Navigation Links
First North American Encapsulated Islet Transplant without Long-term Immune Suppression into a Patient with Type 1 Diabetes

Biologists at the University of Liverpool have discovered how the plagues of the Middle Ages have made around 10% of Europeans resistant to HIV. Scientists have known for some time that these individuals carry a genetic mutation (known as CCR5-delta32) that prevents the virus from entering the cells of the immune system but have been unable to account for the high levels of the gene in Scandinavia and relatively low levels in areas bordering the Mediterranean.

They have also been puzzled by the fact that HIV emerged only recently and could not have played a role in raising the frequency of the mutation to the high levels found in some Europeans today.

Professor Christopher Duncan and Dr Susan Scott from the University's School of Biological Sciences, whose research is published in the March edition of Journal of Medical Genetics, attribute the frequency of the CCR5-delta32 mutation to its protection from another deadly viral disease, acting over a sustained period in bygone historic times.

Some scientists have suggested this disease could have been smallpox or even bubonic plague but bubonic plague is a bacterial disease rather than a virus and is not blocked by the CCR5-delta32 mutation.

Professor Duncan commented: "The fact that the CCR5-delta32 mutation is restricted to Europe suggests that the plagues of the Middle Ages played a big part in raising the frequency of the mutation. These plagues were also confined to Europe, persisted for more than 300 years and had a 100% case mortality."

Around 1900, historians spread the idea that the plagues of Europe were not a directly infectious disease but were outbreaks of bubonic plague, overturning an accepted belief that had stood for 550 years. Professor Duncan and Dr Scott illustrated in their book, Return of the Black Death (2004, Wiley), that this idea was incorrect and the plagues of Europe (1347-1660) were in fact a continuing series of epidemics of a lethal, viral, haemorrha gic fever that used the CCR5 as an entry port into the immune system. Using computer modeling, they demonstrated how this disease provided the selection pressure that forced up the frequency of the mutation from 1 in 20,000 at the time of the Black Death to values today of 1 in 10.

Lethal, viral haemorrhagic fevers were recorded in the Nile valley from 1500 BC and were followed by the plagues of Mesopotamia (700-450BC), the plague of Athens (430BC), the plague of Justinian (AD541-700) and the plagues of the early Islamic empire (AD627-744). These continuing epidemics slowly raised the frequency from the original single mutation to about 1 in 20,000 in the 14th century simply by conferring protection from an otherwise certain death.

Professor Duncan added: "Haemorrhagic plague did not disappear after the Great Plague of London in 1665-66 but continued in Sweden, Copenhagen, Russia, Poland and Hungary until 1800. This maintenance of haemorrhagic plague provided continuing selection pressure on the CCR5-delta32 mutation and explains why it occurs today at its highest frequency in Scandinavia and Russia."


'"/>

Source:


Related biology news :

1. Timing is everything: First step in protein building revealed
2. Emory Eye Center Implants Its First Retinal Chips In Patients With Retinitis Pigmentosa
3. First atlas of key brain genes could speed research on cancer, neurological diseases
4. First-ever Compounds To Target Only Metastatic Cells Are Highly Effective Against Breast, Prostate, And Colon Cancers
5. NYCs First Rapid HIV Drug-resistant AIDS Case Prompts Call to Step Up HIV Prevention
6. First real-time view of developing neurons reveals surprises, say Stanford researchers
7. Breast-Cancer Risk Linked to Exposure to Traffic Emissions at Menarche, First Birth
8. Mayo Clinic Researchers Create Obedient Virus; First Step To Use Measles Virus Against Cancer
9. First frozen egg baby born in Canada
10. Human Cells Filmed Instantly Messaging for First Time
11. First technology to remove prions that cause vCJD from blood launched
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/24/2017)... The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. Mohamed ... received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative high security ... ... Maldives Immigration Controller General, ... picture on the right) have received the IAIR award for the "Most ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 21, 2017   Neurotechnology , a provider ... today announced the release of the SentiVeillance ... improved facial recognition using up to 10 surveillance, ... computer. The new version uses deep neural-network-based facial ... it utilizes a Graphing Processing Unit (GPU) for ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... 2017 PMD Healthcare announces the release of ... Management System (WMS), a remote, real-time lung health monitoring ... Healthcare is a Medical Device, Digital Health, and Chronic ... creating innovative solutions that empower people to improve their ... PMD developed the first ever personal spirometer, Spiro PD, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... CA, USA (PRWEB) , ... March 29, 2017 , ... ... various regulatory subjects has announced its 3rd Annual Medical Device Summit 2017 venue and ... the Omni Parker House Hotel, in Boston, MA. , The Omni Parker House Hotel, ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , ... March 29, 2017 , ... ... instrumentation for cell-based assays, disperses a quarterly travel award to noteworthy scientists who ... the company announced that its new round of awards are being given to ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... SAN DIEGO and NEWARK, Del. ... Inc. , a privately-held regenerative medicine company, and ... global materials science company, today announced a collaborative research ... develop novel implantable cell therapy delivery device technologies that ... more than a decade, ViaCyte has been developing innovative ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... The Global Microfluidic Chips Market by Manufacturers, Countries, Type ... study on the existing state of the global Microfluidic Chips industry ... and Asia-Pacific , South ... Africa . ... Browse 172 Tables and Figures, 13 Major Company Profiles, spread ...
Breaking Biology Technology: