The study of diseases, including their causes and effects.

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20
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2answers
788 views

Why is rabies incurable?

I'm still not sure about the mechanics that lead to rabies being incurable. I know that it can be treated before any symptoms show up, but why is it that once symptoms show the person is a dead man ...
18
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2answers
2k views

Harmless virus?

Is it possible for a virus to live symbiotically with its host? Is the human body plagued with viral infections that do negligible harm, or even serve a beneficial role?
16
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4answers
1k views

Why does the cold make us sick?

From the moment we learn to communicate, we always get told, whether by our parents, or our teachers, or by anyone else, to avoid the cold, or to put a jacket on to avoid catching a cold, to dry our ...
14
votes
3answers
395 views

Can plants get cancer?

I can't think of any reason why plants wouldn't be able to get cancer, but I've never heard of a plant growing a tumor. I've also never seen a plant with a noticeable abnormal growth. Can plants get ...
13
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1answer
249 views

How does herpes (HSV) infection suppress HIV?

HIV compromises the human body to defend against infection. Yet people who are infected with herpes are at less risk of developing AIDS. How does this work?
12
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1answer
3k views

Do we actually get more sick (flu/cold) during winter?

The word flu derives from the Italian phrase "influenza de freddo" meaning "influence of the cold". Indeed it is that time of the year when my colleagues seem to have the flu/cold more often than ...
10
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2answers
720 views

Why cancer is not a communicable disease?

I have seen this question where the author is asking a question about infectivity of virus. I wish to know why cancer is not a communicable disease?
10
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1answer
101 views

Why do people with Down syndrome get fewer cancers?

I'm coming across some conflicting information regarding the correlation between cancer incidents and trisomy 21. I read a report from nature that discusses how Downs are only a tenth as likely to ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Why would taking antibiotics increase stamina and energy?

I often hear that people who are taking antibiotics experience wild fluctuations between feeling full of energy and completely alert but soon after feeling impossibly fatigued and sick. Does this ...
10
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1answer
231 views

Why doesn't HDL cause diseases like LDL? [duplicate]

LDL particles pose a risk for cardiovascular disease when they invade the endothelium and become oxidized, since the oxidized forms are more easily retained by the proteoglycans. A complex set of ...
9
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1answer
119 views

Can people with paralyzed eye muscles see?

As far as I am aware, the saccades of the eye are central to visual perception. If the eye is held still, the human stops seeing, even if light is reaching the retina and the visual pathway is intact. ...
9
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1answer
122 views

Have there been any positive public health effects due to UV lights?

Occasionally, in hospitals and in eating establishments in the US, they have industrial grade UV lights in sconces attached to the wall (though they seem to be less prominent as the years go by). I ...
9
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1answer
70 views

What is the difference between influenza A and B viruses that causes their distinct seasonal patterns?

I recently learned from an answer at health.SE* that influenza B tends to occur later in the season compared to influenza A. According to the graph in that answer, during this year’s flu season the ...
8
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2answers
5k views

Reasons why people say that AIDS/HIV doesn't exist

It's been recurrent when I hear people saying that AIDS doesn't exist. When I ask why, they give weird reasons like HIV is a virus created to control economy and to develop medicine, etc. Also when I ...
8
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4answers
147 views

Organisms as potential Bio-Weapons?

Question: Given that with genetic engineering we can customize organisms as bio-weapons. Which species have the most worrying potential to be weaponized for mass destruction? Background: ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the life cycle of a wart?

There doesn't seem to be a lot of information available on research done on warts. What is the life cycle of a wart? How does it spread? -- specifically how does it recruit cells to spread it? What ...
8
votes
1answer
219 views

Can a bacteriophage be used to treat bacterial diseases?

Some bacteriophages reproduce using the lytic cycle which ends with the destruction of the host bacterial cell. I was wondering if theoretically this could be used theraputically to treat bacterial ...
8
votes
1answer
214 views

Why are some bodily fluids more of an infection risk than others?

Whilst on a recent refresher course it was highlighted that when considering risk of exposure to infection from bodily fluids we should be aware of two distinct risk levels: High Risk: Blood Semen ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is the current Ebola outbreak different from previous outbreaks?

I don't know if this question has an answer at this time, but I would like to know if there is some biological reason why the current Ebola outbreak is so much more complicated and widespread than in ...
7
votes
3answers
260 views

What alternatives are there to the amyloid hypothesis?

Given the recent failure of the Bapi clinical trial, there is a lot of questions that have arised from he amyloid hypothesis. However, I can't really think of many other mechanisms that don't involved ...
7
votes
1answer
137 views

Pharmacologically, can tricyclic antidepressants have a side-effect profile similar to neuroleptics?

Torticollis (wryneck, cervical dystonia) is a neurologic movement disorder causing involuntary muscle spasms in the neck. Often, neuroleptics can cause such a side effect. I'm wondering if this ...
7
votes
1answer
242 views

Mechanism of syndesmophyte growth in AS

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) causes inflammation around joints and the growth of syndesmophytes that may eventually fuse vertebrae. I'm familiar with the genetics (HLA-B27, IL1A) related to the ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Do animals get sick from eating dirty food or eating off the floor?

Humans have very strict tradition of hygiene, such as washing hands before eating, using utensils, and in general keeping as much distance between food and dirt as possible. At the same time, most ...
6
votes
1answer
61 views

On the effect of polluted air on health. Is it more gradual, or more immediate?

I've heard time and again that living in São Paulo (a large city in Brasil) takes 1.5 years from your life expectancy. The allegation is that this happens because of air pollution. I am just ...
6
votes
1answer
98 views

Do people that don't feel pain shiver in the cold?

