Silver Nanoparticles, Ebola Cure Or Elaborate Hoax?

Silver Nanoparticles, Ebola Cure Or Elaborate Hoax?

Thanks to a reader’s comment we were made aware of an article that says its an official US Air Force medical study that indicates silver nanoparticles can cure Ebola.  This article is a PDF and looks very official.  Yet it has a strange name for the agency.

711th Human Performance Wing

Air Force Research Laboratory, and US Government’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DFRA, Defense Department)


That sounds strange, so we checked it out.  

Applied Biotechnology Branch, Human Effectiveness Directorate, 711th Human Performance Wing, Air Force Research Laboratory (711 HPW/RHPB), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (AFB), Area B, R ST, Bldg 837, Dayton, OH 45433-5707, USA   Its Real!

And here is a government link to a study by them about Silver Nanoparticles:     Here is part of the article:

Silver and Gold Nanoparticles Alter Cathepsin Activity In vitro

Janice L Speshock, Laura K Braydich-Stolle, […], and Saber M Hussain

Additional article information


Nanomaterials are being incorporated into many biological applications for use as therapeutics, sensors, or labels. Silver nanomaterials are being utilized for biological implants and wound dressings as an antiviral material, whereas gold nanomaterials are being used as biological labels or sensors due to their surface properties and biocompatibility. Cytotoxicity data of these materials are becoming more prevalent; however, little research has been performed to understand how the introduction of these materials into cells affects cellular processes. Here, we demonstrate the impact that silver and gold nanoparticles have on cathepsin activity in vitro. Cathepsins are important cellular proteases that are imperative for proper immune system function.

Janice L Speshock is one of the same persons on the suspect Ebola cure PDF making the rounds on the internet.  The link is on a silver site, not a government site:

Novel Nanotechnology-Based Antiviral Agents:  Janice Speshock, Ph.D. Saber Hussain, Ph.D.

Applied Biotechnology Branch

711th Human Performance Wing

Air Force Research Laboratory

Silver nanoparticle neutralization of hemorrhagic fever viruses

Bulk and Nano Silver have been shown to inhibit enzyme activity.

• Silver binds readily to thiol groups.

• Cathepsin B has been shown to have an essential role in Ebola virus replication.

• Cathepsin L has an accessory role in Ebola virus replication.

And this PDF on the silver site has the official seal and pictures of the doctors, etc.   But does this same “study” exist on any government site?  The other studies by the same doctor and organization do exist on government websites.     That should not be hard to find out.  Lets take “Cathepsin B has been shown to have an essential role in Ebola virus replication” and search Google for it and the word “.gov”


We find the suspect article on the silver website, and we do NOT find it on a government site.  However on a government site we find a study that says the opposite!

Cathepsin B & L Are Not Required for Ebola Virus Replication

Andrea Marzi, Thomas Reinheckel, and Heinz Feldmann

Additional article information


Ebola virus (EBOV), family Filoviridae, emerged in 1976 on the African continent. Since then it caused several outbreaks of viral hemorrhagic fever in humans with case fatality rates up to 90% and remains a serious Public Health concern and biothreat pathogen. The most pathogenic and best-studied species is Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV). EBOV encodes one viral surface glycoprotein (GP), which is essential for replication, a determinant of pathogenicity and an important immunogen. —

This indicates that a real report was copied and altered to create a hoax, that the supposed Air Force study that supposedly says silver nanoparticles cure Ebola, is a fabrication.

But There is more!  A University of Michigan website accepts the Ebola cure article as real:

And it even puts in a link to the same suspect PDF study on another website:

Wow what a mystery!    This is a life and death issue and no where is there a link we can find to supposed government study that is actually on a government site.  Yet we can find many articles by the same authors and for the same agency on government sites.

Why has only AUN-TV noticed this?

Lets give the benefit of the doubt that the silver/Ebola article is real and the US government is trying to suppress it for whatever their motives. 

How did the silver websites ever find it?

Why are they not claiming it has been censored by the government and used to be at web address so and so?

Such things have been done.   Snopes and other sites ridiculed anyone that doubted that Barack Obama had been born at Queens Hospital in Honolulu by Dr. Rodney Strong, and the Obama White House went along with that.   Then it ended up that Dr. Strong completely retired years before Obama’s birth.  So Snopes quietly scrubbed that from their website.  Then Obama released his suspect birth certificate that said he was born at the other Honolulu hospital, Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and ChildrenSo now Snopes ridicules anyone that does not believe Obama was born at a different hospital and by a different doctor (Dr. David Sinclair) than the ones Snopes confidently told us was the case in the past.  There are copies of those original addresses and webpages, you can see them here:  This past event makes all Snopes articles suspect.

