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You are browsing the archive for SciComm Archives - Page 2 of 27 - The Plainspoken Scientist.

15 July 2020

Tongue worms, they’re not just for reptiles…..humans too!

Tongue worm disease caused by the parasite Linguatula serrata is a blood sucking parasite that belongs to the group Pentastomida. This species generally inhabits the upper respiratory tract of terrestrial, carnivorous vertebrates. It is mainly found in reptiles and bird species.

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14 July 2020

Winston Churchill and the Spanish Flu

Winston Churchill is notable one of the most influential people to ever live being recognized for many public policies that he had implemented in England during his time serving in parliament.  What is not talked about to a great detail is how he attempted to establish many policies dealing with certain wildlife diseases such as the Spanish flu.

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13 July 2020

A Troubling Site: Mass Death of Botswanan Elephant Population

Since early March, there has been mass death among the elephant population in Botswana. The cause? We don’t know. The Botswanan government has ruled out three causes: poison, poaching, and anthrax. Yet, there has been significant question in the government’s handling of elephant mortality.

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10 July 2020

Debunking the alleged connection between Lyme disease and Unrelated Conditions

Lyme Disease, or Lyme Borreliosis is a zoonotic disease caused by the Borrelia genus of Bacteria. This bacteria is usually transferred to a human host by the bite of a tick. Lyme disease can effect the host’s neurology and often results in fever, headache, tiredness, various bodily pains, and in some cases memory loss. Lyme disease has proven to be a major problem in the United States, affecting an estimated 300,000 Americans yearly. 

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9 July 2020

Danse Macabre, Not as Fun as it Sounds

Wildlife diseases not only impact the health of humans and animals, but they also play a large role in generating artistic trends. One such trend in, or genre of, art was the Danse Macabre, also known as the Dance of Death. This French term comes from the artistic genre that was seen in 1250 to 1500 CE Europe, during the Late Middle Ages. It symbolizes the fact that the journey of life and death is expired by all, and is a uniting theme despite its morbid tone.  

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8 July 2020

The Deadliest Disease that had Claimed Many Lives in the Pre-Columbian Americas

One of the most well-known infectious diseases that had existed throughout history is Smallpox. The Variola virus is the type of virus that is involved in causing this disease. Smallpox tends to spread easily between one individual to another, which makes this disease highly contagious. Fever, vomiting, rashes, body aches, and fluid-filled blisters that are covered with scabs are the kind of symptoms that usually occur among Smallpox infected individuals.

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7 July 2020

First you were like, “whoa!” Then we were like, “WHOA!” And then you were like, “Fibropapillomatosis.”

There is currently a disease that is costing green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, more than just a fin or some “noggin” – it is taking their lives. Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a disease with a cause that is unknown. Here is what we know.

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6 July 2020

Viruses as Medicine for Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial Infections

One of the most groundbreaking medical discoveries has been the development of phage therapy. Phage therapy refers to the use of bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, as a mechanism to defeat antibiotic resistant infections. Phage therapy was first researched due to the fact that, globally, 1.5 million people die from tuberculosis each year. 

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3 July 2020

15 feet Tall and Threatened!

Wild giraffes across Africa are suffering from multiple skin disorders. The Rothschild’s giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschild) population is shrinking at an alarming rate in Kenya and Uganda. Located in Uganda, Murchison Falls National Park (MFNP) did a survey in 2016 that discovered that one third of their giraffes had rash-like lesions of unknown origin.

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2 July 2020

Rabies: What Do You Really Know?

When people think of rabies, they are most likely visualizing an aggressive animal foaming at the mouth and ready to viciously attack any living thing in sight, but is this image always the case?

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