From VOA Learning English, this is the Health Report.
Researchers are hurrying to develop effective treatments and vaccines for Ebola. The disease has killed more than 4,500 people. Most of the victims lived in one of three West African countries - Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone.
In the United States, the government's process for approving new drugs can often take years. But treatments for Ebola are moving quickly through the approval process.
Before US government officials approve a new drug, researchers must perform detailed scientific tests, what are called clinical trials. The tests must be done on humanbeings to show that the experimental treatment is both safe and effective. These drug trials usually involve thousands of people and can take many years to complete.
But there are exceptions. Thomas Geisbert is a microbiologist at the University of Texas medical branch in Galveston. He says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can make an exception through what he calls its "animal rule." This enables researchers to get fast approval when faced with a deadly disease like the Ebola virus.
Mr Geisbert helped develop what is known as the VSV Ebola vaccine, this vaccine recently moved to human clinical trials at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland. The tests involve 20 healthy volunteers.
Mr Geisbert says that the animal rule requires only that scientists demonstrate that a treatment is effective in an animal model of human disease. This time, he says, the human model of disease was monkeys.
"In conjunction with that, you do a conventional phase one trial. That's just a study where you put a vaccine or treatment into a healthy human volunteer just to make sure that you know in normal, healthy people that your vaccine or drug does not cause any disease or serious adverse event," Geisbert said.
Another experimental drug called zMapp went straight from the laboratory to Ebola patients. The Food and Drug Administration also bypassed human safety trials to treat a handful of patients in the United States.
Many researchers are hard at work to develop effective treatments and vaccines for Ebola. Canadian researchers made the VSV vaccine, which is now being tested in Maryland. The British drug company GlaxoSmithKline has made another promising but experimental vaccine.
The safety of that vaccine is currently being tested in Mali. The West African nation shares a border with Guinea, where the virus has infected many people. As of now, no Ebola cases have been reported in Mali.
Researchers say, the promising vaccine will move into a more advanced human testing early next year. They will use these tests to show if the vaccine is safe for human use.
1.microbiologist n. 微生物学家
Microbiologist Hugh Pennington says learning that quickly absolutely crucial.
2.conjunction n. 结合；[语] 连接词；同时发生
Textbooks are designed to be used in conjunction with classroom teaching.
3.adverse adj. 不利的；相反的；敌对的（名词adverseness，副词adversely）
The police said Mr. Hadfield's decision would have no adverse effect on the progress of the investigation.
1.He says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can make an exception through what he calls its "animal rule."
make an exception 例外，破例
We shall make an exception of your case.
We can make an exception in this case.
在美国政府官员批准一项新药物之前，研究者必须进行详细的科学测试，也就是临床试验。这种试验必须在人类身上做，以表明实验药物是安全且有效的 。这种药物试验通常需要数千人参与，需要几年才能完成 。