the origin of the disease

More than 30 years ago, Congress overwhelmingly passed a landmark health bill aimed at motivating pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs for people whose rare diseases had been ignored.

By the drugmakers’ calculations, the markets for such diseases weren’t big enough to bother with.

But lucrative financial incentives created by the Orphan Drug Act signed into law by President Reagan in 1983 succeeded far beyond anyone’s expectations. More than 200 companies have brought almost 450 so-called orphan drugs to market since the law took effect.

Yet a Kaiser Health News investigation shows that the system intended to help desperate patients is being manipulated by drugmakers to maximize profits and to protect niche markets for medicines already being taken by millions. The companies aren’t breaking the law but they are using the Orphan Drug Act to their advantage in ways that its architects say they didn’t foresee or intend. Today, many orphan medicines, originally developed to treat diseases affecting fewer than 200,000 people, come with astronomical price tags.

Drugs For Rare Diseases Have Become Uncommonly Rich Monopolies

Graphic: NPR and Kaiser Health News

I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient
— 

Taken from the Declaration of Geneva

In the days and years to come, this oath recited at white coat ceremonies cannot be forgotten, regardless of unpredictable political pressures that may arise

Endangered antelope ‘may be wiped out’

The death of more than 2,000 critically endangered Saiga antelope in Mongolia was caused by a disease that could now threaten the entire population.
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) scientists, who work in the affected grassland area of Western Mongolia, say the disease originated in livestock.
It is a virus known as PPR or Peste des Petits Ruminants.


WCS veterinary scientist Dr Enkhtuvshin Shiilegdamba told BBC News that 2,500 Saiga had already died.

Happy Birthday Robert Koch!

Dr Koch won the Nobel Prize for his work on tuberculosis.

He was the first to show that disease was transmitted by microbes, in this case anthrax, caused by Bacillus anthracis.

If it weren’t for Koch, we would only have Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer to use as lullaby music for our babies.

Dr Koch also named (discovered) the cholera microbe (Vibrio cholera) but sadly, the band Cholera did not achieve the success of the band Anthrax.

Creator of Koch’s Postulates

  1. The organism must always be present, in every case of the disease.
  2. The organism must be isolated from a host containing the disease and grown in pure culture.
  3. Samples of the organism taken from pure culture must cause the same disease when inoculated into a healthy, susceptible animal in the laboratory.
  4. The organism must be isolated from the inoculated animal and must be identified as the same original organism first isolated from the originally diseased host

Even more cool is that Koch’s thesis advisor was Georg Meissner, and his other advisors included Friedrich Henle, and Rudolf Virchow.

You all know Meissner as the discoverer of Meissner’s corpuscles, mechanoreceptors responsible for sensitivity to light touch; Henle was THE Loop of Henle guy in kidney anatomy and physiology; Virchow was the father of modern pathology, but not a big microbe guy.

This birthday message brought to you by MicroMinutes, WarholScience, The periodic Table of Microbes, and The Small Guide to Small Things.

You know, given everyone’s backstory in this game, “Dragon Age: Origins” really should be called “Dragon Age: Orphans”.

Dragon Age Meta: The Biology and Life History of Lyrium, and Dwarven Physiology

Here is part 2 of 3 treatises on lyrium so far!  It’s nearly 2000 words.  Why am I doing this?  Because science, and I think this is a plausible explanation of how some of Thedas works.  And because my nerdy brain won’t let me rest until I get these headcanons down.

Here is Part 1: Pathophysiology of Lyrium Addiction and Withdrawal.  I’m going to go back and revise it a bit later based on this post as well.

Part 3, Pathophysiology of the Blight Disease and the Origin and Rise of Red Lyrium, has been split off because this is getting really, really long; I’ll post it tomorrow.

ALSO if you actually read this all the way through THERE MAY BE ANATOMIC ILLUSTRATIONS I DOODLED as a bonus!


