Talk:Eosinophilia–myalgia syndrome

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Genetic engineering[edit]

First, the specific bacterial culture used to synthesise this tryptophan had recently been genetically engineered to greatly increase tryptophan production.

Can somebody explain why is this considered part of the "improper preparation" of the culture? This sentences simply doesn't make sense in its current context. Genetic engineering is an essential part of the preparation of bacterial lines for the production of a biochemical, and is done for thousands of commercial and medical products. Hoes does the author propose the bacteria were going to produce a commercially viable quantity of the product otherwise? Joe D (t) 20:27, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

  • Good question and I agree that much of the history section of this article is misleading. The whole EMS episode is greatly confusing and to this date, a definitive explanation of what caused the outbreak has not been found. One theory is that a minor impurity in the production of tryptophan caused the disease and furthermore some of the proposed impurities where dimeric in structure (formed by a chemical reaction between two molecules of tryptophan). It is conceivable that higher concentrations of tryptophan produced in the bioreactor could have resulted in significantly higher production of tryptophan impurities, particularly dimeric impurities. In short, it is unlikely that genetically engineered cells would have directly lead to the impurities, but rather the impurities may have arisen from higher concentrations of tryptophan produced during the fermentation. But again, this has never been proven and therefore criticism of the GM industry over this incident is in my view is unwarranted. Also as stated in the article, the disease may have been caused by consumption of excessive quantities of tryptophan made possible by a cheap and plentiful supply. If this is true, the dietary supplement industry would certainly be to blame and the FDA would be fully justified in banning the sale of tryptophan supplements. Boghog2 21:59, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree with the comments above that much of the history section of this article is misleading, especially the phrase "improper preparation." This Wikipedia entry lacks many important details, such as the clinical features of the disease. I recommend that the article be revised by a physician or research scientist to include a more objective accounting of the history of the disease, as well as a more detailed description of the clinical aspects of EMS. Csu-am (talk) 22:42, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Changed wording: "improper preparation" -> "modifed procedures." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Csu-am (talkcontribs) 06:49, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

More on syndrome?[edit]

Is anything more known about the disease? Except for the lead paragraph the article is excusively speculation about the association with tryptophan. What are the symptoms, the treatment, etc? (talk) 20:23, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Up to date research[edit]

I am starting an article on the topic for journal publication. I would also like to update the Wikipedia entry. Does anyone wish to help me. - Carl Royalhistorian (talk) 23:13, 22 April 2012 (UTC)