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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Stopping the next pandemic before it starts.

Interesting stuff from Wired. This scientist guy wants to track epidemics in the jungles of Whoknowswhere and the rain forests of Yougottabekiddinme before they hit civilization.

Mrs Chainik has been studying to be a medical assistant. As a training tool for the "don't do anything stupid or you'll get a horrible disease and die" module, they watched the Dustin Hoffman- Morgan Freeman- Ross's monkey medical thriller Outbreak. That night we went to Walgrens and bought a big bottle of hand sanitizer and a little keychain full of hand sanitizer and some Lysol.

Mrs. Chainik is funny.

H/T Instapundit.
clipped from www.wired.com
HIV, Ebola, SARS — any of the world's most horrifying diseases are caused by animal viruses that made the jump to humans. Now a UCLA scientist thinks he can stop the next pandemic before it even starts.

Today it may seem like the only opportunity to contain HIV came after its discovery in the 1980s. But what if the disease, which has infected or killed an estimated 63 million people, could have been stopped decades earlier? What if that hunter had carried the chimpanzee more carefully that day? For Nathan Wolfe, a biologist at UCLA and head of the project sponsoring Akem's data-gathering, those are the kinds of questions to build a career upon. "Very few people ask whether we could have prevented HIV," Wolfe told me over beers one night last fall in Yaound , the capital of Cameroon. "That's what I encourage people in my lab to think about."

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