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22

It is possible for viruses to live in mutualistic relationships with their hosts, these associations are often overlooked due to the devastating effect that many viruses can have. To give an example in humans, when HIV-1-infected patients are also infected with hepatitis G virus, progression to AIDS is slowed significantly (Heringlake et al., 1998; Tillmann ...


15

This is because rabies is a viral infection of nervous tissue that propagates through peripheral nerves into the brain and causes brain tissue inflammation (encephalitis). As long as the virus is in the brain there is no way to get rid of it. The main trade-off here is that everything that would kill the virus will be as (or even more) aggressive against ...


11

I think no one can really deny the existence of HIV or AIDS, just a search on google scholar will show >1,500,000 hits for each of those terms, and ask (hopefully any) doctor and they will say it does, though AIDS denialists do debate whether HIV causes AIDS. This paper explains the process of HIV causing AIDS. Further, AIDS denialists have not offered up ...


10

Yes, plants of all sizes can have cancerous growths. Agrobacterium tumifaciens, the causative agent of crown gall disease, produces what is called a tumor. See this link for detailed information on these growths. Alternatively, use a plant physiology textbook to look up the above terms. (Here, is where a textbook is better than a single abstract in PubMed.) ...


10

I'm sure it varies wildly based on the animal and what they're eating. In general, if in the course of an animal's natural feeding process it picks up a little dirt, it has evolved to cope with that. Animal's behaviors and guts have evolved to fit their food source and lifestyle. For a behavioral example, seals will eat rough rocks to help breakdown bones ...


9

Alright, having read the citation linked, and doing a little poking of my own, here's my approach at an answer: Some human herpes virus infections may compete with HIV infection. Essentially, some strains (not the ones you normally think of) infect CD4 cells - the same cells targeted by HIV. These strains down regulate transcription in CD4 cells, which in ...


9

Alzheimer's disease is a very complex field, and I am going to restrict my answer to two particular areas: the neuritic plaques and the neurofibrillary tangles. This area is also of interest to me, hence the protracted answer. The two pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease, first described by Alois Alzheimer in about 1906, are the extracellular ...


9

The combination of these two reports from the CDC give information about the comparative prevalence of flu infection in the winter (September '12- May '13) and summer (May '13 - September '13). I'm going to assume that 2012-2013 was a fairly representative year as far as the level of detail of "do we get sick more in the winter" goes. Particularly striking ...


8

In general antibiotics don't help with viruses. However, sometimes a bacterial infection may follow a cold virus, so there might be some scenarios in which antibiotics would be needed. However in many cases it could be due to people demanding antibiotics from their doctor. You can read more here (CDC site): http://www.cdc.gov/Features/getsmart/


8

This article has some good information. It's certainly more than I want to know about warts. Isolated warts may remain unaltered for months or years, or a large number of new lesions may develop rapidly in a short period of time. The development of warts is not predictable. Approximately 65% of warts disappear spontaneously within two years. ...


8

There is the term “corset liver”. It describes changes (“grooves”) on the liver’s surface following external compression and subsequent local atrophy, e.g. from wearing a corset for a long time. (see Dancygier: Clinical Hepatology) A paper from the 1980s describes some abnormality in the histological findings of liver tissue of dogs after chronic abdominal ...


8

There is both a set "list" of agents, but more importantly, a set of properties that an organism needs to be in order to be truly worrisome. First, the list: The CDC classifies agents into one of three categories, Class A, B, or C. Class A: These are organisms that are hard to control, highly transmissible, and lethal: Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) ...


7

It may actually be curable, as shown by success stories involving the Milwaukee protocol in which the brain is effectively shut down to allow for the immune system to eradicate the virus. In most cases, however, it is fatal once symptomatic. Note that the Milwaukee protocol boasts an imporessive (sarcastic) survival rate of under 15%


7

There have been some studies regarding the use of intensive UV light installations in surgical wards or other settings as a anti-microbial tool. Generally speaking, these are part of a general interest in non-cleaning based anti-microbials in hospitals, such as UV light, O3-based machines, and copper/silver coated surfaces. The answer to your question will ...


7

Disclaimer: I'm an infectious disease modeler, and generally pretty skeptical of "We modeled X like an outbreak!" claims, because many are just an exercise in curve fitting. Given that, the answer is both "Yes" and "No". "No": Murder as an act really isn't transmissible, and if its not transmissible, it can't be modeled as an infectious disease. "Yes": It ...


