The study of diseases, including their causes and effects.

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19
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2answers
514 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 ...
15
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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?
14
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4answers
798 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 ...
13
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1answer
191 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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3answers
233 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
907 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
112 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 ...
8
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2answers
2k 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
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1answer
184 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
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3answers
225 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
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1answer
117 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
224 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
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4answers
122 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: ...
6
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2answers
513 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
58 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
178 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
2answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
94 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
83 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
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2answers
52 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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2answers
57 views

Are there any pathogenic archaeans?

Most textbooks seems to restrict pathogens to the domains bacteria and eukarya. Are there any pathogenic archaeans?
5
votes
1answer
84 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
3answers
921 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
60 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
46 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
2answers
67 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
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2answers
55 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
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2answers
73 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

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
103 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
375 views

Does making yogurt from non-pasteurized milk work against possible disease bacteria?

In the past, when there was no pasteurization, could making yogurt from milk lower the chance of getting infected by bovine tuberculosis (or other diseases from infected milk)? For example, would ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
101 views

Is there a correlation between incidence of type 1 diabetes and vitiligo?

Does the data indicate that if you have one, the probability of you having the other is higher than that of someone who doesn't have the one?
3
votes
2answers
145 views

By what mechanism does coeliac disease cause excess fat in the feces?

Wikipedia states that “Severe coeliac disease leads to the characteristic symptoms of pale, loose and greasy stool (steatorrhoea)”. However thumbing through the causes and the pathophysiology it did ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Do people with gout live longer?

Antioxidants reduce damage to tissue (by scavenging the free radicals) and thus may reduce ageing.It is known that Uric acid is a very good antioxidant. People with gout have excess accumulation of ...
3
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1answer
30 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?
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Why basement membrane thickens in diabetes mellitus?

Untreated diabetes mellitus may lead to blindness and kidney failure because the basement membrane of small blood vessels in these organs thickens due to increased production of collagen and laminin. ...
3
votes
2answers
195 views

How was the Huntington's disease gene's location found?

I read in the book "Why we get sick." by Nesse and Williams that: Steady detective work and fabulous luck have enabled geneticists to pinpoint the Huntington's gene on the short arm of ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

What is the cause of the spots on this leaf?

On a hiking trip to the Alps I found trees whose leaves showed those spots you see on the picture. I am curious about what the cause is. Higher resolution pictures of front and back side.
3
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1answer
75 views

Is it harmful for someone to consume things full of bacteria if they don't get physically sick from the bacteria at all?

Or as another example - what if you touch a surface that's contaminated with potentially pathogenic bacteria (like the ones at ...
3
votes
1answer
917 views

How do liver and lung metastases cause death?

Metastasis to the liver and lungs are the main causes of death in colorectal cancer.(1) I understand that colorectal cancer may have metastases. But how do these metastases cause death? Reference ...
3
votes
1answer
25 views

Functioning of BCG vaccine

I read (from Nature Volume507, S4–S7 (06 March 2014) : For reasons that are poorly understood, BCG protects only infants; it is ineffective in older children and adults. Its efficacy also ...
3
votes
2answers
107 views

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigs), any health risks?

Background: An electronic cigarette (e-cig or e-cigarette) is a battery-powered device which simulates tobacco smoking patented in 1963 by Herbert A. Gilbert. It generally uses a heating element ...
3
votes
1answer
135 views

By what mechanism is Streptococcus bovis acting as a risk factor for colorectal cancer?

Streptococcus bovis bacteremia/endocarditis is considered a risk factor for colorectal cancer. What pathophysiological mechanism may link the two together?
3
votes
1answer
200 views

What factors govern the variable age of onset in Huntington's Disease?

"Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative genetic disorder that affects muscle coordination and leads to cognitive decline and psychiatric problems." As we all know, this genetic disease ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

What mechanisms do animals living in groups (herds, packs, swarms) have against spreading contagious diseases?

While for example a wolf pack provides protection to a sick wolf, increasing its chance of survival, there is a risk of infecting other members of the pack, decreasing their total chance of survival. ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Enlargement of joints in osteoarthrosis

If osteoarthritis (osteoarthrosis) is a degenerative condition, where the cartilage in joints wears down, what causes the joints to become inflamed? I'm reading through a book called Understanding ...
3
votes
1answer
41 views

how can a pseudo coelomate like ascaris lay 200k eggs in a single day

as per this site the dimensions of eggs of ascaris lumbricoides are 78-105 microns and as it is shown in the pic down here only half of the body cavity would be used for storage of all the stages of ...
2
votes
1answer
255 views

By what mechanism does an obstructed bile duct cause excess fat in the stool?

By what mechanism does an obstructed bile duct (for example gallstones) cause steatorrhoea (excess fat in the stool)?