Birdflu Survival Update -7
CCR5 and Flu
I noticed that I have not established a link between the two in previous writings available to you .
The easiest way to see it is the pneumonic form of bubonic plague . It has borrowed the flu machinery for quick injection of material into the cell . This is so quickly lethal to the cell that it burns out too fast to be a serious pandemic .
Note that the 1918 Flu was preceded by a world-wide flu-like pandemic , where people got very ill with flu-like symptoms , but very few died . (March 1918) .They also recovered very rapidly , but there seems to have been no immunity response . (They died just as readily in the later November 1918 forms . ) In other words , the immune system had no chance to learn .
Yet workers in sulfur-rich environments were nearly unaffected .
This can be seen as an infection so virulent that it quickly killed the cells it penetrated.
No big problem . One intruder kills one cell , and the clean-up squad (apoptosis or immune system) removes the evidence .
But the immune system hasn’t learned much to counter the attacker in future . The cell has also not learned any handy new tricks the attacker might have . A system that allows controlled access to attackers would be much superior in competition with similar cells than those who do not .
Hence , a general learning channel to import a wide variety of genetic material under controlled conditions evolved . CCR5 seems to be one such a system . It happened a long time ago during the transition to an oxygen atmosphere . Organisms such as Flu or HIV seems to have learned to jam the learning channel open .
There seems to be a feedback element here as well . There seems to be no evolutionary advantage in HIV mutating endlessly to gain entry into an open port . The only advantage is that entry stimulates new immune system molecules configured for the new entry . The HIV uses the cells own machinery to exhaust the immune system . This also how flu works ( ie SARS overloaded immune systems ) . From evolutionary pressures , less lethal surviving varieties would evolve very quickly .
In evolutionary terms , any bug that does not kill off the whole species is a positive learning experience . An open port like CCR5 begs the question why the species is still in existence .
One view is that it is an over-population control .
Since sulfur supply is limited , too many organisms dilute the sulfur concentration per organism . Jamming open an entry-port into a cell will then quickly lead to the the evolution of predatory organisms that will reduce the population , regardless of the immune response . There has been about two billion years for this mechanism to become established.
The question is why such an obvious attack route has not been blocked . The answer is that it has . But it requires chemicals available in high concentrations at the time of the evolution of these ports . Sulfur and methane.
Note the importance of methane-type compounds in epigenetic programming . Sulfur (like in H2S) plays an equally important part .
Stem-cells can be seen as a form of suspended animation . This can be mediated by H2S . Since Sulfur is an element which is not very biologically active , shortages will be noticeable here first .
I have no guidelines on methane , since it’s importance only popped during this analysis . Methylazation as found in epigenetic programming would seem to be adaptation of methane-groups to more sophisticated usages as happened with oestrogen evolution . Still , it would happen easier if there was more methane . The body’s normal supply seems to be from gut-bacteria . A healthy intestinal flora seems more important than ever .
Sulfur concentrations and availability in the environment is still mainly determined by volcanic activity . Sulfur is sequestered into rocks , usually in the form of sulfates .Humans have put a few billion tons back into circulations via fertilizer , but it is drop in the bucket (unlike carbon , where fire does the work , sulfates has to be dug up , transported and laboriously reworked . ) Local high sulfur concentrations in rich agricultural nations might seem to be a problem , but the planetary concentration per person is decreasing .(Most food production in the East is done without artificial fertilizer).
Remember , every human being sequesters at least 15 kg of sulfur in his body . At his burial , this is interred in a grave yard and not recycled immediately . Human feces in the West is not recycled immediately ( usually washed into the sea) . All that sulfur is lost and the rate of replenishment does not keep up .
The result is a lowering of the sulfur concentration , not only in humans , but in the whole eco-system .
This leads to the worrisome conclusion that major pandemics of plant- and animal diseases are in the offing . HIV and Birdflu can be seen as ones .But an equivalent one would be diseases for wheat , corn , rice , cassava , manioc , beans , bamboo or any of the staple foods
The over-population control seems to be alive and operative .
What to do ?
Species survival seems extremely ulikely .
Get off planet . Lament in your remaining time about the things you lot have been too stupid to maintain (you know , small things like air to breathe , water to drink , food to eat .)
The Terran ecology has been irrevocably disturbed . Any organisms remaining on-planet face a prolonged period of genetic instability (read extinction , retro-viral mutation , etc . )
Here is the joker:
Any humans moving successfully off-planet will need to understand genetics and ecology so well ( to create selfsustaining habitats) that they could redesign the Terran ecosystem . This is doubtful . The easier alternative would be to redesign humans .
Either way , Homo Saps is extinct . Deal with it .