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Comment: Re:Extrapolation (Score 1) 421

by hrvatska (#48137395) Attached to: Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola
Since the comment I was replying to specifically stated, "Either possibility increases the likelihood that the disease mutates to become airborne which is a far more dangerous transmission mode of infection", I thought it was implicit that we were discussing mutations modifying a virus' mode of transmission.

Comment: Re:Extrapolation (Score 1) 421

by hrvatska (#48131743) Attached to: Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola
I stated my reasons in my post. You've yet to present a case where a virus mutates and expands the ways in which it is transmitted. None of your examples accomplished that. Can you cite one example where it has been proven that a virus mutated and went from being transmitted by bodily fluids to airborne transmission via small particle dispersal? Viruses jumping from one species to another is well established. Viruses don't even need to mutate to do that. The point of all this is how likely is the variant of Ebola that we're dealing with to mutate and become transmissible in a way that would make it much more contagious. From what I've read that sort of mutation seems to be exceedingly rare and there doesn't seem to be any reason to think that the current Ebola epidemic will lead to such an occurrence. The final sentence in your post that I was replying to said,

Either possibility increases the likelihood that the disease mutates to become airborne which is a far more dangerous transmission mode of infection than via skin contact.

This whole thread from there down is what is the likelihood of that occurring. What is the likelihood that the current strain of Ebola that is being transmitted person to person will mutate in such a way that it becomes airborne. And by airborne we're talking about it becoming flu like, not being transmitted via large droplets in spit or mucous when a person sneezes. We're talking about small particle aerosol dispersion, like the flu or measles. While viruses undergo frequent mutation, some types of changes are more likely to occur than others. AIDS never became an airborne disease. Measles never became a mosquito borne disease. Yellow fever never became an airborne disease. Small pox didn't change its mode of transmission. If none of these ever changed their mode of transmission, despite millions and millions of more cases than we're likely to see from Ebola, why would the current strain of Ebola do so? What makes this current strain of Ebola an exception to what seems a general rule?

Comment: Re:Extrapolation (Score 3, Interesting) 421

by hrvatska (#48127243) Attached to: Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

For example, Ebola has made this transition to airborne transmission before. Influenza has been transmitted by diarrhea before. Bubonic Plague is another disease that has managed the transition to airborne transmission. And of course, AIDS was readily transmitted by blood transfusion and shared needle use even though that's not its original mode of transmission. So there's four examples right there, including Ebola itself.

The variety of Ebola that is suspected of being transmittable via small particle dispersal is the Reston variant. It has not been proven that the Reston variant is transmittable by small particle aerosol dispersion, just suspected. It's worth noting that the Reston variant is not pathological in humans. No humans who have acquired it have become ill. The presence of influenza virus in children's diarrhea is not necessarily a new mode of transmission. It may have always been present but no one looked for it until very recently. Just as influenza has shown up in bird shit since forever, it doesn't seem unreasonable that it might be present in the diarrhea of children. From what I've been able to find out it does not appear that influenza has mutated and is being transmitted through a new mode. Pneumonic plague is not a new mode of transmission, and the bacterium that causes it is the same as the one that is transmittable by insect bites. Besides, plague is not a virus. AIDS has always transmitted via bodily fluids. Blood transfusions and shared needles are still transfer by bodily fluid.Every virus that can survive in the blood is transmittable by these means by default. None of the examples that you provided qualify as an example of a virus changing its mode of transmission.

Comment: Re:Extrapolation (Score 1) 421

by hrvatska (#48125973) Attached to: Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

Either possibility increases the likelihood that the disease mutates to become airborne which is a far more dangerous transmission mode of infection than via skin contact.

I have read that viruses don't change their mode of transmission. AIDS, for instance, despite hundreds of thousands of cases, never changed its mode of transmission. Perhaps what I read is wrong, so I'm wondering, how many viral diseases can you cite where the mode of transmission changed?

Comment: Re:Congressional Pharmaceutical Complex (Score 3, Insightful) 217

by hrvatska (#47795261) Attached to: States Allowing Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Deaths
Both outcomes are very germane to the debate of whether or not to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Good statistics should be used to guide policy. When you say "both outcomes you've described mean nothing to dead people", that comes off to me in the same way as "think of the children" does. Law enforcement has various means to test impairment that may not be as definitive as a breathalyzer (whose accuracy is considered debatable by some), but are still good enough to determine if a person is fit to drive. Instead of banning marijuana, how about if we instead develop more effective means of determining if a person is fit to drive? It shouldn't matter whether a person is unfit to drive because of alcohol, pot, old age or blood pressure medication, they're still unfit to drive.

Comment: Re:Congressional Pharmaceutical Complex (Score 2) 217

by hrvatska (#47794851) Attached to: States Allowing Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Deaths
THC being present in a person's system is a poor indicator that they were high on THC at the time of an accident. THC can show up in drug tests for weeks after person last consumed it and the mental effects have long since dissipated. How many of those people with THC in their systems involved in accidents also had elevated levels of alcohol or other drugs in their systems? Rather than use a very inaccurate measure like the mere presence of THC in the blood, why not look at vehicular fatality rates in states that have legalized medical marijuana or legalized recreational marijuana? What happened to traffic fatality rates in California since it legalized medical marijuana? What has happened to traffic fatality rates in Colorado since legal recreational marijuana has been available?

Comment: Children's books and other large format books (Score 2) 212

by hrvatska (#45869105) Attached to: First US Public Library With No Paper Books Opens In Texas
If the only users of libraries were people who only read text, I would be OK with an all e-reader library. However, I've noticed that my local library's children section is well used, and a lot of those users are early readers and parents of early readers who take out books where the illustrations matter as much as the words. And many of those books are large format that don't do well in a smaller format. It seems like a library going to an all e-reader format is abandoning an awful lot of the books for early readers.

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