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  #11  
Old May 2nd 2010, 09:50 AM
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Default Re: Eminent Mass Destruction- evolution

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This thread is really, really depressing to read.
Then you really don't want to hear about the overuse of antibiotic soaps, cleaners, detergents, etc., and the overuse of prescribed antibiotics and how those things have helped our little microscopic soldiers make us sick...
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Old May 2nd 2010, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: Eminent Mass Destruction- evolution

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Then you really don't want to hear about the overuse of antibiotic soaps, cleaners, detergents, etc., and the overuse of prescribed antibiotics and how those things have helped our little microscopic soldiers make us sick...
I think my ability to absorb the data of catastrophe is already on 'maximum' just trying to grasp the dangers of peak oil and climate change (and human political insanity). I just can't comprehend adding another whole 'scary issue' to my awareness. I just don't have enough brain cells to process all that.
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Old May 7th 2010, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: Eminent Mass Destruction- evolution

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Then you really don't want to hear about the overuse of antibiotic soaps, cleaners, detergents, etc., and the overuse of prescribed antibiotics and how those things have helped our little microscopic soldiers make us sick...
I don't worry so much about that. It pales in comparison to the antibiotics we use in pigs, chickens and cattle to keep them fat for slaughter.

Did you know, for instance, that no one knows why specifically, pigs and cattle get fatter if you pump them up with antibiotics and a specific period of time prior to slaughter. That's in addition to the usual antibiotics.

If we didn't raise them the way we do, they wouldn't be so susceptible to infection and thus would not require the antibiotics. In turn, there would be less mutation of the same bacteria that can kill us eventually too. Tons, TONS more antibiotic use in our livestock than using antibacterial soap.

On the other hand, if Asian communities didn't live among their livestock, we wouldn't have such a tough time with viruses. This is why we look to Asia for information about the next most likely flu strain against which we build a stock of immunizations for our own citizens.

For those non-medical types, pigs are susceptible to the same influenza viruses as humans. They are also susceptible to influenza that affects birds. The pigs become a giant mixer full of virus.

Viruses are nearly always made of strands (8) of RNA rather than DNA (except "retro viruses" like those that cause HIV/AIDS). They are never made of both. It's one of the things that leaves the question about whether or not a virus constitutes life.

The thing about RNA is that it has no mechanism of checking and repairing damage during replication. This means that mutations happen at a much higher rate than is possible with DNA.

So the mixer (the swine), collects influenza virus from avians and from Homo sapiens and spreads it back to birds and people. Now you know why "avian" flu and "swine" flu are significant. The virus can be tracked back to it's origin by examining the RNA. Mutations can be measured quite easily - after the fact of course. This is also how it is estimated that the particular strain is related to an outbreak from decades past.

For Michael and Igor:
On the brighter side, Margot brought home The Stand by Steven King. The thrust of the novel is an outbreak of some mystery illness that sweeps across the world killing all but a handful.
Mr. King has one of his characters play the part of the government representative telling lies to the citizens to keep them calm. He says it's a strain of the Russian flu and not as serious as many others.
Indeed, the real Russian flu that gained some notoriety (in the 70's I think), is believed to have been created in a Russian lab and released by accident. That is specifically how the illness in the book gets started - in a US lab.
The Russian flu was not too serious otherwise.

So, that was just a little fun trivia for a really dreary thread.

Also, I have come down with a cold in the past few days.

Last edited by JHC; May 7th 2010 at 12:18 AM.
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Old May 7th 2010, 01:15 AM
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Default Re: Eminent Mass Destruction- evolution

Don't forget to wash your thumbs, kids!
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Old May 7th 2010, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: Eminent Mass Destruction- evolution

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Don't forget to wash your thumbs, kids!
Actually, there is something to be said for not washing your thumbs (as it were).

Working on the theory - 'that which doesn't kill me makes me stronger'. I think I picked that one up from Greendruid many years ago.

No 'five-second-rule' for me with food dropped on the floor. If I find popcorn or a potato chip under the couch while cleaing up, I'll eat it, even if I know its been there for a week or three.

(I'm a firm believer that humans are the ultimate 'scavenger' species)
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Old May 7th 2010, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: Eminent Mass Destruction- evolution

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Actually, there is something to be said for not washing your thumbs (as it were).

Working on the theory - 'that which doesn't kill me makes me stronger'. I think I picked that one up from Greendruid many years ago.

No 'five-second-rule' for me with food dropped on the floor. If I find popcorn or a potato chip under the couch while cleaing up, I'll eat it, even if I know its been there for a week or three.

(I'm a firm believer that humans are the ultimate 'scavenger' species)
You do housecleaning every three weeks? Must be an insect and critter free environment.
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Old May 9th 2010, 05:44 AM
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Default Re: Eminent Mass Destruction- evolution

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Originally Posted by JHC View Post
I don't worry so much about that. It pales in comparison to the antibiotics we use in pigs, chickens and cattle to keep them fat for slaughter.

Did you know, for instance, that no one knows why specifically, pigs and cattle get fatter if you pump them up with antibiotics and a specific period of time prior to slaughter. That's in addition to the usual antibiotics.

If we didn't raise them the way we do, they wouldn't be so susceptible to infection and thus would not require the antibiotics. In turn, there would be less mutation of the same bacteria that can kill us eventually too. Tons, TONS more antibiotic use in our livestock than using antibacterial soap.
I did know that. I prefer, however, to ignore all of that information while scarfing down my bacon and eggs and my ribeyes.


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Also, I have come down with a cold in the past few days.
Steak won't help for a virus.
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  #18  
Old May 9th 2010, 08:47 AM
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Default Re: Eminent Mass Destruction- evolution

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You do housecleaning every three weeks? Must be an insect and critter free environment.
Yes, living 250 feet up in the air, one gets zero bugs. I can leave windows wide open on a summer night with lights on inside, and there will be no bugs.

One can set the table for eating outside and leave food sitting there... no bugs.

Alternatively, the dust buildup is unbelievable.
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  #19  
Old May 9th 2010, 11:10 AM
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Default Re: Eminent Mass Destruction- evolution

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Yes, living 250 feet up in the air, one gets zero bugs. I can leave windows wide open on a summer night with lights on inside, and there will be no bugs.

One can set the table for eating outside and leave food sitting there... no bugs.

Alternatively, the dust buildup is unbelievable.
My wife, one of her nicknames being the Cleaning Nazi, claims lawns surrounding the house are what allow us to leave our screened windows open with little dust accumulation. A wise person never questions such an edict and subsequently avoids piercing glances intended to make the questioner feel like dirt.
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  #20  
Old Jun 27th 2010, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: Eminent Mass Destruction- evolution

We are definitely due for a pandemic of some kind. It statistically happens every century. The last serious pandemic was the Spanish Flu.
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