No such claims are being made about this silver/Ebola study.  There is no dead link to government site, no paper trial to a government source, no copy of an old webpage.    If someone can find evidence this silver/Ebola study has ever come from the source it claims to be from, please post it here in comments. Also of note is the claim it is “declassified”.  There is no reason for it to ever be classified and the rest of similar reports by same people were never classified. Note another name for silver nanoparticles is colloidal silver.  There could be a financial incentive operating here, to sell colloidal silver by touting this suspect article.

The majority of the evidence indicates this is an elaborate hoax.   We hope that is not the case, please post any evidence to the contrary in the Comments box below.

Update 10-22-2014: The suspected article is not listed as a publication of  JL Speshock. Below is her list on her webpage.  AUN-TV will contact her about this matter and update our readers.


  • Speshock, JL, LK Braydich-Stolle, ER Szymanski, and SM Hussain.  “Silver and Gold Nanoparticles Alter Cathepsin Activity In vitro.”  Nanoscale Research Letters, 6:17, 2011.
  • Speshock, JL, RC Murdock, LK Braydich-Stolle, AM Schrand, and SM Hussain.  “Interaction of silver nanoparticles with tacaribe virus.”  J. of Nanobiotechnology, 8:19, 2010.
  • Braydich-Stolle LK, JL Speshock, A Castle, M Smith, and S Hussain.  “Nano-sized Aluminum Suppressed Immune Function.”  ACS Nano, 4(7): 3661-3670, 2010.
  • Rogers, JV, CV Parkinson, YW Choi, JL Speshock, and SM Hussain. “A preliminary assessment of silver-containing nanoparticles inhibiting monkeypox virus plaque formation in vitro.  Nanoscale Research Letters, 3: 129-133, 2008.
  • Speshock, JL, N Doyon-Reale, R Rabah, MN Neely, and PC Roberts. “Filamentous influenza A virus infection predisposes mice to fatal septicemia following superinfection with Streptococcus pneumoniae (serotype 3).  Infection and Immunity, 75: 3102-3111, 2007.


  1. Most interesting. To say ELABORATE is understatement. I followed your links and tried to find it on NIH or .gov site and could not. This appears to be a marketing ploy. It appears they took half of a report and rewrote the other half, amazing. Thanks for the info and links. Colloidal silver works for some things but best I could tell this report was never real.

  2. BTW your info on was an eyeopener for me, never knew that.

    It appears Snopes did not care what was true or not, just what supported the “Establishment” view

  3. @Palmdale John Where can I find more information about “rewrote the other half”?

    It looks like the (alleged?) authors have several papers on the subject matter:

    • Hi Nah,

      It is right in the article above. As you note they have written on similar subjects, just not using Silver for Ebola.

      So it appears “they” whoever is trying to sell silver as a cure, took other articles such as link here, and cut and pasted and rewrote one with the offical seal etc., and created a fake report. If you do string search on any sentence in the silver cure PDF in Google, and it only shows up as that article on silver sites, not .gov sites.

      This one talks about same subjects but says opposite. (Cathepsin B & L Are Not Required for Ebola Virus Replication) If you read the article here carefully, and follow each of the links, you will see it appears to be fabrication using real people and general concepts from other papers.

  4. Just because you cannot find the actual DOD site does not by any means support a notion that the study doesn’t exist and I believe you know that. I have a government document about real property, Nevada and the US Government. I’ll give you the title if you want and you can get it… or not!

    I found this below link to be a very good article that mostly expresses my view on whether nano silver is… or isn’t effective in killing Ebola. And my final opinion is Dr. Rima is giving it away, just e-mail her and she’ll send it. So really (to quote Hillary) what difference does it make? And what if it does work? And it is cheap and has no side affects. Are you happy waiting for a very expensive vaccine?

    Its particles are smaller and colloidal silver and have many amazing health benefits. She was specific about 10ppm. She was specific that 20 to 50ppm doesn’t work as well. There are people that make nano silver with as many as 70ppm.

    My question, why is everyone treating the idea that this most likely works since the Gov is coming down HARD on ANYONE promoting this.

    Personally I believe the good doctor that wrote this article knows a little more than he has revealed.

    • Hi Tuaca,

      As you can tell we read comments here. We did investigation based on your comment. Whether colloidal silver is a good or bad is separate issue. It is an anti-bacterial agent, that is known.

      But what we were looking for was is this the report it claims to be? It does not from what we can find, even though authors exist and org exists.

      We will try emailing the author to see what she says.

    • Read summation of it. Have a call and email into the lead author, she has not responded yet. She does not list on her site that she ever wrote the suspect one. But this one she did write.

  5. Tuaca, on other story wrote: OK Dana here ya go on DOD’s DTRA report Nano Silver and Ebola

    Reply: Hi Tuaca, Yes that is the report in question, but it is on a silver site, not the site of the authors or who they did the report for. I have called and emailed Janice, the author, she has not got back to me. She also lists her papers on her website, but that one is not on the list. She does research on silver as a medical agent, but so far the evidence does not show that report was written by her.


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