In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Bianca Davri tells Varric that lyrium is alive, and the cause of red lyrium is the Blight, which only affects living things.

But what is naturally occurring lyrium, anyway?

Lyrium’s most likely analogue in our world is a fungus.  Lyrium does not appear to grow in sunlight, making photosynthesis impossible, and is found deep within the earth, as are many molds, deep mushrooms, and lichens.  Lyrium also shares characteristics with fungi like mycelia, AKA a fungus’ branching, thread-like vegetative form.  There are reports of fungi that may cover over a mile (there is a fungus in Oregon that is believed to be 2.4 miles in diameter and is still only one organism) by way of these projections… which could also be referred to as veins.  Lyrium veins are present in both Dragon Age: Origins and DA2, and it is constantly mentioned that lyrium must be mined, despite the fact that you can walk into pieces of it in the Deep Roads – clearly there must be more, much more, beneath the surface.

If lyrium is a living fungus, that allows it to be infected by the Blight.  

Why hasn’t lyrium been known to be alive before?  There may be several answers for that.  Its fruiting bodies or rhizomorphs (the bits of lyrium that Hawke or a Warden stumbles upon in the deep roads) may be so hardened that it seems like to a soft type of mineral, like talc.  Given that a rhizomorph is made up of millions of tiny threads of hyphae, you could take a rhizomorph and crumble it, and if the fungus is rather hard, it would not seem unlike a mineral.  Keep in mind that no one has developed the microscope in Thedas.  

Keep reading

God bless Snatcher’s somewhat questionable translations giving us wonderful phrases like “doubt is the origin of all controversy”, “pleasure of tension”, and “master of puppets among the diseased” which should get a reward for being such a fuckin sick track title

Some favorite conspiracy theories

1. Hollow Earth Theory: Earth was inhabited by life long before humans even began to evolve. These “aliens” live deep in the Earth’s mantle and use the oceans as highways. The reason why we never have direct contact with these beings is because a) convergent evolution allows them to look very similar to us and b) they’re so advanced that they simply don’t think we’re worth their time.

2. Plum Island Conspiracy: Plum Island was once home to a disease research facility, located just off the north shore of Long Island. Here, scientists studied mad cow disease, officially to find a cure, but the facility’s history of being run by an ex-Nazi scientist gave it a more sinister purpose. The facility has been accused of being used for the advancement of biological weapons, and even human and animal experimentation. It’s also been allegedly linked to the origins of Lyme’s Disease and West Nile Virus in the United States.

3. The Philadelphia Experiment/Montauk Project: In October of 1943, the US Navy successfully created an experiment in which the destroyer USS Eldridge was rendered invisible. The project was covered up, but years later, additional research was approved to be conducted at the Montauk Airforce Base in New York. Here, the researchers dabbled in things such as time travel and mind control.

4. The Sugar Conspiracy: High Fructose Corn Syrup has been linked time and time again to addiction and obesity, being even more dangerous than regular sugar - but that doesn’t stop the food industry from continuing to add it to almost every food item on the market. It’s done for flavor, officially, but more sinister intentions suggests that allowing people to become addicted to food allows the food industry to profit.

5. NASA Cover-Up: The ISS video feed gives the average person a glimpse of what astronauts get to see every day, but sometimes things appear that’s not meant to be there. From NASA cutting feed, to strange recordings from astronauts witnessing strange objects, to even allegations that the moon landings held more than what the public knows, to the simple fact that there are UFO files that are still classified to this day, NASA is definitely not giving us the full story.

anonymous asked:

Do you think that politics and economics will change so that the overuse of antibiotics is stoped? It is known that bacterias are more resistant to antibiotics now, will the government take action?

They have already started. The biggest problem is the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture in particularly the raising of meat animals like pigs and chickens. Most of our deadly diseases originate in animals then mutate to affect humans. That’s why you hear of “swine” or “avian” influenza.