It is now thirty years since the discovery of AIDS but its origins continue to puzzle doctors and scientists. Inspired by his own experiences working as an infectious diseases physician in Africa, Jacques Pepin looks back to the early twentieth-century events in Africa that triggered the emergence of HIV/AIDS and traces its subsequent development into the most dramatic and destructive epidemic of modern times.
He shows how the disease was first transmitted from chimpanzees to man and then how urbanization, prostitution, and large-scale colonial medical campaigns intended to eradicate tropical diseases combined to disastrous effect to fuel the spread of the virus from its origins in Léopoldville to the rest of Africa, the Caribbean and ultimately worldwide.
This is an essential new perspective on HIV/AIDS and on the lessons that must be learnt if we are to avoid provoking another pandemic in the future. Comprehensive and coherent history of events that led to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. This book adds historical perspective to recent molecular work on the chronology of the development of the virus
Emphasizes how colonialism, the urbanization of central Africa, as well as interventions to control tropical diseases, created the right environment for HIV/AIDS to develop.
2019 AIDS Update
Current State of HIV Cure
The Evolving Genetics of HIV
Today's technologically advanced cultures understand disease and pathogens differently from pre-modern peoples, who viewed calamities as mythological, millenial and threatening.
William McNeill's ground breaking seminal book (Plagues & Peoples) is a cogent account of archaic, mythological civilizations beginning to congregate after the achievement of planting, the single most advanced achievement of neolithic man. Epidemic diseases flourished throughout neolithic periods with the propensity for large homogenized concentrations of peoples in tight quarters with pestilence ridden animals created the vortex of opportunity for extreme pathogens to flourish.......as does the terror.
A second century smallpox epidemic ultimately quickened the pace of the fall of Rome; the 14th century saw the of bubonic plague captured by Italian merchants along the Silk Road arriving south to Mediterranean littoral regions like Venice and Constantinople wiping out nearly a third of western Europe's population.
William McNeill recounts how human ingenuity, trading routes and progress itself is inseparable from the mythological terror of premodern societies.
The Arrival and Spread of Black Plague in Europe
Khan Academy- Bubonic Plague
A series of natural disasters in the Orient during the fourteenth century brought about the most devastating period of death and destruction in European history. The epidemic killed one-third of Europe's people over a period of three years, and the resulting social and economic upheaval was on a scale unparalleled in all of recorded history. Synthesizing the records of contemporary chroniclers and the work of later historians, Philip Ziegler offers a critically acclaimed overview of this crucial epoch in a single masterly volume. The Black Death vividly and comprehensively brings to light the full horror of this uniquely catastrophic event that hastened the disintegration of an age.
A flea's host boards shipping vessels in Byzantine Venice and Florence, only later did the Monarchy discover that its exporting bubonic plague.
A vast percentage of western Europe is wiped out!
Sorting through the evidence requires painstaking grave digging, micro-biologists and review of historical data to confirm its origin from the Eurasian Silk Road.
A series of natural disasters in the Orient during the fourteenth century brought about the most devastating period of death and destruction in European history.
The epidemic killed one-third of Europe's people over a period of three years, and the resulting social and economic upheaval was on a scale unparalleled in all of recorded history.
Synthesizing the records of contemporary chroniclers and the work of later historians, Philip Ziegler offers a critically acclaimed overview of this crucial epoch in a single masterly volume. The Black Death vividly and comprehensively brings to light the full horror of this uniquely catastrophic event that hastened the disintegration of an age.
A macabre 'plague pit' containing 48 skeletons has been uncovered at Thornton Abbey, Lincolnshire in the UK – a mass grave of villagers who fell victim to the Black Plague.
The discovery, which includes the remains of 27 children, is an extremely rare find in the UK - despite the devastation unleashed by the deadly plague during the 14th century, this represents only the third confirmed mass burial site tied to the pandemic.
"Despite the fact it is now estimated that up to half the population of England perished during the Black Death, multiple graves associated with the event are extremely rare in this country," says lead researcher Hugh Willmott from the University of Sheffield, "and it seems local communities continued to dispose of their loved ones in as ordinary a way as possible."
