The multitude of factors that influence what illness or disease strike are sometimes quite surprising

As noted in prior posts, the key issue in toxic torts is causation. Yet, how an illness, disease, or adverse impact occurs is sometimes quite surprising. Only to illustrate the principle, I note two recent reports that demonstrate the unexpected. Researchers have long puzzled over why flu becomes...

Why are kids getting heavier? Exposure to a cold virus is added to the list.

A large number of factors have been cited in the recent past to explain why, since the late 1970's, children have been getting heavier: a) older mothers; b) air-conditioning, c) medications, d) less sleep, and e) environmental contaminants (e.g., endocrine-disruptors). Now, add to the list adenovirus...

Honeybees spread viruses to wild pollinators

Honeybees spread viruses to wild pollinators Numerous prior posts have looked at the evidence, pro and con, for various theories and studies of honeybee colony collapse. From stress to food sources to pesticides, the evidence has been less than compelling. One thesis that arose early and still seems...

Humans can transmit diseases to gorillas

Prior posts have noted and described a number of human diseases that had their origin in animals. Now it appears that some diseases can be transmitted from humans to gorillas. Ecotourism has been seen as a boon for countries with "interesting" biota; it provides funding for protection of...

Can antibiotics interfere with the body's ability to fight viruses? Perhaps so.

Prior posts have noted that abuse and misuse of antibiotics in people and animals has lead to an increase in antibiotic resistant organisms, to the detriment of human health. Prior posts have also noted the importance of bacteria to human health and welfare (and that there are 10 bacteria in the human...

Prenatal vitamins may help reduce the rate of autism

Genetics appear to play an important role in autism. See, for example, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18414403 . Yet, a number of alternative theories exist (most lacking in evidence) that purport to explain the origin of autism. For example, viral infections (particularly rubella); the vaccine for...

Intestinal bacteria may trigger multiple sclerosis

Physicians have not identified the cause of multiple sclerosis. Theses include an individual's genetics, environment, and possibly a virus. In such an environment, all types of theories can be thrown up and become the basis for litigation, not unlike what happened with mercury preservatives in various...

Bush Meat Can Be a Potent Source of Viruses that Cross the Species "Barrier" and Threaten Human Health

Prior posts have noted the animal origin of many diseases that adversely impact humans (e.g., measles, chicken pox, H5N1 "bird flu"); a recent devastating example, of course, is HIV. Some of these diseases, like HIV and measles, diverged from their animal progenitor such that they are independently...

As Much as 1/3 of Earth's Biomass Lives Beneath the Ocean Floor

They are referred to as intraterrestrials, organisms that live inside the Earth. Most live beneath the bottom of the oceans. Some live in the tens of meters of mud just beneath the seafloors; others, following fractures in rock, live hundreds of meters down. By some estimates, as much as one-third of...