December 6, 2011 Leave a comment
Listened to an absolutely fabulous Radiolab episode last week– “Patient Zero.” Learned the fascinating true story of Typhoid Mary, but even more interestingly, how scientists have uncovered the actual origins of the HIV virus. I had no idea that scientists now believe that the virus first passed into humans way back in 1908. The “patient zero” I learned all about in the excellent film, “And the Band Played On” spread the virus far and wide, but was far from the original patient. Quite timely on a personal level, as David has just taken an interest in deadly viruses (largely to use them in a computer game) and has been asking a lot about HIV. The same day I listened to the podcast, there was also a nice piece in Science Times about the quest to actually cure, rather than just manage, the HIV virus. Short version: scientists are making progress, but it’s really hard. I was particularly interested to learn about genetic variations in small portions of the public that may hold the key to finding a cure for everybody. Both the podcast and the article are definitely worth your time.