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Origin of HIV discovered?

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posted on May, 26 2006 @ 08:11 AM
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After a 10 year hunt scientists think they may have traced the origin of HIV:


Scientists searching for the origin of HIV, the global pandemic infecting more than 40 million people, believe they have finally tracked its original source to two colonies of chimpanzees in a corner of Cameroon.

The finding represents the culmination of a 10-year hunt for the source of the pandemic and provides a crucial link between HIV, which causes Aids in humans, and the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), a strikingly similar virus that infects monkeys and chimpanzees. Researchers believe that south-east Cameroon is where the virus first jumped from chimpanzees to humans before HIV infection began spreading among people as far back as the 1930s.
Source: www.guardian.co.uk...


It is a fascintating piece of "biological decective" work, and for me is the most convincing of all the theories about the virus's origin so far. The researchers found a strain of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in a particular tribe of chimps that was very similar to the virus that infects humans.

They speculate that the virus "jumped" to humans after infecting hunters who would kill and then butcher the chimps on the spot - any blood flying around could easily have entered an open wound.

One of the most interesting points for me is that they believe that this may have happened as early as the 1930s:



Researchers believe the virus infected humans some time before the 1930s and was gradually spread by river travel. All of the rivers in Cameroon run into the Sangha, which joins the Congo river running past Kinshasa.

Trade along the routes could have spread the virus, which slowly built up in the human population.


Just thinking about how it gradually spread out from the darkest heart of Africa, probably only infecting a few people a year, but with all the time in the world and nothing to stop it, sends a chill down my spine. Strange to think that 50 years after a hunter splashed some chimp blood into a cut on his finger that we would be facing panic as thousands died in New York, London, San Francisco etc (and many, many more would be perishing in Africa). But to a virus 50 years is no different from 5 minutes....

This is a very important find for more than one reason:



Identifying the source of the HIV pandemic is more than filling in a missing link in the disease's progression. Understanding how the virus infects chimpanzees, and why it does not appear to cause disease in such a similar genetic species, could unveil useful clues about how the virus works in humans and which crucial changes happened to the virus when it made the leap to humans.


I'd be interested to see how this theory pans out, and what other scientists with competing claims have to say, but for me it looks like they may have solved the riddle.




posted on May, 26 2006 @ 08:34 AM
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Wow I had heard this nearly 20 years ago.. Did they just recycle old information?



posted on May, 26 2006 @ 09:01 AM
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I was thinking the same thing. I think the difference is that they may have found the original colony of chimps. My belief is that scientists were messing with the simbian version and accidentily made it human. But that's just my theory.

1930's. Would that cover the time when Germany's scientists were messing with everything (including viruses)?



posted on May, 26 2006 @ 09:59 AM
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Originally posted by Xeven
Wow I had heard this nearly 20 years ago.. Did they just recycle old information?


Did you not read the article? As it appears you haven't.

Scientists have been aware of the simian form of the virus for over 20 years, and have always said that it is the most likely source of the human one. However they have never been able to show which particular group of chimps it came from, leaving it open to competing theories (including lots of conspiricies).

Now they have narrowed the source down to a few square miles and found a particular strain of SIV which is very close to the human form. This may well give virologists some vital information that will help develop a vaccine. Personally I just also think it is an fascinating piece of science.



1930's. Would that cover the time when Germany's scientists were messing with everything (including viruses)?

While bringing the evil Nazis into a story always spices things up (as any airport thriller writer will tell you) I'm really not sure how you could possibly work them into this theory. Are you saying they travelled to Cameroon to genetically engineer an apparently harmless chimp based virus so that 50 years later it would cause a global pandemic? That doesn't seem very likely somehow. Now if you said it was the Knights Templar you might be on to something......



posted on May, 26 2006 @ 11:36 AM
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Posted this already on 5/25

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on May, 26 2006 @ 01:19 PM
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Originally posted by bsl4doc
Posted this already on 5/25

www.abovetopsecret.com...


Ah sorry, didn't see yours. Such a good story I just wanted to post it though.



posted on May, 26 2006 @ 01:25 PM
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Here:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

Thread closed.



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