While conventional burials may have been the norm, in extreme circumstances local communities would have been overwhelmed by the Black Death, the team says, resorting to disposing of huge numbers of corpses at once.
"The finding of a previously unknown and completely unexpected mass burial dating to this period in a quiet corner of rural Lincolnshire is thus far unique," Willmott says, "and sheds light into the real difficulties faced by a small community ill prepared to face such a devastating threat."
The Black Death, often singled out as the deadliest plague humanity has ever faced, is estimatedto have killed 75 to 200 million people, with the peak of the pandemic occurring in Europe between 1346 and 1353.
The infection, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, reached Lincolnshire in the spring of 1349, where it killed unknown numbers of local adults and children in a matter of days.
"Mass burials are a signal of when the system has broken down," Willmott told Haroon Siddique at The Guardian. "This community had obviously reached a point where it could not cope."
The researchers say the bodies here were not heaped on top of one another, but carefully laid out in rows, with the placement of children overlapping adults suggesting possible family groups.
The plague killed quickly – with infected people dying within three to five days – so it's likely that the bodies here were brought to the abbey from a nearby monastery hospital, to receive last rites from the priests.
While those last rites may have been administered, the clergy couldn't offer these poor souls traditional burials due to the great numbers of infected. So the church and townspeople would have been forced to dig mass graves, the kind of which researchers have only seen in London before now.
"The only two previously identified 14th century sites where Yersinia pestis has been identified are historically documented cemeteries in London, where the civic authorities were forced to open new emergency burial grounds to cope with the very large numbers of the urban dead," Willmott says in a press release.
The excavation, which began in 2011, discovered various belongings in addition to human remains, including a pendant called a Tau Cross, worn to ward off sickness – but which sadly could offer no protection from the scourge of the Black Death.
"[It] was found in the excavated hospital building," says Willmott.
"This pendant was used by some people as a supposed cure against a condition called St Antony's fire, which in modern day science is probably a variety of skin conditions."
To confirm the discovery, the archaeologists sent teeth samples from the skeletons to researchers at McMaster University in Canada, who extracted DNA from the tooth pulp.
Tests confirmed the presence of Yersinia pestis, but while it's only the third such Black Death mass grave found in England, there could be many more, hidden by vegetation and the passage of time.
"Before we began the dig the site was just an ordinary green field grazed by sheep for hundreds of years, but like many fields across England, as soon as you take away the turf, layers of history can be revealed by archaeology," says Willmott.
The research is ongoing, so the researchers haven't published any of their findings as yet.
But they intend to further study the bodies back in the lab, to try to figure out which of the skeletons were related in life, what their health and diet was like, and even look for clues as to their livelihoods.
"We don't focus just on their deaths," Willmott told The Guardian.
"Archaeologists tend to see the point as learning about these people in life. We know now they died from the Black Death, but this was a living, breathing community. What can these skeletons tell us about their lives before their funeral?"
HISTORY OF THORNTON ABBEY AND GATEHOUSE
BBC NEWS: DEATH PIT
TAU CROSS: MEDIEVAL HEALTHCARE
EXCAVATION OF THORNTON ABBEY: DNA ANALYSIS, 3D MODELING, AND SURPRISES TOO!
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NEIGHBORS man looked in surprise. It was an English sparrow. The scared bird had built himself a nest in a hole that either he had found or burrowed there. Talk about feather beds! The inside of that hole was just packed with chicken feathers. That sparrow must have been a week or two picking them up, one by one, about the country, for the man does not keep chickens. It was certainly too bad to be driven out of doors in such weather, for it was very cold, and the sun was well along in the western sky. How would you like it to be turned out of bed and house on a cold winters afternoon to hunt any old place you could find? Well, just about that time the cardinal came along. I do not know whether he understood how the sparrow had been misused or not; but, anyway, he made some remarks that the man thought were certainly meant for him. If you do not know it, let me tell you that the cardinal can whistle, in a startling way, sounds that seem almost like words. This time the cardinal seemed to be angry.
