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November 17, 2019

The Evolution Of Falciparum Malaria (the nastiest kind)

Nature, to the extent it cares at all, likes to kill us.

And of course it doesn't care one way or the other, because "Nature" isn't a sentient being. It is a numberless collection of processes and equilibria and feedback loops and all sorts of fascinating stuff.

50,000-year-old gene reveals how deadliest malaria parasite jumped from gorillas to humans

Malaria causes 435,000 deaths per year on average, with ~61% occurring in children <5 years of age. P. falciparum is the of seven species of parasite that can cause malaria in a family known as the Laverania and causes the deadliest form of the infectious disease; in 2017, this parasite accounted for 99.7% of cases in Africa.

The Laverania parasites originated in African great apes; however, they are now restricted to their own specific host species. Three parasite species are confined to chimpanzees, and three are combined to gorillas. What about the seventh, you ask?

Too bad one of the greatest mass murderers in history (Rachel Carson) was able to fool the world into thinking that the life of the malaria mosquito is more important than the lives of millions and millions of people.

Regardless, this is an interesting progression of the disease...


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posted by CBD at 12:15 PM

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