Ebola/Marburg

W. Bruce LeFebvre STUDley at ix.netcom.com
Sat Dec 23 13:16:54 EST 1995


I have just read Richard Preston's book "The Hot Zone" which gives a 
history of what is known of the Ebola virus and the investigations that 
were made in Kitum Cave near Mt. Elgon in Africa.

I am not a research scientist, however, I am struck by the similarities 
of what happens to a victim of Ebola or Marburg.  They seem to "dissolve"
internally into a primordial soup of nutrients.

Isn't this exactly what happens when a spider injects its venom into prey 
or an attacker?  Usually they're insects that have gotten into any 
particular spider's trap (web) and the spider bites it and then waits for 
the venom to perform its duties.  This, of course, happens in nature and 
everyone accepts it.  What happens, however, when the particular enzyme 
in a spider's venom somehow attaches itself to the DNA of one of its 
native viruses?  Perhaps in response to a change in the availability of 
its historic prey wherein it is forced to feed on larger prey which needs 
a vehicle in order to liquify its victims.

While I realize a great effort was made to identify the host agent for 
the viruses, no one seemed to suggest the similarity between spider 
feeding methods and the "crash and bleedout" response of victims of 
Marburg and Ebola. The most obvious similarity to me is the fact that
when the disease has advanced to the terminal stage, the victim's 
connective tissue seems to dissolve and there is no "glue" to hold the 
internal organs together.  Isn't this what happens to spider prey so the 
spider can drink the soup of nutrients from its victims?

It can't be that the collective scientific world hasn't thought of this.
How come I've never read anything about it?




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