6

I'm not sure if I should be posting this as an answer, but I think a very approachable and accurate account of the history of HIV can be found from Dinis de Sousa et al.. I agree with what has been posted above. On the theory that a picture is worth a thousands words, you might also introduce skeptics to the cryo-electron microscopy images of the virus ...


5

As mentioned in this question , Adeno-associated virus is often used for gene therapy. This is due largely to its predictability when injecting genes (1), however it is also used as it is not implicated in any human pathology. As it is a replication deficient/helper dependent virus, natural infection is much less likely. The human immune system does ...


5

The main factors of urban air pollution are nitric oxides, carbon monoxide, and what is called in german "Feinstaub" (very small carbon-rich particles from diesel exhaust). However, do not forget heavy metals: street dust is especially metal-rich and is swept into the soil near the streets where children and farmed plants can take it up. Lead is a heavy ...


5

it does not, really. unless we're talking about things like frostbite or severe hypothermia. it's a myth that it does. the virus is more stable in colder air, however. see more here: Study Shows Why the Flu Likes Winter Influenza Virus Transmission Is Dependent on Relative Humidity and Temperature Innate responses proved to be comparable between ...


5

The function of bile produced by the liver and concentrated in the gall bladder is to aid in fat digestion. Bile acts as an emulsifier to allow the fat to be packaged into small droplets, micelles. The breakdown of fats into small micelles greatly increases the surface area for lipases produced by the pancreas have to act on. These are then absorbed ...


5

Coeliac disease is an immune disorder resulting from a reaction to ingested gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley and rye). It is associated with inflammation of the small intestine resulting in a generalised reduction in the capacity for digestion and absorption. According to this paper: Celiac disease is associated with pancreatico-biliary disease. ...


5

Pregnant mothers can indeed pass on various microbes to their fetuses but it is not always directly through the placenta, as the placenta can be protective. Although the blood of the mother and fetus do not mix directly, the two can interact. Maternal proteins can flow across to the fetus, as maternal antibodies are actually the source of a newborn's ...


5

The two I know of off the top of my head are OMIM : Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man. This is very good and very well organized but only deals with inheritable diseases, no infections etc. Human disease ontology. From their webpage: The Disease Ontology has been developed as a standardized ontology for human disease with the purpose of providing the ...


5

In men, gout is associated with a higher risk of death from all causes. This would imply that their life expectancy is shorter. From a review by Kim et al. (1): Among men who did not have pre-existing coronary heart disease, the increased mortality risk is due primarily to an elevated risk of cardiovascular death, particularly from coronary heart ...


4

It really depends on what you consume, how much of it you consume, and the state of your immune system. Let me give you some examples. Yogourt is full of bacteria, and yet we can eat it without issue. The bacteria likely don't survive digestion, but if they do, they will quite happily live in our intestines contributing to the already existing population of ...


4

This is apparently a debate since decades in the UK. As to the pathology: Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) are an important wildlife reservoir of tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis) infection in Ireland and the United Kingdom. As part of national programmes to control tuberculosis in livestock, considerable effort has been devoted to studying the ...


4

Alzheimer is also considered a tauopathy due to abnormal aggregation of the tau protein. There has been succesful research in that direction, recently, which was a bit neglected, presumably because of vested interests in the amyloid hypothesis. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tauopathy However, another alternative to amyloid (and tau) is the hypothesis that ...


4

Conner's response contained just the type of source material I was looking for. Thanks Conner -- let us all +1 him. Allow me to summarize the specifics of the article in relation to my question: Transmission PVs are transmitted through direct or indirect contact with an individual who has the lesion. Dysfunctions in the epithelial barrier by ...


4

The main problem is that Mad Cow disease is not caused by a "normal" pathogen but by a prion, a protein. Traditionally, disease causing agents can be classified into viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Bacteria, fungi and parasites are all living organisms, alive in the traditional sense. It is, therefore, possible to design drugs that kill them. ...


4

Cold weather makes your body use more energy for keeping warm and less energy for other activities. This is made at various levels: 1) modifications of the diameter of arteries changes the blood supply in specific regions 2) In the electron transport chain, that is a metabolic pathway involved in producing energy after glycolis and Krebs cycle there is a ...



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