All posts tagged with disease

Link: Saiga deaths linked to microbes

less than 1 minute read

Carl Zimmer reports on some of the work being done to understand the extreme die-offs of saiga antelopes in Central Asia: “More Than Half of Entire Species o...

The fight against drug-resistant malaria

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Ed Yong, writing for the new Wellcome Trust-sponsored science publication, Mosaic, has gone to Thailand to follow the development of artemisin-resistant mala...

XMRV saga develops

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John Timmer’s reporting on the rise and fall of the hypothesis that XMRV causes chronic fatigue syndrome is the best I’ve seen so far on the topic: “How a Co...

Worm me up

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Robin Ann Smith contributed a guest post to Scientific American, titled “The worms within”. The main idea is that the immune system evolved to deal with para...

Plague from within

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Ewen Callaway describes work probing the biology of a chimpanzee endogenous retrovirus: “Ancient chimp virus ‘brought back to life’”

Scanning the ape fecome

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Donald McNeil, Jr., has written up some background detail about last week’s story that falciparum malaria came from gorillas: “A finding on malaria comes fro...

Falciparum malaria came from gorillas

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Malaria in humans is caused by one of five different species of Plasmodium parasites. The deadliest of these is P. falciparum, especially within Africa where...

Samurai lead poisoning

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An interesting study has shown how people in the samurai class of Edo period Japan were poisoning their children with lead. The results are reported in a cur...

Malaria book

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A new book by Sonia Shah covers the history of malaria and the way it affects people today around the world: The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 5...

Sergey Brin and genetic research

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While I was out of town, Wired ran a long article about Google cofounder Sergey Brin and his quest to find the genetic causes of Parkinson’s disease. There i...

Fatigued by advocates impeding research

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Science has a news article that details the conflict over publishing new research on a viral cause of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS): “Conflicting Papers on ...

Smallpox vaccine and HIV

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A new paper claims that HIV infection may be impeded in individuals who had the smallpox vaccine:

Sickle cell chimeras

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Many of us use sickle cell as an example in classes. I always do so while noting the progress that has been made in treating the condition in Westernized con...

Dracunculiasis

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The NYT reports that Nigeria has been free of guinea worm infections for a year.

Leprosy evolution in humans

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Where did leprosy come from as a human pathogen, and how did it spread through the world? Two years ago, this new research would have merited a whole book. N...

Flu blues

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Will the swine flu lead to the next big evolutionary change for humans? No. But it has already begun to affect the way people interact with each other. I wan...

HIV from gorillas

less than 1 minute read

A new strain of HIV has come from gorillas: “New Strain of H.I.V. Is Discovered”

Bigger brains, more cancer?

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Rachael Rettner reports on a hypothesis that human cancer risk may be a side-effect of brain evolution. The hypothesis emerges from studies of gene expressio...

Glucose metabolism and memory

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Roni Caryn Rabin reports on a study linking blood glucose spikes to age-related memory decline:

Columbus, smallpox and global cooling

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Claims that the rapid depopulation of the Americas around 1500 AD, leading to abandonment of cleared lands and reforestation, may have intensified the Little...

When disease strikes an island species

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Jennifer Viegas writes an interesting story about a new study that shows the extinction of Christmas Island rats was driven by black rat diseases:

Terry Pratchett describes his Alzheimer's

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I know many readers are fans of Terry Pratchett, as I am. He has a long, heartfelt article about his experiences with PCA, a type of early-onset Alzheimer’s....

Endogenous retrovirus story

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Earlier this week, the Washington Post printed a nice David Brown story about endogenous retroviruses and evolution.

The genetic networks underlying disease

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Last week, the NY Times printed an interesting article by Andrew Pollack, titled "Redefining disease, genes and all." The article explores recent (and ongoi...

Zimmer on E. coli and bioterror

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I very much liked Carl Zimmer's Slate piece about foodborne pathogens and their lessons for defending against bioterrorism. Zimmer has a book about E. coli ...

Drugging brains, young and old

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I read two interesting articles today on brain performance-enhancing of one kind or another. Denise Grady of the New York Times contributes a long article a...

Story of a sickle cell survivor

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A nice essay by Dr. Barron H. Lerner in the New York Times looks at a long-time survivor of sickle cell anemia, and the ways that treatment options have dev...

HIV genetics by the genome

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A new whole-genome association study has found more genetic variants protective against HIV. The course of HIV infection is variable, even in the absence of...

Mitochondrial notes

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Here's an interesting abstract from a 2005 review paper by Ann Gardner and Richard Boles:

Rett syndrome progress

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Nick Wade has an article about progress toward a treatment for Rett syndrome, a form of autism that almost exclusively affects females.

Gorilla SIV distribution

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Nature has a little article this week by Fran Van Heuverswyn et al. announcing that SIV (the primate relative of HIV) has been found in wild populations of ...

DDT and the malaria wars

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I'll be lecturing on hemoglobinopathies again this week, and I stumbled across this 2001 article by Malcolm Gladwell, profiling Fred Soper and the early 20t...

mtDNA damage in Parkinson's and aging

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There is a nice short review by Giovanni Manfredi in the current Nature Genetics on mtDNA damage and Parkinson's. The paper is really a perspective accompan...

Skin healing in overdrive

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The NIH is reporting on the role of connexin 26 in psoriasis and eczema (via Science Blog):

Mitochondrial disease minireview

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This week's Nature had a news feature by Nick Lane about mitochondrial disease. I found it interesting because it focuses not only on disorders associated w...

The selective pressure of childbed fever

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A new paper in PLoS Biology by Xiaoxia Wang and colleagues finds that a gene called CASPASE12 (OMIM) has been under recent selection in humans. The twist is...

Malaria genetic review

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On the subject of malaria defenses, I also ran across this review article from last year by Dominic Kwiatkowski.

Looking for a G6PD review?

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I'm linking to this 1994 review article by Ernest Beutler (straight to PDF) because (a) it has over 400 references that pretty much cover every bit of G6PD ...

Ewald bird flu spat

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Scientific American has an editors' blog, SciAm Observations. I point to it because a series of recent posts has included an interesting exchange among evol...

CCR5Δ32 evolutionary history

2 minute read

A new paper in PLoS Biology examines the recent evolution and dispersal of the Δ32 allele at the CCR5 locus (via Gene Expression). The introduction has...

Prehistory of falciparum malaria

1 minute read

Martin and colleagues (2005) have a PNAS paper examining the coevolution of falciparum malaria (Plasmodium falciparum) with early humans.