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Medicine Science

New HIV Strain Discovered 263

Posted by kdawson
from the evolution-in-action dept.
reporter and barnyjr were among the readers alerting us to the discovery of a new strain of the HIV virus, found in a woman from the west central African nation of Cameroon. "It differs from the three known strains of human immunodeficiency virus and appears to be closely related to a form of simian virus recently discovered in wild gorillas, researchers report in Monday's edition of the journal Nature Medicine. ... The most likely explanation for the new find is gorilla-to-human transmission, Plantier's team said. But... they cannot rule out the possibility that the new strain started in chimpanzees and moved into gorillas and then humans, or moved directly from chimpanzees to both gorillas and humans. ... Researchers said it could be circulating unnoticed in Cameroon or elsewhere. The virus's rapid replication indicates that it is adapted to human cells, the researchers reported."
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New HIV Strain Discovered

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  • Re:How? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lilo-x (93462) on Monday August 03, 2009 @07:15AM (#28925403) Homepage

    hunting and eating,

  • Re:How? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vectronic (1221470) on Monday August 03, 2009 @07:17AM (#28925423)

    During hunting most likely, get a cut from a branch/rock/weapon/etc, then get the blood from the gorilla in the cut, or get bitten/attacked by the gorilla itself. Could also be transmitted through eating (really I don't know fuck all about it), I imagine that a lot of people there (or "here" for that matter) have gum/teeth problems, perhaps an open wound or sore in the mouth from something, add that to improperly (or uncooked) meat, voila.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 03, 2009 @07:23AM (#28925471)

    This is actually the first time I have seen someone argue that the FAILURE of colonial powers to eradicate native religions in favour of christianity makes us by extension partly responsible, through historic linkages, for gangrapes. Force religion on people and you're responsible for how they turn out; fail to force religion on people and you're responsible for how they turn out.

    Personally, I would rather argue that Africans have a responsibility to cure themselves of their superstitions, and that if they are unhappy with their country borders, to resolve that unhappiness. Europeans succeeded in doing it, many years before the Africans failed to.

    Interestingly, even countries that were never colonised and didn't see a single settler are as crappy as the others. What does that say for your causal responsibility chain?

  • Re:How? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CarpetShark (865376) on Monday August 03, 2009 @07:25AM (#28925491)

    Sex, needle sharing, blood transfusion, or breast feeding. Take your pick.

    Seriously... I'd guess biting or something like that. There's more here:

    http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/transmission.htm [cdc.gov]

  • Re:How? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Wain13001 (1119071) on Monday August 03, 2009 @08:01AM (#28925827)

    Good point.

    You will notice that the places where such stories tend to occur are the same places where "witches steal men's penises" and the like. Somehow I find myself having doubts as well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 03, 2009 @08:02AM (#28925839)

    "Why not just make it illegal to have sex with non- Western Citizen Blacks?"

    Why not just make it illegal to have sex except under government supervision? I know it sounds stupidly fascist but that's just because it is. Well, just like your proposition.

  • by Sausage Nibblets (1469103) on Monday August 03, 2009 @08:27AM (#28926151)

    Somewhere, someone was either very desperate, brave, stupid or all of the above to be getting busy with a gorilla.

    You forgot drunk.

  • by TerranFury (726743) on Monday August 03, 2009 @08:34AM (#28926273)
    Maybe the transmission happened when somebody ate the gorilla (or prepared the raw meat)? This seems more likely than interspecies sex.
  • by PsychoSlashDot (207849) on Monday August 03, 2009 @08:53AM (#28926575)

    It somehow seems relevant to be able to tell people which animal they should try to avoid. Chimpanzees ? Gorilla's ? Other types of monkeys or perhaps an entirely different animal ?

    Dude, in some southern African countries the adult prevalence hits 20% The animal to avoid on that content appears to be: humans.

  • by Vectronic (1221470) on Monday August 03, 2009 @08:58AM (#28926647)

    I wouldn't really say this requires any extra attention, it should just be good practice on a whole to try and limit/reduce exposure to direct forms of blood/fluid transfers when dealing with any animal.

    We probably shouldn't hunt or eat primates at all though really. But any animal is a potential risk for infections. HIV might be the scariest, but there are others that are just as deadly.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 03, 2009 @09:28AM (#28927073)

    Well, actually that kind of measures where done with success in the past, with diseases like the Black Fever and Leprosy. It was known that gypsies spreaded the disease all along europe: that's the reason the judge from the Hunchback of Notre Dame barred them from his city in the novel. I think it was also done with the Ebola. It's not fascism, actually, more like "the majority is more important than the individual". You know they are going to die, there's no way to cure them, the best you can do is make sure they don't go happily anywhere spreading the sickness to the rest of the people. That nowadays that kind of measures are frowned upon is a sign of the stupidity of the times, I strongly affirm the problem with VIH was severely aggravated because of faulty contemption measures due to Political Correctness.

    But I wouldn't go as far as the grand-parent post. There are options less racist and equally effective, such as making it illegal to have sex with non-Western Citizen blacks that didn't come from Madagascar.

  • by ukyoCE (106879) on Monday August 03, 2009 @09:45AM (#28927343) Journal

    the fate of all diseases and all parasites is equilibrium with its hosts. it does no good to kill off your host so quickly there's no retransmission.

    That's very optimistic of you, but not at all how nature works. Yes, for a slow-enough action things will balance out. But there's nothing in nature to prevent a fast-spreading disease from wiping out an entire population.

    The same is true of predators. A pack of wolves WILL eat the deer population to extinction in an area, and then go extinct itself if it can't find other meat. The wolves don't take a regular population tally and decide to cut back on meat and reproducing until the deer repopulate.

    The best hope is that some deer manage to evade the wolves and repopulate while the wolves are starving to death and reproducing less.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday August 03, 2009 @09:59AM (#28927535) Journal
    While I agree that transmission was almost certainly not sexual, and very much agree that gorillas(as with most of the larger non-human primates) are not to be trifled with, I'm not sure your conclusion follows.

    A dolphin could drown the best human swimmer with only modest effort; but swimming and interacting with them is pretty safe because they are (mostly) friendly social animals. Pissing them off would be a bad plan; but getting along with them isn't too hard. In a similar vein, trying to rape a gorilla would be a bad idea, it'd almost certainly maul and/or kill you. However, gorillas are fairly intelligent, moderately human-like, and have well developed social signaling mechanisms. Nothing prevents, in principle, someone from securing the gorilla's cooperation.

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