Thursday Throughput for 4/25/19

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Michael Siegel

Michael Siegel is an astronomer living in Pennsylvania. He is on Twitter, blogs at his own site, and has written a novel.

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  1. fillyjonk fillyjonk
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    ThTh7: My personal-favorite Scientific Rule 34 was a paper I ran across (while researching oribatid mites) about soil invertebrate communities found in pit toilets. Yes, like the ones at the campsite.

    ThTh5: Even preventing 40% of cases would be amazing. I talk a lot to my students about how malaria is the most terrible disease most Americans never think about. Not sure if herd immunity would be a thing here; whether the immune person would still harbor the parasite and could pass it on, but if somehow the vaccine led to their bodies killing the parasites so that they had a low/nonexistent malarial parasite load….that might reduce the spread to others then.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to fillyjonk
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      It also matters what other species can harbor malaria parasites. I’m guessing an effective vaccine would substantially reduce the likelihood that a person would if not eliminate the likelihood of passing on the infection to a mosquito (many vaccines reduce or eliminate risk of transmission) but if there are other animals serving as reservoirs that may matter less.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to pillsy
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        Yeah, I didn’t think of that. I know some other species (western fence lizards for one, and many species of birds, for another) have their own malaria parasites, but those are different species of Plasmodium and i don’t think they can infect humans. I do know there are several different forms of Plasmodium that can cause human malaria….

        I’m guessing dealing with the mosquito populations would be the most effective intervention, but that has gone badly in the past (given some of the chemicals used)Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to fillyjonk
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      Malaria is that one disease that makes even entomologists OK with wiping out a species.Report

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