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TOPIC: Parasites Are GOOD For You (The Right Sort, Anyway).

Parasites Are GOOD For You (The Right Sort, Anyway). 12 Sep 2013 17:16 #1

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Sorry it's only a snippet-item from msn news. I'll try to find out more info later:

Ancient parasites that have plagued the human race throughout its history are being sought by scientists so they can be used to treat allergies.

The intestinal worms and amoeba-like organisms have been our companions since humans and apes separated on the evolutionary path five million years ago.

Experts think the "heirloom" parasites are so wedded to humans that their removal through clean food and hygiene can upset the immune system.

This may result in an untargeted immune response that can trigger allergy conditions such as asthma and eczema, according to the theory.

Scientists hope treatment with harmless parasites, or proteins derived from them, may combat allergies by bringing the immune system back under control.

But first they must know which organisms fall into the heirloom category that infected our most distant ancestors and their ape relatives.

Other parasites known as "souvenirs", acquired more recently as humans spread around the world, are not expected to offer effective therapies.

A study based on archaeological evidence and data from non-human primates such chimpanzees, gorillas and baboons, has singled out 10 heirloom parasites believed to have originated in Africa.

They include malaria - one of the greatest scourges of the developing world - as well the toxoplasmosis parasite spread by cats, and several flukes and worms.

An immune system antibody called immunoglobin E (IgE) that is linked to allergies has evolved specifically to target parasites.
"...Wyrde saves oft the man undoomed
if he undaunted be....". (Beowulf).

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths... Beautiful people do not just happen". (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).


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Parasites Are GOOD For You (The Right Sort, Anyway). 12 Sep 2013 23:21 #2

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www.irishtimes.com/news/science/egyptian-mummy-entrails-could-help-reduce-allergies-1.1525752
Egyptian mummy entrails could help reduce allergies
Researcher says remains can show when parasites started to infect humans

Information hidden in the entrails of Egyptian mummies and in ancient human burial sites could help reduce allergies in children and adults today.
Human remains have tales to tell if you know where to look and Dr Piers Mitchell knew where and what to look for. He wanted to understand when parasites such as worms and fluke first started to infect humans and see what impact parasites might have had on human evolution.
The clues themselves were fossilised egg cases and worms, proof of infection and also of the kinds of parasites our ancient relatives carried. Details of the research were published last week in the International Journal of Paleopathology, and he discussed them today on the closing day of the British Science Festival in Newcastle.
The evidence could be found in mummified bodies from Egypt, South America and the Sudan and in any human burial ground. Egg casings and worms could also be found in “coprolites”, fossilised human faeces, he said.
He collated information available from around the world, trying to get a picture of what parasites our ancestors carried but also to study the migratory paths they followed.
He identified what he called 16 “heirloom” parasites. These were the infectious agents that existed as early humans evolved, parasites that in turn would later be carried away by them as they moved to colonise places away from Africa.
The list is very familiar given these parasites are with us today such as roundworm, tapeworm, liver fluke and toxoplasmosis to name a few. Only 10 left however, as evidenced by their disappearance from human remains probably because the six parasites could not survive away from Africa, Dr Mitchell said.
But migrating humans picked up 12 new “souvenir” parasites “in the way you might acquire a souvenir on holidays”, he said. Examples included a number of flukes, chagas and others, with the evidence again found in the burial remains.
The parasite evidence tells us about the health of past populations, whether they were hunter gatherers in Africa, Chinese emperors or Incas in South America, Dr Mitchell said.
This data looks towards the past but there is an important future dimension to it. The data could help research into allergies experienced by modern day humans.
The human immune system fights parasitic infections such as worms, fluke and malaria using a specialised immune protein called IgE. But this same protein goes off-kilter when a person suffers from allergies, driving all the symptoms from blocked sinuses to asthma.
Allergies are on the rise in western society, with children in particular suffering, Dr Mitchell said. Researchers believe this might be because we no longer carry a burden of parasites in our overly clean environment, effectively leaving the IgE with nothing to do but drive allergies.
The response is experiments where a person is intentionally infected with worms to see if this lessens allergic symptoms.
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Parasites Are GOOD For You (The Right Sort, Anyway). 12 Sep 2013 23:31 #3

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"...intentionally infected with worms...." *gulp* Who is going to volunteer? Not me, not even with my asthma. The very idea of worms in my gut gives me the shivers. BUT we know that we have made our homes et al so very clean that it is bad for our children - the mucky little blighters are MEANT to be mucky little blighters if they are to build resistance and develop the right bacterium in their systems.

