The Tao of Biotechnology

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Careful what you eat

When cattle ate other cattle we ended up with Mad Cow Disease or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). When primates eat other primates, the result could be another pandemic like AIDS. Since genetic material is sometimes swapped between different viruses, and since people in Africa who deal with primates (especially for food) are exposed to a variety of simian viruses on a regular basis, there is a distinct possibility that a new, potentially lethal virus could result. What’s the answer to this situation? Stop eating monkey meat, I guess. Will that happen? Maybe at some time in the future. Will it happen before there is a big problem? I certainly hope so.

Food Tip
You might want to wash those fruits and vegetables. Latin American manure used as fertilizer could make you sick.

The World vs. Bird Flu
When I look at the enormity of the situation surrounding bird flu – it is spread by migrating birds, the world is so vast, and the flu has a head start on us – I have the feeling that we are not going to stop a human pandemic if eventual human to human transmission is in the cards. All our efforts might, however, minimize the seriousness of it.

Bird Flu Update
Click here for up to date information and breaking news on bird flu.


Post a Comment

<< Home