Thursday, 16 July 2009

Abstract: Recent data proposing an extremely small, self-replicating agent termed "nanobacteria" has raised a great deal of controversy within the scientific community. Since these agents have been isolated within the genitourinary tract, much research has focused attention on the potential role these particles may play in the development of urologic pathology, including polycystic kidney disease, renal calculi, and chronic prostatitis. Recent clinical research targeting these agents has proven effective in treating some patients with refractory category III prostatitis (chronic pelvic pain syndrome). This article reviews the current state of nanobacteria research and explore where these particles may impact urologic disease

At the present time the genus nanobacterium and the type species Nanobacterium sanguineum have no formal inclusion in the List of Bacterial Names with Standing in Nomenclature.

From the present study it is concluded by the author that the putative organism Nanobacterium sanguineum does not represent a free-living biological entity but is, instead, a microcrystalline form of hydroxyapatite complexed with exogeneous biological macromolecules, including DNA and protein.

The first problem which I identified was the very small size of the organism. Its size is only about 1/100th to 1/1000th the size of conventional bacteria at 20nm. It is worth noting that this happens also to be the standard size of commercially produced hydroxyapatite nanocrystals.

It has been stated that Nanobacterium are unique in that they can develop a calcium apatite cell wall, forming an enclosure around the organism. Considering the size of the hydroxyapatite ‘wall’ it is even more difficult to see how a living organism can be within such a small structure.

Whilst it may be possible to hypothesise a minimal cell size of a 50nm sphere for a living, replicating single biopolymer system (i.e. one in which the nucleic acid is both catalytic and genetic), a two biopolymer system (i.e. one with nucleic acid together with proteins/enzymes) would have to be 5-10 times the volume. Clearly, on this basis, Nanobacterium sanguineum could not reasonably represent a living, replicating organism, a view also shared by Ferris and others.

Interestingly, an earlier study by Ruzicka in 1983 identified what he believed to be a very small bacteria isolated from peripheral blood which he called Basoplasma sanguineum. These very small organisms had a mean diameter of 0.25┬Ám, some of which he purported to have a cell wall whilst others were cell wall deficient. He now believes that his organism and the putative Nanobacterium are one and the same.

Late in the review process two key published documents were identified which also cast very serious doubts on the interpretation that these microcrystalline bodies are indeed living organisms. Thus, Cisar et al published a critical paper in October 2000 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in which they dispute the earlier findings of Kajander and Ciftcioglu. One of the key scientific findings from this study was that the 16S rDNA sequences previously ascribed to Nanobacterium sanguineum were found to be indistinguishable from those of an environmental microorganism, Phyllobacterium mysinascearum. More recently, Cranton published an Internet article in which he demonstrated that the alleged Nanobacteria do not cause calcification of arterial plaque.

This leads to the obvious conclusion that the particles identified as the living organism Nanobacterium sanguineum are in fact non-living but self-generating inorganic particles of hydroxyapatite which have been complexed with nucleic acids, proteins and other ionic biomolecules. It has been demonstrated that organic materials have key roles as nucleating surfaces, so triggering crystal growth in the biomineralisation of apatite, in addition to modulating and finally inhibiting the process. In this context it is worth noting that crystal growth is enhanced in low gravitational environments and this may help to explain why astronauts returning to earth are prone to calcific atherosclerosis.

Physical, chemical, and mineralogical characterization of carbonate-hydroxyapatite concretions of the human pineal gland:

Physical, chemical, and mineralogical investigations of mineral concretions found in the human pineal gland were performed by means of optical microscopy and modern techniques of analytical electron microscopy and x-ray powder diffraction (OM, SEM + EDS, TEM + EDS, XRD).

The mineral concretions were found to be nano-crystalline carbonate-hydroxyapatite with a mean Ca/P molar ratio equal to 1.65, very close to the theoretical value of 1.67.

Dental plaque is a general term for the diverse microbial community (predominantly bacteria) found on the tooth surface, embedded in a matrix of polymers of bacterial and salivary origin. Plaque develops naturally on teeth, and forms part of the defence systems of the host by helping to prevent colonisation of enamel by exogenous (and often pathogenic) microorganisms (colonisation resistance).

Plaque is an example of a biofilm; current research is showing that the properties of bacteria associated with a surface in a biofilm can be markedly different than those of the same cells growing in liquid broth (planktonic cells). Plaque is found preferentially at protected and stagnant surfaces, and these are at the greatest risk of disease.