There are a few diseases that cause an insensitivity to pain. This question asks about the relationship between the cold and pain, which got me thinking: Is shivering a response driven by the ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are antibiotics prescribed with a viral infection like a cold?

I've heard both ways; people going to the doctor for a cold and then getting a prescription for antibiotics and those that go to the doctor and told they have ride it out because it's a viral ...
6
votes
1answer
217 views

Is there a detectable amount of bacterial DNA in the blood of infected persons?

With which bacterial infection in humans has it been shown that bacterial DNA can be found in the blood? If any is found it is likely not to be very much, and even difficult to distinguish from ...
5
votes
1answer
87 views

Can androgen-insensitive genetic-males get pregnant?

According to the linked report, people with androgen insensitivity syndrome appear as male, but have both feminine and masculine outer genitalia. However, I was not able to find out whether their ...
5
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2answers
68 views

Standard Classification of Disease

I am working on a project for health center. It involves the creation of a database of all diseases. Currently I want to classify disease on the base of their category based on international standard. ...
5
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1answer
98 views

Could murder be modeled as an infectious disease?

Background "When swine flu hit the population it spiked in certain areas and tapered off in neighboring regions, it hits hardest where people have least protection and this pattern is more ...
5
votes
1answer
105 views

Can cirrhosis be caused by physical compression of the body?

On a random forum, a member speculated that their cirrhosis was caused by wearing tight-fitting clothing such as a girdle or corset. This leads me to the following question: Question: Can ...
5
votes
1answer
79 views

What's a mouth ulcer/canker sore “made of”, and why do they develop?

Mouth ulcers are red/white rings with a crater. They are sore and last for 7-10 days. What I want to know is what they are 'made of' - i.e., what is the ring filled with, and why is the centre crater ...
5
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2answers
65 views

Are there any pathogenic archaeans?

Most textbooks seems to restrict pathogens to the domains bacteria and eukarya. Are there any pathogenic archaeans?
5
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1answer
100 views

Congenital blindness due to retinitis pigmentosa - does it exist?

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) patients typically become blind after a period of years in which their eye sight slowly deteriorates due to photoreceptor degeneration. Generally RP patients develop ...
5
votes
1answer
373 views

Why is there no cure for Dandruff?

It looks like a simple problem, affecting almost half of the population at the post-pubertal age and of any gender and ethnicity [wikipedia]. What is so complex about finding a cure? Also, if you know ...
5
votes
1answer
70 views

Diabetes-diabetes comorbidity

Is it possible to have both type-1 (insulin-dependent) and type-2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus? That is, to have both insulin resistance and zero (or negligible) insulin production? If ...
5
votes
1answer
49 views

Can paper/plastic currency serve as a medium for pathogens?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/15/health/15real.html seems to indicate for a surface, to serve as a medium, the following properties are relevant animation humidity temperature The article ...
5
votes
1answer
127 views

What evidence gives clues to the physiological basis for conversion disorder?

Conversion disorder has a set of DSM diagnosis criteria, which, among other things, includes ruling out all neurological disease. However, as the media has shown us (and one could argue a biased ...
5
votes
2answers
91 views

Improving myopia

I have a friend who no longer needs glasses. He previously had myopia in both eyes but over the years it has improved until he no longer needs glasses clinically. He's had glasses for over 30 years ...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

What kind of fly is this?

I found this dude hanging out in my sink, but he didn't fly away when I put a dish in the sink. Turned out it was dead. The front part looks exactly like a housefly. But, I've never seen the back end ...
4
votes
2answers
186 views

In cancer, why do cells duplicate themselves?

In regards to cancer why do cells replicate themselves? If it's a mutation, what kind of mutation would this be classified as?
4
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2answers
70 views

What is overdiagnosis?

What is overdiagnosis ? I have searched this Wiki result but didn't understood at all. Can you please explain the first two line of Wikipedia : Overdiagnosis is the diagnosis of "disease" that ...
4
votes
2answers
179 views

Why do skin and nail go blue in cyanosis?

I have learned that Cyanosis presents with blue skin and nails. What is the reason for the blue coloration of the skin and nails? Why wont the skin and nails turn another color in the visible spectrum ...
4
votes
2answers
128 views

Is ebola non-contagious until symptoms appear? Why?

There's been a lot of talk lately about the man who recently came down with ebola in Dallas, Texas. While I live elsewhere, I keep hearing quotes from CDC and state officials that ebola is not ...
4
votes
2answers
126 views

Transmission of disease from mother to fetus

Can parasite, microbes be passed from mother to fetus through the placenta ? I know some like HIV can be.
4
votes
1answer
76 views

What is the reason behind more severe proteinuria in nephrotic syndrome than in nephritic syndrome?

Why is there less protein loss via urine in case of nephritic syndrome than in case of nephrotic syndrome?
4
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2answers
80 views

What are some of the immediate challenges to break through before finding a cure for mad cow disease?

What are the immediate challenges to break through in seeking a cure for mad cow disease? I know that mad cow disease has no treatment as of yet.
4
votes
1answer
125 views

Why do we feel cold on having fever?

Why do we feel terribly cold on catching fever of any sort, however our body becomes hotter? Why is it that a rise in temperature makes the sufferer feel colder? Also, sweating symbolises betterment ...
4
votes
1answer
217 views

Inheritance of Huntington's disease

People with Huntington's disease have HTT genes with more than 37 copies of CAG repeat. The risk of extra copies being generated is higher during sperm formation than during ovum formation. Why is it ...
4
votes
1answer
109 views

Does culling badgers restrict the spread of bovine tuberculosis?

The British government has announced that it plans a large-scale badger cull which they argue are implicated in the spread of Mycobacterium bovis - so-called bovine tuberculosis. Any cattle that ...