But, I mean, WORMS?.... :umm:
"...Wyrde saves oft the man undoomed
if he undaunted be....". (Beowulf).

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths... Beautiful people do not just happen". (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).


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Parasites Are GOOD For You (The Right Sort, Anyway). 12 Sep 2013 23:44 #4

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How much of this is another "fashion du jour" though? We've had them trying to bring back leeches (yeuk); putting maggots on the dead flesh around wounds; breeding little fish to nibble away the hard skin on our feet. Was the getting rid of these "pests" really bad, so bad that it requires their return?

I know that if you miss a tapeworm in a horse's worming programme, it's likely to pierce the horse's gut and cause colic (the number one cause of horse deaths in the UK today); lungworm in dogs is really not pleasant and shortens their life-span considerably; and in parts of Africa, worms and parasites perfectly "natural" to those regions cause large scale illnesses and death.

But it's suddenly a GOOD THING to reintroduce them into our own bodies? Is it? Really?
"...Wyrde saves oft the man undoomed
if he undaunted be....". (Beowulf).

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths... Beautiful people do not just happen". (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).


:cavalier
Last Edit: 12 Sep 2013 23:47 by cantata.
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Parasites Are GOOD For You (The Right Sort, Anyway). 13 Sep 2013 00:00 #5

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I think there could be a lot of truth to it. I remember as a boy being told that Hedgehogs die if their flees are removed as they are addicted to them. Also I heard somewhere that many animals have evolved with their various parasites, and it can be detrimental to remove the parasites because it can throw the animals body systems out of control.
The reason why when traveling we often get stomach upsets, I was told that there are different bacteria in different places so the local population would be immune, but the traveler to the area would take some time to build up immunity to the local environment.
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Parasites Are GOOD For You (The Right Sort, Anyway). 13 Sep 2013 00:04 #6

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I can see that being the case with bacteria, jonb - but WORMS and PARASTIES? :conf:
"...Wyrde saves oft the man undoomed
if he undaunted be....". (Beowulf).

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths... Beautiful people do not just happen". (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).


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Parasites Are GOOD For You (The Right Sort, Anyway). 13 Sep 2013 00:19 #7

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I have spent many an amusing night in my youth in the company of the upper classes, worms and parasites arn't so bad when you get used to them as long as the're buying.
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Parasites Are GOOD For You (The Right Sort, Anyway). 13 Sep 2013 08:21 #8

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:D
"...Wyrde saves oft the man undoomed
if he undaunted be....". (Beowulf).

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths... Beautiful people do not just happen". (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).


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Parasites Are GOOD For You (The Right Sort, Anyway). 13 Sep 2013 22:38 #9

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My youngest Grandchild has Sickle Cell Trait, as does my Son....It's believed that people with this condition have some immunity to Malaria...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sickle_cell_trait
Last Edit: 13 Sep 2013 22:39 by pheony.
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Parasites Are GOOD For You (The Right Sort, Anyway). 13 Sep 2013 22:50 #10

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Well I never knew that.
"...Wyrde saves oft the man undoomed
if he undaunted be....". (Beowulf).

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths... Beautiful people do not just happen". (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).


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Parasites Are GOOD For You (The Right Sort, Anyway). 13 Sep 2013 22:58 #11

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cantata wrote:
Well I never knew that.

Nor did I until recently. When my Son was tested at birth...he was negative....they said. :roll:.....when my Granddaughter was tested she was positive...so we were confused because my sons partner was negative, One of them has to have it...so my Son was retested and came out positive.

