Anda di halaman 1dari 2
Figure | Titar’ssouthpolarcloud. The cloud rss above the winter darkness of Titaris southern poleand catches the gli of sunlight DeKokefal find that thie spnning cloud which completes an orbit in hours — much faster than Tuas 15-day obit— composed ofkdrogen «gid. This orbital period signals the formation bf polar vortex asthe southern pole ener ino winter darkness" The image taken by the Cassink spscecrafs Imaging Sabsysten, scented near the south poleand exends over distance of bus 1000 kilometres, Inorganic lkesand puddles, with soup base ofmethane and ethane (C.L1) that resembles natural gas, As these nitrogen-bearing mo! ecules diffuse downward, they are steered towards Titans winter pole by atmosphere cr culation’. Here they enter cooler regions and condense into cloudsat different atmospheric layers, depending on their diferent thermo dynamic properties, Two distinet kinds of loud cap the winter pole, both identified from measurements ‘made by Cassinis Visual and lafeared Ma ping Spectrometer: one at 55 km al ‘which isconsistent with aC,H, composition" and one at 300 km, found by de Kak and col- Teagues to be made of HCN. These stacked clouds, composed of the most abundant ailrogen and carbon photochemical species, trackseasonally with the winter pol, An HCN cloud was previously identified above Titan's north pole a the end ofthe northern winter, and the C,H, cloud has vanished from this region in preparation for its southerly migra tion forthe winter" The winter poleon Titan isa peculiar place Here the atmosphere radiatively eools dur ing winter's darkness, triggering a suite of dynamical atmospheric responses. As dis: cussed by de Kok and colleagues, the polar jemperature is regulated by the intertwined effects of atmospheric chemistry, radiation and dynamics, which control the atmos: heres absorption and emission of radiation, ‘nd the compression, expansion and mixing of Titan’ gases. A potential explanation for the polar HCN clouds is that they form from process known as open-cell convection, in which cool, dense air sinks and warms slightly while the surrounding air rises and coals, thereby forming clouds (Fig. 1). The cool polar atmosphere also contrasts with the warmer lower latitudes. The resulting decrease in temperature with increasing latitude affects the atmosphere’ pressure structure, which, when combined with Titans spin, implies cicumpolar winds that come moce strongly westerly with altitude’, Titans atmospheric polar vortex, witnessed by the rapid spin of the south polar HCN cloud, isolates the polar air from the rest of the atmosphere allowing the pole tocool further. ‘The presence of clouds spinning in a vortex can thus naturally emerge ata winter pole However the detailed operations of Titan's ‘winter pole, such as the seasonal evolution of the chemistry and temperature at 300 km altitude, are complicated and far from understood’. Better grasped is Barth’ polar atmosphere, where the winter polarvortexisa repository of unique composition and clouds TThe polar chemistry evolves from winter to spring with the production and loss of many molecular species that ultimately control the polar ozone abundances. Laboratory simulations suggest that the photochemistry in Titans atmosphere pro duces amino acids and nucleotide bases How farthe chemistry evolvesia Titals upper atmosphere is unclear, and would probably require detailed in situ sampling ofthe upper MEDICAL RESEARCH News & Views [SS atmosphere. However, further understanding of Titans organic chemistry will entail studies foftheabundance, phase and particulate com= position ofthe main nitrogen photochemical product, which affects the overall nitrogen chemistry. The presence of an HCN mal strom opens investigations into.a new avenue ofplanetary satelite organic chemistry — that cof a cold and dark polar vortex stocked with aitrogen and methane photolysis products, which are typical of Titan and, perhaps, of carly Ear Caitlin A. Griffith isin the Department of Planetary Sciences, University of Arizona, Tueson, Arizona 8521-0092, USA. e-mail grifithepLarizonaed 1. Whst R.A, tal Abst 308.03 (AAS/Desion or Panetary Soeees Mastrg Abstats 04, 2013). 2. GeRok RJ. stl Notwe S14, 65-67 (2018) 4. Crukehanic © oft are $4, 345-953 1901, 4 Lavon Gri, A Yl, fers 238, 732-750(2011}. 5 Vina Seta ears (xbmc) 8 Tren MGs etal Pos Na ead Sl USA 203, 18035-18042 (2006), 7. Yura YL, Alen M8 PoP Ast 55, 465-805 1080, 8 Crk RN. otal! Goophs. Res Panets 115, 10008 (2010) 9, Rannou, Py ladon S. Houcn FL, 0. Ad Space ies 36, 2154-2159 (2005) ifthe Spence 313, 1620-1622 2006) 1 Le Mouse etal net Space Se 60, 86°92 coi 12Fiasor FM, &tehtrberg RK. Ph Tans RS. 367, 640-664(2009, HorceS Metal Asbitoy 12, 809-817 (2012) {tp ipotgjouralpinassapvietalog/PALAS20 ys. Sapp Ebola therapy protects - severely ill monkeys Ablend of three monoclonal antibodies| has completely protected monkeys against a lethal dose of Ebola virus, Unlike other post-infection therapies, the treatment works even at advanced stages of the disease. SEE ARTICLE R47 THOMAS W. GEISBERT he filoviruses known as Ehola virus ind Marburg virus are among the ‘most deaelly of pathogens, with fatal ity ratesof up to 90% (ref, 1). Early this yea, a new strain of the Zaire species of Ebola virus emerged” in the West Alrican coun: try of Guinea and quickly spread to Libe ria, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, The outbreak persists despite the best efforts of local and {international authorities, and is now the larg est flovirus outbreak on recoed, with no end {in sight, There are no licensed vaccines oF post-exposure treatments against Ebola, so ‘moving the most promising interventions forward is a matter of utmost urgency. On page 47 ofthis issue, Qiu et al- report that rhesus monkeys can he completely