Archaeal Richmond Mine acidophilic nanoorganisms (ARMAN) were first discovered in an extremely acidic mine located in northern California (Richmond Mine at Iron Mountain) by Brett Baker in Jill Banfield's laboratory at the University of California Berkeley. These novel groups of archaea named ARMAN-1, ARMAN-2 (Candidatus Micrarchaeum acidiphilum ARMAN-2 ), and ARMAN-3 were missed by previous PCR-based surveys of the mine community because the ARMANs have several mismatches with commonly used PCR primers for 16S rRNA genes. Baker et al. detected them in a later study using shotgun sequencing of the community. The three groups were originally thought to represent three unique lineages deeply branched within the Euryarchaeota, a subgroup of the Archaea. However, this has been revised, based on more complete archaeal genomic tree, that they belong to a super phylum named DPANN. The ARMAN groups now comprise deeply divergent phyla named Micrarchaeota and Parvarchaeota. Their 16S rRNA genes differ by as much as 17% between the three groups. Prior to their discovery all of the Archaea shown to be associated with Iron Mountain belonged to the order Thermoplasmatales (e.g., Ferroplasma acidarmanus).
- "Archaeal Richmond Mine Acidophilic Nanoorganisms" | 2020-01-13 | 17 Upvotes 1 Comments
Herd immunity (also called herd effect, community immunity, population immunity, or social immunity) is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that occurs when a large percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through previous infections or vaccination, thereby providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not immune. In a population in which a large proportion of individuals possess immunity, such people being unlikely to contribute to disease transmission, chains of infection are more likely to be disrupted, which either stops or slows the spread of disease. The greater the proportion of immune individuals in a community, the smaller the probability that non-immune individuals will come into contact with an infectious individual, helping to shield non-immune individuals from infection.
Individuals can become immune by recovering from an earlier infection or through vaccination. Some individuals cannot become immune due to medical reasons, such as an immunodeficiency or immunosuppression, and in this group herd immunity is a crucial method of protection. Once a certain threshold has been reached, herd immunity gradually eliminates a disease from a population. This elimination, if achieved worldwide, may result in the permanent reduction in the number of infections to zero, called eradication. Herd immunity created via vaccination contributed to the eventual eradication of smallpox in 1977 and has contributed to the reduction of the frequencies of other diseases. Herd immunity does not apply to all diseases, just those that are contagious, meaning that they can be transmitted from one individual to another. Tetanus, for example, is infectious but not contagious, so herd immunity does not apply.
The term "herd immunity" was first used in 1923. It was recognized as a naturally occurring phenomenon in the 1930s when it was observed that after a significant number of children had become immune to measles, the number of new infections temporarily decreased, including among susceptible children. Mass vaccination to induce herd immunity has since become common and proved successful in preventing the spread of many infectious diseases. Opposition to vaccination has posed a challenge to herd immunity, allowing preventable diseases to persist in or return to communities that have inadequate vaccination rates.
- "Herd Immunity" | 2020-03-14 | 46 Upvotes 72 Comments
Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) or lateral gene transfer (LGT) is the movement of genetic material between unicellular and/or multicellular organisms other than by the ("vertical") transmission of DNA from parent to offspring (reproduction). HGT is an important factor in the evolution of many organisms.
Horizontal gene transfer is the primary mechanism for the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, and plays an important role in the evolution of bacteria that can degrade novel compounds such as human-created pesticides and in the evolution, maintenance, and transmission of virulence. It often involves temperate bacteriophages and plasmids. Genes responsible for antibiotic resistance in one species of bacteria can be transferred to another species of bacteria through various mechanisms of HGT such as transformation, transduction and conjugation, subsequently arming the antibiotic resistant genes' recipient against antibiotics. The rapid spread of antibiotic resistance genes in this manner is becoming medically challenging to deal with. Ecological factors may also play a role in the LGT of antibiotic resistant genes. It is also postulated that HGT promotes the maintenance of a universal life biochemistry and, subsequently, the universality of the genetic code.
Most thinking in genetics has focused upon vertical transfer, but the importance of horizontal gene transfer among single-cell organisms is beginning to be acknowledged.
Gene delivery can be seen as an artificial horizontal gene transfer, and is a form of genetic engineering.
- "Horizontal gene transfer" | 2014-04-29 | 14 Upvotes 1 Comments
Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in humans and other mammals. Early symptoms can include fever and tingling at the site of exposure. These symptoms are followed by one or more of the following symptoms: violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, fear of water, an inability to move parts of the body, confusion, and loss of consciousness. Once symptoms appear, the result is nearly always death. The time period between contracting the disease and the start of symptoms is usually one to three months, but can vary from less than one week to more than one year. The time depends on the distance the virus must travel along peripheral nerves to reach the central nervous system.
Rabies is caused by lyssaviruses, including the rabies virus and Australian bat lyssavirus. It is spread when an infected animal bites or scratches a human or other animal. Saliva from an infected animal can also transmit rabies if the saliva comes into contact with the eyes, mouth, or nose. Globally, dogs are the most common animal involved. In countries where dogs commonly have the disease, more than 99% of rabies cases are the direct result of dog bites. In the Americas, bat bites are the most common source of rabies infections in humans, and less than 5% of cases are from dogs. Rodents are very rarely infected with rabies. The disease can be diagnosed only after the start of symptoms.
Animal control and vaccination programs have decreased the risk of rabies from dogs in a number of regions of the world. Immunizing people before they are exposed is recommended for those at high risk, including those who work with bats or who spend prolonged periods in areas of the world where rabies is common. In people who have been exposed to rabies, the rabies vaccine and sometimes rabies immunoglobulin are effective in preventing the disease if the person receives the treatment before the start of rabies symptoms. Washing bites and scratches for 15 minutes with soap and water, povidone-iodine, or detergent may reduce the number of viral particles and may be somewhat effective at preventing transmission. As of 2016, only fourteen people had survived a rabies infection after showing symptoms.
Rabies caused about 17,400 human deaths worldwide in 2015. More than 95% of human deaths from rabies occur in Africa and Asia. About 40% of deaths occur in children under the age of 15. Rabies is present in more than 150 countries and on all continents but Antarctica. More than 3 billion people live in regions of the world where rabies occurs. A number of countries, including Australia and Japan, as well as much of Western Europe, do not have rabies among dogs. Many Pacific islands do not have rabies at all. It is classified as a neglected tropical disease.
- "Milwaukee Protocol" | 2015-12-14 | 31 Upvotes 2 Comments
- "Milwaukee protocol (treating rabies without the vaccine)" | 2009-08-12 | 12 Upvotes 1 Comments
Cable bacteria are filamentous bacteria that conduct electricity across distances over 1 cm in sediment and groundwater aquifers. Cable bacteria allow for long distance electron transport, which connects electron donors to electron acceptors, connecting previously separated oxidation and reduction reactions. Cable bacteria couple the reduction of oxygen or nitrate at the sediment's surface to the oxidation of sulfide in the deeper, anoxic, sediment layers.
- "Cable Bacteria" | 2021-02-10 | 22 Upvotes 2 Comments