[Video] Stunning Animation of How HIV Works

By Anupum Pant

Sorry, it was the FIFA WC finals, my favourite team (Germany) won, and I was too excited to write a lot today. So I searched my notes for something interesting to share quickly.

I found this 3D medical animation that I had bookmarked a long time from now. It is an animation of how the HIV replicates. It’s one of those videos with a lot of jargon where not everyone would understand what’s really happening, unless they are a lot into biology. If you are not, then I’d suggest muting the sound (don’t actually) and just watching the biological machines at work.

Still, it is amazing to see how things work at a very very tiny level and it’s an immense pleasure to appreciate how little biological machines work around in bodies to accomplish so much.

Moreover, it makes me very happy that we’ve come so far in science to understand so many things that we are now able to make mesmerizing animations of the extremely complicated and seemingly abstract biological mechanisms.

Script, Storyboard, Art Direction by: Frank Schauder, MD
Animation: MACKEVISION
Publicity: Dr.Rufus Rajadurai.MD. | D.DiaDENS

The Monkey Island

By Anupum Pant

Off the coast of South Carolina is an island, the Morgan island, which is home to about 4000 monkeys. Locals call it the monkey island. Approximately 750 new baby monkeys join the monkey army on Morgan island every year. However, all the monkeys living in that island  are there for a reason. These monkeys are medical test subjects – used by researchers for medical testing – for vaccine testing (Polio, AIDS etc..). That is the reason about 500 monkeys are taken away from the island every year.

No humans live on this 4000 acre remote island. Also the Monkey island is a protected area and no unauthorised people are allowed to enter it. Only authorised monkey caretakers can go in. Others who try to enter will be greeted with a monkey-shit storm – Yes, monkeys of the Monkey island pelt feces at strangers.

Thankfully, the research isn’t done at the island itself. The island is like a store for all the monkeys. So you can rest assured that you won’t run across any mutant monkeys on this island, if you some how end up there.

Where did they come from?

They were all put there by us humans. Back in the 70s the monkey colony was at La Parguera in Puerto Rico. When there were reports of infected monkeys escaping and reaching human settlements, the locals were stirred. As a result, the monkeys were all collected and had to be shifted to a remote island where no one lived – Morgan Island.

[source]

Dozens Died During The Dance Epidemic of France

By Anupum Pant

Background

In the year 1518, a woman named Frau Troffea suffered with a very mysterious, contagious and a scary disease. Till date, doctors or science has no explanation on what really was going on in her body and the disease is still named among one of the most bizarre and the most unexplainable diseases ever – The Dance plague of 1518.

In the month of  July Frau Troffea came down to a quiet street in the city of Strasbourg, France and started dancing fervently on the street.  Even 6 days later, the woman was still dancing. On the 6th day, she probably died out of exhaustion.

But by the time she had stopped, the dancing disease had spread to 34 more people. And by the end of that month there were 400 others who were experiencing this irresistible urge to dance. Dozens died out of exhaustion.

Ironically, doctors and physicians suggested that the cure to this dancing plague would be to dance more. It was literally dance till you drop. Musicians were hired, stages were made for these hoards of dancers.

Similar contagious of these dancing epidemics in other European cities have been recorded in the history at least 10 other times before this. There was one in the year 1374, which the records say, spread to several towns!

Agreed the story is too old and seems to have become hyped due to repeated story telling, but clearly that isn’t the case because the certainty of the event, is established through a number of independent records.

Why was this happening?

Well, no one knows for sure. The mysterious disease has baffled scientists for years. However, there are of course some weak theories that explain the behaviour of these dancing people.

One theory says that the dancers got high on ergot – A psychotropic fungus that grows on rye and must have reached these people through bread. Since the symptoms associated with ergot poisoning are very similar to what these people were experiencing, it seems like a valid explanation. But there’s almost no chance that ergot poisoning happened…

That is because when a person gets poisoned by this fungus, they start having hallucinations and involuntary muscle contractions. However, the people who were affected by the dancing plague, according the people who had seen this happening, were clearly not willing to dance – which doesn’t happen when you are poisoned by ergot.

Also, these “muscle contractions” they were experiencing weren’t just involuntary contractions that are associated with ergot poisoning. They were moving in a very coordinated manner, actually dancing. Clearly, it wasn’t ergot.

Another possible explanation says that it was out of fear, anxiety and desperation among the people because of the widespread famine and disease in that area during this period. This is presently a widely accepted explanation.

Still, what exactly was happening their brains and what exactly caused it, no one knows.

[Source] [Read more here]