Sunday, November 20, 2011

2000AD Prog 1761 - A medical review

Continuing on from my previous post let's look at Prog 1761 and the medical details in part three of the Judge Dredd story, The Assassination List.

Again, written by John Wagner,  with art by Leigh Gallagher and Chris Blythe, and letters by Annie Parkhouse. Things are building up nicely. Thanks to a pre-cognitive Psi Judge, Dredd and the Council of Five have some inkling of what the Sov Judges are planning. They know they have the kidnapped scientist and are forcing him to produce a biological agent. One of the Mega-City Judges refers to it as a "Chaos Virus". I hope that there isn't going to be any confusion between a virus and a protozoa. To be fair Dredd and his colleagues don't know the exact nature of the organism that is being developed against them. So calling it a virus is not necessarily wrong at this stage.

Meanwhile, Judge Beeny pays a visit to another scientist and discusses his work with something called Phages.

Once again John Wagner gets his science right, Bacteriophages are indeed viruses that infect bacteria by injecting pieces of RNA or DNA into their genetic material. I remember been fascinated by them at medical school, particularly because their structure resembles the Apollo lunar module. Phages have been used to treat bacterial infections, so the hint that they might be of use in a threatened biological attack is a good one. The professor would need to modify his phages to attack Toxoplasma Gondii but that may be possible by the year 2132. In real life the main research and use of Phage therapy has always been in Russia, so the idea of Mega-City One using it to defend against a Sov-Judge attack would be a neat reversal.

Using the correct terms gets this story another 4 out of 5 rating. The story is gathering pace as the Day of Chaos approaches.

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