OUR FUTURE DOOM: Pathogen Planet

February 21st, 2006 | researchmaterial

New infectious diseases are now emerging at an exceptional rate, scientists have told a leading conference in St Louis, US.

Humans are accumulating new pathogens at a rate of one per year, they said.

“This accumulation of new pathogens has been going on for millennia – this is how we acquired TB, malaria, smallpox… But at the moment, this accumulation does seem to be happening very fast. So it seems there is something special about modern times – these are good times for pathogens to be invading the human population…”

(Um. I’ll bring the happy and shiny stuff later, okay?)


4 Responses to “OUR FUTURE DOOM: Pathogen Planet”

  1. I guess the point of this may be simply that we actually notice these pathogens now in these enlightened times. That and the fact that there are a couple billion more people on this planet than 100 years ago. With more people you naturally get more infections per unit of time.
    It all comes down to statistics.
    All right, on the other hand these couple billion people also represent a huge vector for infections. Someone will always try that tasty bushmeat or hump that bleeding orifice and then shake someone’s hand. So unless you care to kill that vector, I guess there’s just one way through the flupocalypse: With a fist full of aspirin.

  2. I think the fact that any diseased person who has not yet begun to show symptoms of their amusing new form of easily transmitted death pox can get on a plane and share it with everyone may be playing a part in this.
    This is fast becoming the place I come when I want to feel guilty about the prospect of bringing children into the world. “Here little son or daughter, enjoy your life as the world goes through a cataclysmic shift in where we get our energy, horrible new plagues ravage the land, and the ocean’s become poinsonous to all life in them. Sorry you never got to try sushi.”

  3. Tristan’s right: airplanes and airports are chauffering the most virulent diseases on the planet. We need to return to Zeppelins, cruise ships of the skies, so people have more room to avoid sharing their illnesses and more incubation time on the really virulent stuff.
    Just don’t paint them in thermite like the Hindenburg.

  4. Aren’t people always complaining about overpopulation putting a strain on natural resources, and adding long lines at the liquor store?… now that new plauges have come to solve that problem, shouldn’t we be happy?… of course not, because no matter what happens, people will always complain about everything.

    There have always been plauges, and there will always be new plauges. The only difference now, is that plauges of today get better advertising and animated CGI models.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.