Friday, April 23, 2010

Blues Brothers....The Andromeda Strain

Potentially deadly fungus spreading in US, Canada

A potentially deadly strain of fungus is spreading among animals and people in the northwestern United States and the Canadian province of British Columbia, researchers reported on Thursday.

The airborne fungus, called Cryptococcus gattii, usually only infects transplant and AIDS patients and people with otherwise compromised immune systems, but the new strain is genetically different, the researchers said.

"This novel fungus is worrisome because it appears to be a threat to otherwise healthy people," said Edmond Byrnes of Duke University in North Carolina, who led the study.

"The findings presented here document that the outbreak of C. gattii in Western North America is continuing to expand throughout this temperate region," the researchers said in their report, published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Pathogens at

"Our findings suggest further expansion into neighboring regions is likely to occur and aim to increase disease awareness in the region."

The new strain appears to be unusually deadly, with a mortality rate of about 25 percent among the 21 U.S. cases analyzed, they said.

So what makes this particular little virus so worrisome and problematic? Wait for it now......wait for it.....

Freezing can kill the fungus and climate change may be helping it spread, the researchers said.

You already knew the answer......didn't you......

I am often reminded (almost daily as a matter of fact) of these repeated connections being linked to "GLOBAL WARMING!" It's as if everything is immediately attributable to global warming. Isn't it?

It often reminds me of those classic lines from the Blues Brothers...When Jake (John Belushi) is cornered by the Mystery woman (Carrie Fisher) in the Tunnel...

Remember that scene?

Mystery Woman: You miserable slug! You think you can talk your way out of this? You betrayed me.
Jake: No I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I, I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts. IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD.
[Elwood covers his head in anticipation of more gunfire, Jake removes his sunglasses to make a wordless appeal, and the Mystery Woman visibly softens]
Mystery Woman: Oh, Jake... Jake, honey...
[Jake embraces the Mystery Woman and they kiss]

After which....he drops her in the mud and moves on.

So......let's see.....

We have the "truthers" and the "birthers."

So what say we mint a new group?

What say we call them the "Warmers?"

Those who have never seen an excuse for global warming that they didn't like. Those who like Jake Blues? Can spew an endless litany of ridiculous excuses and not unlike the "Mystery woman?" The media will swoon and collapse into jelly every time they "the warmers" coo another excuse to believe in junk science.

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