Calcium supplement from young bovine bones typically containing 24% calcium together with many other minerals and trace minerals naturally complexed in collagen.

With a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1 Cocal Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite is considered an ideal supplement for healthy bones and teeth and is utilised worldwide in tablets, capsules and formulated nutritional products.

Hydroxylapatite is the major component of tooth enamel. A relatively rare form of apatite in which most of the OH groups are absent and containing many carbonate and acid phosphate substitutions is a large component of bone material.

The primary use of apatite is in the manufacture of fertilizer - it is a source of phosphorus. It is occasionally used as a gemstone.

In a region of the world known as Hunzaland, dental disease doesn't exist. Not a single dentist lives there. The people there use no toothpaste, no toothbrushes, and receive no Fluoride treatments. The old folks keep their teeth all their life. Dentures are a curiosity. The children have perfect teeth and healthy gums. The babies suffer no pain or irritation when teething. Sweets, candy, ice cream, and soft drinks are not ingested. Their diet is chiefly fresh raw fruits and vegetables.

Tooth decay does not occur if the calcium and phosphorus minerals are in proper balance in the body, along with other needed nutrients. The teeth are made primarily of calcium, and phosphorus is needed in specific amounts to help use this calcium. If too much phosphorus is present in the diet, or if the foods eaten are high in acidic residues, then a calcium loss can occur in the body and weaken the teeth.

Some of the worst high phosphorus foods are meat and grains. People on a grain-based diet or a high-meat diet often exhibit a large amount of dental decay. Carnivores who eat both the organ meat and bone marrow of their prey get a correct balance of phosphorus and calcium since the bones are high in calcium. Humans, however, eat only the minerally-poor muscle meats which disrupt the calcium-phosphorus ratio.

The lens is composed mainly of tightly packed "ribbon-like" cells, lens fibers, which contain unusually large amounts of proteins. As they mature, lens fiber cells loose their nuclei and mitochondria, thereby reducing light scatter in this transparent tissue.

Cells are never lost from the lens, and so an elderly person carries fiber cells in the lens that date back to the time before birth. To retain cells throughout life is a remarkable feat that has fascinated many investigators, some of whom have speculated that the preservation mechanism may be linked to the high ascorbic acid content in the interior of the human eye.

The lens is bathed on the anterior surface with aqueous humor, and on the posterior surface with vitreous humor. Except in nocturnal animals, both these fluids have a high ascorbic acid concentration (McGathan 1985) In many species the lens has an even higher concentration of ascorbic acid (Varma and Richards, 1988) although the concentration may diminish with age.
--Taken from the book Ascorbic acid By James R. Harris

Ascorbic acid is a sugar acid with antioxidant properties. Its appearance is white to light-yellow crystals or powder, and it is water-soluble. One form of ascorbic acid is commonly known as vitamin C.

Ascorbic acid is easily oxidized and so is used as a reductant in photographic developer solutions (among others) and as a preservative.

Exposure to oxygen, metals, light, and heat destroys ascorbic acid, so it must be stored in a dark, cold, and non-metallic container.

Three aging parameters in the lens have been described by Lerman (1983): generation of a series of fluorescent chromophores absorbing at increasingly longer wavelengths than tryptophan, a deeping of yellow coloration in the nucleus, and a progressive cross-linking and insolubilization of lens crystallins by fluorescent pigments.

The level of fluorogens (UV-absorbing chromophores) is relatively low in normal lennses below 10 years of age, but there is a steady increase in these substances, especially in the nucleus, as the lens ages.
--Taken from the book Biochemistry of the eye By Elaine R. Berman

Nuclear and cortical cataracts involve the opacification of mature fibre cells. However, mature fibre cells cannot be maintained outside of the lens for more than a few minutes before they disintergrate from an influx of calcium ions (Srivastava et al, 1997).

It is often stated that the human lens is exposed to numerous enviromental stresses throughout life, especially oxidative stress. In our opinion, the opposite is closer to the truth. The human lens exists in an enviroment that protects it from many kinds of damage, especially oxidative stress.

Fluids that surround the lens have levels of oxygen that would be severly hypoxic for most cells. As a result, oxygen levels within the human lens are extremely low, minimizing the possibility that molecular oxygen will participate in oxidative damage (McNulty et al, 2004).

The ascorbic acid in aqueous humor readily reacts with molecular oxygen to produce hydrogen peroxide when the levels of oxygen are substantially above most found in vivo (Spector et al, 1998).
--Taken from the book Ocular Therapeutics By Thomas Yorio, Abbott Clark, Martin B. Wax

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