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Lead researcher of Ebola serum explains treatment, trials




An ambulance departs Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Ga., Saturday. Officials at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta say an American who was infected with the Ebola virus was to be transported there Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.
An ambulance departs Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Ga., Saturday. Officials at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta say an American who was infected with the Ebola virus was to be transported there Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.
Mike Stewart/AP

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The two American aid workers infected with the Ebola virus have taken an experimental drug called Zmapp. The serum is a cocktail of antibodies conceived by a consortium of researchers and companies - public and private - funded by a $28 million grant from the National Institute of Health.

The drug had only been tested on animals, and was not ready for human trials. However, the growing outbreak in Western Africa spurred the Centers for Disease Control to compel the drug makers to use its small sample of doses on the ailing Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol.

How is Zmapp made? Why aren't there more doses? What if it seems to help recovery of Brantly and Writebol? Will the drug be sent to African countries?

Guest:

Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D., Lead researcher on NIH-funded consortium for Ebola treatment research; Professor, Department of Immunology & Microbial Science, The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI)