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During an ebola outbreak in the 90's, i was watching a show that suggested that ebola originates from soil or some other such environmental source where intermittent activity causes illness.
I don't know much about ebola. It makes you bleed out of your nipples, which sounds rather unpleasant.
How #Ebola2014 Got to Guinea
......Because Guinea is considered a habitable environment for two of the three Ebola-carrying species, the infected migrant bats would likely have assimilated pretty quickly… And in their daily activities – namely, fighting and sexual contact – they would have been able to pass the virus on to the “local” members of their species, eventually meeting the 5% threshold deemed necessary for humans to contract the disease . When paired with common cultural practices of consuming bats and bushmeat, it becomes clear why the population was particularly vulnerable to this brand of zoonosis … And now that the virus has been introduced among local reservoir populations, it’s uncertain whether Guinea will ever truly be rid of it.
No outbreak is an island; it lives within an ecosystem that is much larger than the virus, the patients, and the communities affected. Managing #Ebola2014 and its aftermath will require significant capacity across multiple disciplines – not only from public health and medicine, but also from policy, zoology, and environmental science. The jury’s still out on exactly how Ebola got to Guinea, but deforestation and animal migration are compelling candidates that may be key to preventing further geographic expansion of this deadly disease.
—Maia Majumder, MPH
Guinea is richly endowed with minerals, possessing an estimated quarter of the world's proven reserves of bauxite, more than 1.8 billion metric tons (2.0 billion short tons) of high-grade iron ore, significant diamond and gold deposits, and undetermined quantities of uranium. Guinea also has considerable potential for growth in the agricultural and fishing sectors. Land, water, and climatic conditions provide opportunities for large-scale irrigated farming and agroindustry.
Agricultural Biowarfare and Bioterrorism
...Anti-agricultural biowarfare and bioterrorism differ significantly from the same activities directed against humans; for instance, there exist a variety of possibilities for economic gain for perpetrators, and the list of possible perpetrators includes corporations, which may have state-of-the-art technical expertise. Furthermore, attacks are substantially easier to do: the agents aren’t necessarily hazardous to humans; delivery systems are readily available and unsophisticated; maximum effect may only require a few cases; delivery from outside the target country is possible; and an effective attack can be constructed to appear natural. This constellation of characteristics makes biological attack on the agricultural sector of at least some countries a very real threat, perhaps more so than attack on the civilian population.
Agricultural corporations, including producers, processors, and shippers, could benefit immensely from the economic impacts, market share changes, and financial market effects of a successful biological attack. Many also employ expert plant pathologists or veterinarians and have large collections of pathogens. The combination of motivation, expertise, and materials within a single, closed organization is worrisome.
'If' it is an ancient virus, why was it not occuring in the manner of measles, chicken pox, flu............?
reply to post by soficrow
....i was commenting on the idea of zombies- .....using Prions disease as a foundation concept, and then extrapolating it into the realm of sci-fi.
my theory- TERMINUS is where it all began- generations of cannibalism and inbreeding, caused a mutation in the DNA of one of their children, which reared it's ugly head when this 'subject zero' died, resurrected as a virus personified, and then started inserting its RNA into humanity.
Something very similar exists in other species- ie ants, caterpillars...
So part of human genetic makeup comes from viruses that kill people in horrific and sometimes bloody ways? Perhaps this kind of explains a bit of human history...
Figures in the article show no Ebola in the human genome. They do show Borna virus genes though. Still, a good find. I find the whole concept of bacterial and viral DNA attached to the human genome to be a fascinating subject.
Natural resistance to currently circulating EBOV and MARV may allow species to serve as asymptomatic reservoirs for these viruses. In microbats, we identified endogenous sequences related to the NP and VP35 genes of these Filoviruses, in addition to the N and L genes of BDV. Bats of different species have been identified as possible natural reservoirs of EBOV and MARV in areas of human outbreaks in Africa , , . Recent studies confirm that these viruses co-circulate in Gabon, where bats infected by each virus are found. It should now be possible to ask if there is any correlation between the presence and properties of the endogenous sequences in the various bat species and their ability to serve as natural reservoirs for these negative strand RNA viruses.
I find the whole concept of bacterial and viral DNA attached to the human genome to be a fascinating subject.
reply to post by HomoSkepticus
I posted this thread quickly and without much thought, shortened the title "to fit" - and made two big errors. Even though you and bigfatfurrytexan pointed out these errors most respectfully, I felt pretty stupid and started avoiding the thread. Wrong. So to get back to it....
It's clear that we integrate viral and bacterial DNA into our genomes as we evolve, not just from our original "template." The main hypotheses that emerge for me:
1. We develop "immunity" when we integrate DNA from a given virus or bacteria;
2. This "integration" serves to harmonize us with the larger environment in a significant, substantial and quantifiable way;
3. Viruses and bacteria thus can be seen as mechanisms that share their adaptations to environmental change with complex organisms; and
4. "Evolution" in this context is a graceful dance of adaptation to a constantly changing environment, characterized by sharing and cooperation between the "lowliest" and "highest" forms of life.