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Suppressing Immune System Might Save People Infected By Brain-Eating Amoeba Naegleria Fowleri

Source: [caption id="attachment_974" align="alignleft" width="424"] People who become contract Naegleria fowleri may survive a little longer, or altogether, if doctors prevent their immune systems from responding to the infection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention[/caption] Naegleria fowleri lives up to its nickname: the brain-eating amoeba. After a rush of contaminated fresh water, usually from lakes, rivers, and hot springs, enters the nose, the parasite moves up the nasal cavity toward the brain, where it feeds on cells and releases proteins that destroy brain tissue. This infection, called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), is almost always untreatable — in the U.S., only three of the 133 people who became infected since the parasite’s discovery in 1962 have survived. New approaches to treatment, however, may soon change that. Doctors have...


Climate Change Does Have Some Winners, Like Brain-Eating Parasites

BY JOE ROMM POSTED ON APRIL 14, 2015 AT 2:27 PM - Source: An aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads dengue (and chikungunya) virus. The 2014 National Climate Assessment warned that climate change is “increasing the risk of … health threats that are currently uncommon in the United States, such as dengue fever.” CREDIT: AP PHOTO/USDA, FILE It’s a myth there are no big winners from climate change besides fossil fuel companies. According to one study, global warming is doubling bark beetle mating, triggering up to 60 times as many beetles attacking trees every year. The decline in creatures with shells thanks to ocean acidification “could trigger an explosion in jellyfish populations.” And climate change has helped dengue fever, which spread to 28 U.S. states back in 2009. Of course, invasive plants will become “even more dominant...