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SCARLET TANAGERSUMMER TANAGER RED-HEADED WOODPECKER CARDINAL GROSBEAK DOWNY WOODPECKER THE NEIGHBOR IN RED If he understood what had happened, he had reason to be. Look here! look here! whistled the cardinal. Of course the man did look. But Mr. Cardinal did not seem at all afraid to talk up to the man. The bird came a little nearer, tipped his head to one side, and flirted his tail. Then he whistled again. See here! See here! Well, said the man to himself, I guessI have stirred up a bit of a tempest. I certainly did not mean any harm to the bird fraternity. The man stepped back a pace or two, and paused again to hear the cardinal whistle once more. This time the words seemed somewhat different. You fear! You fear! At this the cardinal whisked about and sounded a chip of seeming indignation. Come here! Come here! screamed the cardinal. But the man was of a peaceable nature, and did not intend to quarrel with any bird, MY GARDEN NEIGHBORS much less the cardinal.
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mer Eedbird]. Ea^^ge.—Southeastern United States and northern South America. Breeds in Carolinian and Austroriparianzones from southeastern Nebraska, southern Iowa, south-eastern Wisconsin, central Indiana, southern Ohio, Maryland (formerly New Jersey), and Delaware south to northeastern Mexico and central Florida; winters from central Mexico and Yucatan to Ecuador, Peru, and Guiana; stragglers north to ISTew Brunswick, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Maine, and Ontario; migrant in western Cuba; accidental in the Bahamas. A beautiful bird, especially the male, but a lazy pair when it comes down to nest building. Seldom it is that you cant walk along some path on the edge of a piece of woods, or that bordering the main country road, and look up through a flimsy-made nest of these birds, and see the eggs. In this respect they may be classed with the Mourning Dove and the Green Heron. Don't misjudge these remarks and think you can go along any road or path and see nests easily, for they are not an over-common
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SUMME-E TANAGER Ct-Paal-K OF VIRGINIA 251 bird with us, though suitable localities seldom fail to have their single pair. The casual observer is ajDt to confuse them with the Cardinal, especially during the breeding season, on account of the height of the nest, often not six feet from the ground. The nest is placed on the crotch of a lower limb of a tree, an oak, dogwood or pine, generally. Three to four eggs is a complete set with us, apale bluish-green, spotted and blotched with reddish-brown. Size, .92x.64. Fresh eggs May 20th to June12th. They do not winter with us. Kest composed offine straws or grasses, loosely made, or woven together.Only one brood a season. The spring migratory birds reach us about April 17th, and depart southward August 5th to. 8th. Their song is uttered from the tree tops,seldom when in close proximity to the nest or ground,and is rather pleasing to the ear, though it never varies,being confined to three notes, and a short stanza similarto the Red-eyed Vireo.
Donald and Lillian Stokes are widely recongized as America's foremost authorities on birds and nature. Their newest book, The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America is the most comprehensive photographic field guide to birds ever published. They have written more than thirty other books, which have cumulatively sold more than 4.5 million copies, including the bestselling Stokes Field Guide to Birds (Eastern and Western editions), the Stokes Beginner's Guide to Birds, the Stokes Nature Guides, and the Stokes Backyard Nature Books. They have hosted a popular public television series, Stokes Birds at Home, and offer current birding information on their Stokes Birding Blog, which features Lillian Stokes's stunning photography.
".. in the journal Cell, researchers report that the bacterium was infecting people as long as 5,000 years ago.
"...Exactly what those early outbreaks were like is impossible to know. But the authors of the new study suggest that plague epidemics in the Bronze Age may have opened the doors to waves of migrants in regions decimated by disease.
“To my mind, this leaves little doubt that this has played a major role in those population replacements,” said Eske Willerslev, a co-author of the new study and the director of the Center for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen.
"David M. Wagner, a microbial geneticist at Northern Arizona University who was not involved in the study, said that the new research should prompt other scientists to look at mysterious outbreaks in early history, such as the epidemic that devastated Athens during the Peloponnesian War. “It opens up whole new areas of research,” he said...."