protected from lethal Ebola infection using ZMapp — a blend of three monoclonal antibodies. Crucially, the treatment protected monkeys even when twas administered aslate days ater exposure tothe virus, ata time ‘when the animals were severly ill Since the discovery of Ebola virus (Pig. 1) in 1976, researchers have been actively devel ‘oping teatments to combat infection. Studies GESZUTan News & views Figure |The Ebola virus lover the past decade have found that mo. lators of blood coagulation’ oligonucleotide called AVI-6002 ( 6) and vaccine” based on vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)allaflorded partial protection of moa. keys against Ebola when administered within an hour of virus exposure, The VSV-based vaccine was used in 2009 to real laboratory \workerin Germany shortly after she was acc dentally pricked with a needle possibly con. taminated by an Pbola-infected animal". The \worker survived but it is unclear whether was because she had not been exposed to Ebola ‘orlbecause the vaccine protected her Subsequent advances have been made in developing treatments that can complete! protect monkeys against Ebola, These include smal ‘interfering’ RNAs (known as TKM- Ebola!) and various combinations of anti bodies!™". But these treatments need to be administered within 2 days of exposure to the virus. So although these approaches were highly important and can be used to treat known exposures, the need for treatments that protect at ate times after infection was paramount Further development and improvement of the antibody-based strategies led to a cocktail of monoclonal at pro tected 43% of monkeys when given as ateas days alter Ebola exposure —a timeat which the clinical sof disease are ap} Another therapy that combines monoclonal antibodies with interferon-a (a protein tha Stimulates an antiviral response) provides almost complete protection of macaques when ven 3 daysafier exposure" at which point 1 the virus canbe detected but clinical signs are ‘only just beginning to he seen in some animals Qiu etal now report ZMapp, an antibody therapy that does not require interferon-a, an which was developed by two collabora team of researchers who had worked on of the previously reported antibody treat ments. ZMapp was different combinations of bodies (in which fa iesareattached t leby testn macric monoclonal ant nents of human antibod ‘body fragments from ‘mice), The optimal formulation contains two antibodies from a previously reported blend’ anda third from a different cocktail’ To test the therapy, Qiu ef al administered lethal dase of Ebola virus to three groups of and then treated them with three doses of ZMapp. therapy at 3, and 9 days post-infection; the second group at, 7and 10 days;and the third oupal 5,8 and 11 days, Remarkably. all the first group received animals survived, and were found to have undetectable viral loads by 21 da tion, It should be noted that the authors used the Kikwit variant of the virus n these experi ‘ments, because the Guinean strain from the rent West African ouibreak was not aval after inkze able in time for this part oftheir study. How. ever they went on to show that ZMapp inhibits replication ofthe Guinean strain cell culture The development of Z3 in treating monkeys tar Eholainfetion (On this basis th the current Ebola oxtbreak to treat several fapp and its success sdvanced stage of a monumental achievement reatment hasbeen used in patientson compassionate grounds" Of these, ‘ovo US health-care workers have recovered = but whether ZMapp had any effect is § unkown, because atthe time of writing, about 45% ofpaliensin thisoutbeeaksurvive without 2 treatment Asof 26 August, two othe patients § teeated with ZMapp have not survived, but this bt be because the treatment was initiated twolatein the course ofthe disease The diversity of strains and species of Bbola and Marburg viruses remain an obstacle forall candidate treatments, Lethal disease in humans is caused by three dif ferent species of Ebola virus (Sudan, Bundibugyo and Zaire) and two geneti cally distinct lineages of Marburg virus. Treatments that protect against one species of Ebola — Zaire, in the ease of ZMapp will probably not protect against a differen species ofthe virus, and might not protect ina different strain within effective way to manage and control future ‘uibreaks might be through preventive vac cines, some of which have been tailored to protect against multiple species and strains During outbreaks single-injction vaccines are needed to ensure rapid use and protection. Al Jeast five preventive vaccines have been shown, to completely protect monkeys against Ebola and Marbnng infection” hit only VSV-based vaecineshave been reported completely pr tect monkeys against hola (Zaire) virus alter single injection” — notably, the wild-type virus, rather than a cultured variant that has alsobeen used in research, and which produces slower disease progression in macaques body th other strat. egies mentioned here should ultimately be ‘cluded in an arsenal of interventions for controlling future Hola outbreaks, Although ‘Zapp inparticular has een adm compassionate use, the next cr pies and se ep to formally asses its safety and effectiveness Testing the latter is leary dificult, because intentional infection of human subjects ncn caltrials isnot possible. US regulations, how ever, could allow the treatment tobe licensed for widespread use on the basisof safety in humansand efficacy testing in animals. In ran, the manufacture of ZMapp could require investment in infrastructure for making monoclonal antibodies at an industrial scale unding isavailable to production costs. ‘Thomas W. Geisbert is at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston National Labo Texas 77350-0610, USA e-mails rygeisbe@utmbedie : Galveston, 2 ees