The Global Fool

our planet is our village

Prenatal Exposure to Pollutants: Influence on the Immune Response
Nov30

Prenatal Exposure to Pollutants: Influence on the Immune Response

By Roberta Attanasio The development of the immune system during fetal and neonatal life is negatively influenced by exposure to toxic chemicals, resulting in compromised immune function later in life. An example is fetal exposure to arsenic, which has deleterious effects on the immune response to influenza virus infection in adulthood. Now, results from a new study provide additional evidence for the role that exposure to toxic...

Read More
Chlorovirus ATCV-1, a Green Algae Virus, May Slow Human Brain Activity
Nov03

Chlorovirus ATCV-1, a Green Algae Virus, May Slow Human Brain Activity

By Roberta Attanasio Chlorella viruses, or chloroviruses, infect green algae, single-celled organisms present throughout the world in freshwater ecosystems such as lakes and ponds. Now, it seems that chlorovirues also infect humans, causing changes in cognitive functions — the processes by which information is perceived, registered, stored, retrieved, and used. In other words, chloroviruses influence the ability to acquire and...

Read More
Food-Borne Parasites: The “Top Ten” List
Jul01

Food-Borne Parasites: The “Top Ten” List

By Roberta Attanasio Food-born parasites affect the health of millions of people all around the world, causing huge social costs. However, we don’t know much about these parasites — where they come from, how they live in the human body, and how they make us sick. Today (July 1, 2014), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released, along with the World Health Organization (WHO), a report...

Read More
Global Threats: The Alarming Rise of Antibiotic Resistance
May02

Global Threats: The Alarming Rise of Antibiotic Resistance

By Roberta Attanasio For the last 70 years, we have been winning  most fights against harmful bacteria, using antibiotics as weapons. Now, we’re losing — our weapons don’t work any more, and the bacteria are fighting back. The alarming rise of antibiotic resistance is mostly due to overuse of antibiotics, both in medicine and in agriculture. In her book “The drugs don’t work“, Sally Davis, the UK...

Read More
Climate Change: Influence on the Spread of Lyme Disease
Mar30

Climate Change: Influence on the Spread of Lyme Disease

By Roberta Attanasio Blacklegged ticks feed on blood — they attach to the skin of humans and many animals and, slowly, suck for several days. To get there, they patiently wait on the tip of grasses and shrubs using their lower legs to hold on, until a human or an animal passes by. Ticks can’t jump or fly, so they keep their upper pair of legs outstretched, ready to climb aboard. Once there, they insert their feeding tube...

Read More