Friday, May 25, 2007

Preventative Pandemic Research: Article in "Wired"

My supervisor brought this month’s Wired for me to look at (he and I both watch “Heroes” which was featured). However, it was another article that really astounded me. Apparently, there’s research going on in several continents to study frequency of animal to human transmission of diseases. They have already identified several viruses which moved from animal to humans without (apparent) consequences and are beginning to study them in hopes to learn something about how to prevent future pandemics. The Dr. Wolfe featured in the article is as the forefront of this research.

These guys are doing some really fantastic work with the CDC to study and hopefully, will succeed in reducing our reaction time to pandemics. Based on the article, these scientists are learning how hunting practices, butchering techniques and meat storage all affect transmission. We now live in a world where how African hunters carry bush meat back to their villages has global implications. Or rather, we live in a world where, for the first time, we are beginning to understand the global implications.

Considering global pandemics are historically of a great deal more concern than planetary invasion, I’m incredibly glad both the CDC and the US military are working on understanding them better. The creation of an “intelligence chatter” database for disease transmission was to me an especially striking idea.

This is yet another informative, interesting article that highlights the cutting edge of research from "Wired". Is it just me or have they gotten even better in the last couple of years?

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