now jump the species barrier thus, creating for the world of science a molecular model for sophisticated forms of cloning and genetic engineering that would then follow. I remain unfazed by counter-claims that such basic models hadn't yet been invented in 1977.
Certainly and if I was President Nixon, I wouldn't have been looking too far than Fort Detrick, Drs Gajdusek and Gallo and the Kuru virus to start my cold war germ warfare programme.
The fundamental question arises whether beginning with Gajdusek's kuru and linchpin discovery, President Nixon's Cold War Biological Weapons project, the Segal AIDS conspiracy theory, and the subsequent mad rush to marginalize the AIDS-out-of-Fort Detrick claims by the US Government, was the scurry and helicopter ride of the Hagahai virus out of the jungles of PNG justified given the relative similarities in the chemo-geneology of the Hagahai virus and the AIDS? Did both our viral representatives - kuru and the Hagahai - collectively have been the cause and effect of solving America's and the world's most fatal epidemic? I will leave these questions for all to ponder over in the meantime.
According to US Patent Laws, the isolation of the virus involved a 'scientific process' and hence, scientists involved in the process by rights were required by the USPTO regulations to name themselves as 'inventors' of the cell line, hence are therefore assigned legal rights to the virus and holders of the subsequent patent had it been granted.
At this point I came to appreciate the rush. For geneticists especially, a homogenous, freely evolving and intra-breeding group of people, not interbreeding with those outside their homogeneity is a 'gold mine'.
The application for granting of the US patent number 5,397,696 was already in queue and I found myself up against time. Through the assistance of the late Francis Zabala, a close African friend of mine who was then UPNG Computer system manager, I contacted biotechnology experts with the Canada-based Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), a non-governmental organization to assist with access to USPTO patent filing system using the US Freedom of Information Act for further data relating to the Hagahai virus patent application. PNG was late to lodge a formal protest during the preparatory stage of the patent application as there was no information before us.
Given the lack of much political and diplomatic will to maneuver toward seeking an advisory opinion at The Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ), mounting a global offensive against the US scientist and the USPTO using the RAFI network was the only option available.
Domestically, I took to the Fourth Estate issues such as prior informed consent accusing those involved for adopting primitive inducement techniques for securing such consent. This is to arouse public opinion and views to support the international NGOs.
I had also found that the US scientific team together with their PNG counterpart produced little evidence of formal prior informed consent, admitting in the process the use of primitive 'inducement' techniques in deriving such consent. The NGO network exploited this to the fullest.
Locally based scientists fled the country, not after one of them was stopped in the get-away trail to produce documentation wanted by government relating to the so called study of the Hagahais.
My research further established that this known scientist had been named as a 'co inventor' of the cell line patent without the intelligent knowledge of the PNG Government, including the PNG Medical Research Council at that time, that had direct fiduciary duty to protect the Hagahai person.

*The writer is a former Foreign Service Officer and currently General Secretary Peoples National Congress Party

Next week: My people, my blood, my revelation



source: http://www.thenational.com.pg/083107/w5.htm
On the question of the role of PNGIMR, perhaps a monthly update bulletin published in our daily's could be a start along with a weekly science program through the two TV stations (but that is the role of our defunct health department).

Yes PNGIMR must inform the people (ordinary citizens) on how this medical institute of the most learned in PNG is contributing to improving their lifestyles.

I am a believer of PNGIMR and hope they will improve their relationship with the people they are tasked to find cures for.

Then again.... there is this... ummm.... question of funding and finance.... that parliament allocates....

...oh well....
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