His father who must also have the Sickle Cell Trait.....said that he didn't :roll:

I tested negative.
Last Edit: 13 Sep 2013 22:58 by pheony.
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Parasites Are GOOD For You (The Right Sort, Anyway). 14 Sep 2013 00:55 #12

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I am strongly dyslexic, most of my family have dyslexic traits, and much more than half of us are left handers. Most of my family are in creative or craft occupations. When I worked in graphic design the average studio was about 70% left handers. I do not think this is a coincidence. I honestly think that there are advantages in having dyslexia.
All the 'medical' examination into dyslexia has been about the problems a dyslexic might have there has been almost no research into the advantages.
It seems to me there is a view that the is a perfect model for how a human should be and any difference from that perfect form is wrong. I strongly disagree with this view! I think we are all different for a reason, it makes sense we have different metabolisms, if a village all ate the same food and metabolized it in the same way, and there was something wrong with the food, they would all be ill. However if the people all were slightly different some might not be ill, and as such could look after the others.
I have come to the view that many what are called disabilities are actually there (at least in their mild forms) to aid our survival.
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Parasites Are GOOD For You (The Right Sort, Anyway). 14 Sep 2013 01:04 #13

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From a lot of what I've seen (on a very long trog so far) a "lack" in one area often carries a compensatory benefit in another area. On my first ever horse training course (way back when I was 17), one of the students was a boy called Patrick (so handsome!) and he was dyslexic.... but, OMG!.... the memory on him. He could have a book read to him and almost quote it back verbatim after one or two readings. He said that it was how he managed to cover his "shame" at school of not being able to read - and he had fooled the teachers one and all until he left.

I've never, ever met anyone since with a memory like his. He was astounding.
"...Wyrde saves oft the man undoomed
if he undaunted be....". (Beowulf).

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths... Beautiful people do not just happen". (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).


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Parasites Are GOOD For You (The Right Sort, Anyway). 14 Sep 2013 01:22 #14

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I worked with a guy on the autistic spectrum, He was brilliant at concentrating on a problem and could it seemed to me channel his whole mind on one objective. There is also I think are a lot of connections between depression and creativity. But we need a mix of types. I think one of the problems that was the cause of the Banking crash was their willingness to hire people with tunnel vision that could go after an objective, which meant they lacked anybody looking around at the general picture that could see the hole they were dropping into.
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Parasites Are GOOD For You (The Right Sort, Anyway). 14 Sep 2013 01:31 #15

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jonb wrote:
I am strongly dyslexic, most of my family have dyslexic traits, and much more than half of us are left handers. Most of my family are in creative or craft occupations. When I worked in graphic design the average studio was about 70% left handers. I do not think this is a coincidence. I honestly think that there are advantages in having dyslexia.
All the 'medical' examination into dyslexia has been about the problems a dyslexic might have there has been almost no research into the advantages.
It seems to me there is a view that the is a perfect model for how a human should be and any difference from that perfect form is wrong. I strongly disagree with this view! I think we are all different for a reason, it makes sense we have different metabolisms, if a village all ate the same food and metabolized it in the same way, and there was something wrong with the food, they would all be ill. However if the people all were slightly different some might not be ill, and as such could look after the others.
I have come to the view that many what are called disabilities are actually there (at least in their mild forms) to aid our survival.

I have a cousin who is also strongly dyslexic...he has for many years been a top Barrister. Anything is possible. :)
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Parasites Are GOOD For You (The Right Sort, Anyway). 14 Sep 2013 15:25 #16

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Parasites Are GOOD For You (The Right Sort, Anyway). 14 Sep 2013 16:26 #17

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cantata wrote:
From a lot of what I've seen (on a very long trog so far) a "lack" in one area often carries a compensatory benefit in another area. On my first ever horse training course (way back when I was 17), one of the students was a boy called Patrick (so handsome!) and he was dyslexic.... but, OMG!.... the memory on him. He could have a book read to him and almost quote it back verbatim after one or two readings. He said that it was how he managed to cover his "shame" at school of not being able to read - and he had fooled the teachers one and all until he left.

I've never, ever met anyone since with a memory like his. He was astounding.

My mate Dave has a 'photographic memory' (he's the guy who won £250,000 on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire a few years back who I mentioned in another thread recently), and he's a legend in his own pint pot on the Manchester pub quiz night circuit. :D

Seriously, its weird how he remembers stuff....much of it just trivia. You know those quiz machines with cash prizes you see in pubs? Well he can play a particular one a few times and remember the previous questions/answers to such an extent that after a while he never loses....I've seen him empty them. :cool:
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