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Medicine Science

Lyme Bacterium's Possible Ancestor Found In Ancient Tick 30

Posted by samzenpus
from the old-school-sick dept.
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "A few ancient ticks, some 15-million to 20-million years old, trapped inside a piece of amber were bought by a researcher some 25 years ago, in the Dominican Republic. Upon examination, he found ancient spirochetes bacterium, a group of rotini-shaped bacteria responsible for many human diseases, in one of the ticks. Although Lyme disease did not exist back then, the spirochetes in the fossil tick probably contributed to the genetic diversity of the 12 or more species of Borrelia that cause Lyme and similar diseases today, says George Poinar. 'Parasites represent at least half of all modern animal species, and that distribution probably held true millions of years ago, too. “In a sense, this [finding] is not surprising since virtually every species on the planet is parasitized,” says Armand Kuris, a parasitologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who was not involved in the study. Evidence of those ancient parasite–host associations is difficult to come by, however. “In terms of finding any kind of physical documentation in the fossil record, that’s really rare — especially for a microbial pathogen,” Kuris says. “That’s what makes this paper just plain interesting.”'"
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Lyme Bacterium's Possible Ancestor Found In Ancient Tick

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  • This is not movie material. Bring me back something bigger.
    • Hey, Jurassic Bug would have been a tremendous hit! The problem is, Miocene Bug just sounds stupid and would have been a flop. I say, dig deeper. Don't be afraid to punch right through the iridium!
  • Any discussion of this disease tends to come up with a few posts along the lines of "my back pains are long-term Lyme disease!". This claim has gained wide exposure of late by being in some celebrities' Twitter feeds and now ever more people are jumping on the bandwagon. Let's nip that in the bud right now. Most medical authorities believe this is not a thing [wikipedia.org], and the "patient advocate" organizations trying to claim it is sound as kooky as the "anti-vaccine crowd" and often downright scary.
    • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

      Let's nip that in the bud right now.

      It's a bit like gluten allergies. If you dare to say it's a fad, you'll get a dozen indignant self diagnosed sufferers who've never felt better since eliminating all gluten from their diet.

      That's why we have gluten free spring water now. I'm holding out for gluten free cigarettes.

      • Gluten intolerance you're pretty much on the nose about. Honest gluten allergies are a very real thing; it's the non-Celaic's variant (which as far as I know isn't generally described as an allergy) that evidence points to not actually existing. Which is really unfortunate for people with actual Celiac's, because products meant for the fad-hanger-on people are often not put through the same level of quality control and cross-contamination avoidance care, so they often get sick eating modern "gluten-free" p
        • by NoKaOi (1415755)

          I think you're referring to a wheat allergy which is entirely different from a "gluten allergy." You can get gluten-free wheat products, and there are grains other than wheat that contain gluten. A few hints to know if somebody is a kook, if any of the following are true:
          1. They say that have a "gluten allergy." Anybody with celiac wouldn't call it an allergy, and anybody with a wheat allergy would call it a wheat allergy.
          2. They say they are "gluten intolerant" but claim they don't have celiac.
          3. They c

          • "Gluten is a vague term. It’s something that’s used to categorize things that are bad. You know, calories, that’s a gluten. Fat, that’s a gluten."
          • Actually, I just read a study that suggests that it isn't actually gluten people suffer from It is "Poorly Absorbed Short Chained Carbohydrates"(FODMAPs). The problem is, gluten is often associated with these short chain carbohydrates and removing gluten from your diet, actually removes most of the real irritant. See the link below for the study.

            http://www.gastrojournal.org/a... [gastrojournal.org]

        • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

          Gluten Honest gluten allergies are a very real thing; it's the non-Celaic's variant (which as far as I know isn't generally described as an allergy) that evidence points to not actually existing.

          A friend does have Celiac disease, diagnosed, and under treatment now. There was no ambiguity about her symptoms, and no ambiguity about their results.

          Which is really unfortunate for people with actual Celiac's, because products meant for the fad-hanger-on people are often not put through the same level of quality control and cross-contamination avoidance care, so they often get sick eating modern "gluten-free" products that folks without the actual disease, of course, notice nothing at all wrong with.

          This! She has to watch everything she eats, and as you note, just saying "gluten free" doesn't mean all that much.

          I think that the self diagnosed faddist Gluten allergy folks, if they od feel better, it is probably the result of eating better in general after deciding.

    • Appeal to authority, argumentum ad populum and poisoning the well. Classy. The science is actually more interesting than you believe:

      "First, twenty-four rhesus macaques were infected with the Lyme bacteria in the laboratory. After four to six months, half the macaques received aggressive antibiotic therapy, which, in theory, should have cured them, but the bacteria persisted in some of the animals. Then the scientists used a method called xenodiagnosis to determine if treatment worked in three other monkeys

      • by Spamalope (91802)

        It is a fact that a significant amount of people chronically suffer from symptoms that are perfectly in line with the symptoms of Lyme, after having definitely had Lyme. So, that is 'a thing'. Whether the cause is indeed recurring Lyme, a yeast infection or damage to the body doesn't really matter all that much to those with the symptoms. Being dismissed as 'kooky' or being told to 'get over it' by assholes as yourself does matter.

        Lymes triggers a body-wide continuous red-line overload of the immune system. That's the source of the majority of the horrible symptoms. Adrenalin 24/7 and an immune system on such a hair trigger that it attacks *you* at the least excuse - or without one.

        Anything that provokes the bone marrow mast cells can cause that to happen. Chronic infections (lymes), damage to the immune system, genetic defects, and some cancers can (one very rare leukemia is know for it).

        So the classic 'lymes' symptoms aren't spec

  • ...it wasn't invented in a secret government bio-weapons lab in Long Island Sound? How banal.
  • And "Parasites represent at least half of all modern animal species". Unless there's some Escher-like parasite-chain at work here, I don't think that this can be remotely true.

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