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Bird Flu Is Earths Revenge For Overpopulation
25.01.2006 11:04
Bird Flu Is Earths Revenge For Overpopulation

Highly pathogenic viruses are possibly natural planet population regulators, thinks the head of National Flu Centre (Saint Petersburg), Oleg Kiselev, who has recently suggested a hypothesis about flu virus mutability and its role in regulating human population of our planet.
      
      During recent press conference in Saint Petersburg Mr. Kiselev reported that viruses are constant components of the environment, which become active after population density increases significantly. This suggests existence of natural mechanisms regulating homo sapiens population, and as for viruses, they are possibly cleaners.
      
      Some peculiar feature of flu virus, according to Mr. Kiselev, is its genetic apparatus, which has much in common with human chromosomes. It has 8 mini-chromosomes. A-type flu viruses inhabited many bird and animal species during their evolution. Virus gene mutations continue in bird digestive system under influence of high temperatures (compared to human organism temperatures), and are partly programmed for killing the host organism. Birds are also main virus distributors, due to their long distance migrations twice a year.
      
      In birds viruses have proliferated and formed a large group containing 16 type-one subgroups and 9 type-two subgroups. These viruses have more than 254 primitive genetic combinations.
      These combinations are enough for new viral strains, to which we have no immune defense, to appear every autumn-winter period for centuries. That is why it is crucial for epidemiologists to distinguish simple viruses, which we meet every year, from possible pandemic viruses.
      
      Let us remind you that scientists succeeded in reconstructing pandemic virus of 1918-1919 from archeological excavations of grave material in permafrost of Spitsbergen archipelago. They have deciphered all genes of Spanish flu and came out with some surprising results. First, the hypothesis of bird origin of Spanish pandemic flu proved true. Second, the killer-virus quickly suppresses all types of interferons, causing immune paralysis and inevitable death of a living organism
      
      However, Mr. Kiselev thinks that virus mutations and its distribution by birds are not enough for a pandemic to start. One more factor should exist close contacts between human beings and animals. These contacts become closer due to growing population density for recent decades.
      
      Population growth and growing needs for food production press farmers to breed more poultry and cattle, playing an essential role in flu virus mutability. Mr. Kiselev says bird flu and its mutations are Earths response to planets overpopulation.
      
      The scientist also says that theres no antidote for pandemic flu viruses, therefore some radical preventive social and economic measures should be taken.
      
      Science & Life


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