Fiona Staunton May 2013
Current Event # 2 Biology 10H
Within the last year, two new, rapidly evolving diseases have hit both Asia and the Arabian peninsula. These disease have killed nearly 60 people, combined. More than 15 new strains of diseases have hit the globe in the last 20 years. However, many people are not worrying about these new diseases. Scientists are now taking a stand and working to stop the spread and creation of these new diseases. As the new diseases crop up, people are left with no prevention. Scientists are now using rapid gene sequencing to try and find a cure and cause of these new disease strains. Also, people re now posting their symptoms on many online websites, such as WebMD and ProMED so that if people are suspicious, they can compare their symptoms and catch the diseases quicker. These new tools could potentially save many, many lives.
These new technologies are extremely important to not only the field of science, but to humans everywhere. Many people know of the Spanish Flu in 1918, that killed an estimated 50-100 million people worldwide. Many people have heard about the deadly Black Plague in Europe which killed between 75-200 million people. Imagine if we had a serious outbreak of disease that wiped out people in such numbers? There are new diseases that are now spreading in the world, all of them extremely dangerous. The fact that scientists are spending more and more time trying to contain these diseases and find causes and cures, it extremely important in saving many people’s lives. It is also very important that countries are now working together to aid each other with new diseases, as the article wrote. The World Health Organization now considers covering up an outbreak of a disease a violation. This article is also relevant to our biology class, as we are studying genes.
I found this article to be extremely interesting and important, however there were some key parts missing. The article only mentioned rapid gene sequencing once – which was not enough. I found that I had to Google myself what this new technology was in order to better understand it. Because rapid gene sequencing is so important to hunting new viruses, I feel that it should have been better explained. Also, in general, I felt the article did not go into depth about what scientist were actually doing to stop these new disease, which is the main point of the article. I found that too much of it was spent explaining the diseases rather than what was going on to stop them. However, overall I found this article to be interesting and extremely relevant to humans everywhere.