Blog of Mass Distraction

Sunday, February 27, 2005

In Health News Today

There was a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv a couple of days ago. I belive 4 Israelis were killed and a dozen or more injured. This was really testing the patience of the Israeli military, though they've come out publicly saying they feel it's most likely the Syrian based Islamic Jihad movement. Though it does seem to have caused an impasse in some military talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. Even with this attack, it seems the tenuous cease fire is still alive, though the health of the state of Syria is continually in question.

The Pope has also been in ill health lately. The Vatican said that he was doing well and was trying to send an upbeat message, but how well can he be when he's breathing through a hole in his throat?1

I've also heard quite a bit lately about the avian flu. This is causing a lot of worry because of a fear it may make a more full jump across the species border and infect a lot of humans. It has infected and killed a few people, and there's been at least one reported case of human to human infection; but the problem is not imminent yet. The fear with the flu is that it can very easily mutate and pick up material from other flu viruses. The strain of flu involved can very easily mutate because, it doesn't have a so-called spell checker. Many other DNA based organisms, humans included, have certain functional genes that allow for checking of the DNA that is produced through cell replication (mitosis). In fact cancers can occur when there is a mutation in these genes in a particular cell (also happens with genes for apoptosis, etc. but I digress...). The strain of the flu virus does not have these genes so it can mutate and adapt very quickly. Scientists say we've been up for a majorly devastating flu for some time now (like the flu epidemic that hit in the early 1900s). Just something to think about.

1. The Pope had a successful tracheotomy.


  • The only safe bird is "Big Bird" stay away from all others.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:13 PM  

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