Friday, May 23, 2014

Viewpoints Industry Explores the Rare People Who Seem to be Immune to Disease

Viewpoints Industry reports that a number of children have been discovered in a village in Tanzania who have shown some significant resistance to the malaria parasite.  Their apparent immunity to malaria is drawing researchers from around the world hoping to get an edge against the tropical disease that claims over 600,000 lives every year.  The children appear to carry antibodies that have the ability to attack the malaria parasite during a sensitive stage of its development.  As a result, the children appear to be well while others in their village are suffering from an acute malaria outbreak.

Viewpoints Industry reports on the medical industry's efforts to understand why some people seem to be immune to some diseases.

We at the Viewpoints Industry TV show pause to wonder -- is this simply a mechanism of evolution that has permitted the human species to survive down through a million years of biohazards such as bacteria, viruses and parasites?  There was the classic case of Typhoid Mary, who was immune to the typhus disease in her body, even though she was a carrier who infected others.  There have also been those found immune to bubonic plague, devastating influenza epidemics and even AIDS.  The hope is that if researchers can figure out what is granting this immunity to these individuals, that the defense mechanism can be reproduced among other populations, and perhaps even generate a vaccine against these killer diseases.

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