Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Mind Over Matter, May 25, 2012.
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The material body is not meant to last forever.
It's in its nature to grow old, grow ill, and die.
Viruses, germs, contamination of blood with organic stuff.
Tape worms , lack of essential amino acids , essential fatty acids
Trauma, virus, parasite, fungal infection, auto immune disease etc
"Germ" is just an older, less scientific word for bacteria, possibly including viruses since they hadn't been discovered yet.
Today biologists classify terrestrial lifeforms (the only ones we know about) into six kingdoms: animals, plants, fungi, algae, bacteria and archaea.
Most of the organisms that cause illness are bacteria. Bacteria are prokaryotes, primitive organisms whose cells have no membranes. Most species are single-celled, but there are a few exceptions. Archaea are also prokaryotes but we don't know much about them because they were discovered very recently and apparently are found only at the bottom of the ocean. I don't think any of them cause disease.
Many fungi are parasitic and therefore cause disease, such as ringworm, whose most well-known form is "athlete's foot."
A few animals also cause disease by being parasitic, mostly worms such as trichina and tapeworms. (As noted, ringworm is a fungus rather than an animal, but was so named because of the shape of the lesions it causes.) Amoebae are arguably the simplest form of animals (some taxonomies put them in a separate kingdom), and some species cause dysentery, which is still a major cause of death in some parts of the world.
I'm trying to recall any instance of a plant causing disease. Obviously some are poisonous, and others emit pollen which causes illness ("allergic reactions" that can occasionally be literally deadly) in those of us whose immune systems don't function properly because we grew up in environments that had been cleansed of all the toxins that are supposed to calibrate our immune systems. I guess there have been a handful of cases of people swallowing seeds that sprout and they end up with a plant growing inside their body.
There are non-living causes of disease. As already noted, viruses are common. Although they are comprised of organic tissue, they are not alive so are not classified as organisms. They become "sort of" alive by entering a living host and co-opting its metabolic processes.
There are many kinds of poisons, both organic (as noted) and inorganic.
Many carcinogens (substances which cause cancer) are produced by human activity. These range from those people ingest deliberately such as tobacco smoke, to others we didn't even realize were bad for us such as asbestos from insulation some of the early generation of artificial sweeteners.
Heart "disease" has a variety of causes that work in concert, including insufficient aerobic exercise and transfatty acids--a type of artificial ingredient in food.
Many diseases have little or no external cause. Gastroesophageal reflux disease, called GERD for short and also known as "acid reflux," is a digestive disorder caused by bad anatomical geometry and aggravated by consumption of acidic foods and beverages. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (called Lou Gehrig's disease in America and motor neurone disease in the UK) is caused by the degeneration of neurons.
Many of the conditions of old age are classified as "diseases," such as Alzheimer's. Their causes are not completely understood, but depending on context they may be regarded as simply the various ways in which we die. The opposite viewpoint is that death itself is merely a disease for which we have not yet discovered the preventive medicine.
As an aside from the main topic, Fraggle has touched on something that has sort of bothered me for some time - the broadening (I might even go so far as to say 'stretching' or' smearing') of the meaning of the term "disease."
Alcoholism has been branded as a disease for a long time now as have many other things like mental defects. Things that were previously classified as disorders, "conditions" or perhaps deficiencies (like scurvy and rickets) and many formerly-labeled syndromes are pretty much all called diseases now.
At least, thankfully, "infectious disease" remains a term that is still narrow and specific in it's usage.
I cannot help but wonder, given this trend, how long it will be before actual absurdity sets in and things like broken bones are commonly referred to in the medical world as a disease. :shrug:
You're fighting a losing battle:
Of course then :
What did you have in mind?
I'm reminded of reporters telling us investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the airplane crash, when clearly, it was the ground.
Yes, Fraggle, I fully understand that. <heavy sigh> It's just that I don't like seeing the means of words becoming so COMPLETELY corrupted. And yes, I'm aware that languages are morphing, evolving things that DO change with time and I believe that a large part of that is actually a good thing. It's the changing of the rules in midstream (so to speak) that I dislike. (And, of course, that would be fighting yet another loosing battle if I decided to try to oppose it.)
But since I'm a bit older than you, even (I'll hit 70 in a few short months), I can take a bit of bittersweet comfort in the fact that I won't have to put up with such things too much longer. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
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Hey, let the Linguistics Moderator worry about stuff like that. It's my job.
How do you like the fact that the word "cleave" has two precisely opposite meanings? Or that the "tremolo arm" on an electric guitar actually produces vibrato? It's as though sarcasm is a structural component of language whether you choose to use it or not.
So you're almost exactly one year older than me. "A bit," indeed!
Prions - Pretty scary stuff. BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) or Mad Cow's Disease, which in humans is called Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease is completely incurable, extremely painful and frightening beyond all comprehension.
Think cooking your beef well done will help? Nope. Prions survive the cooking process.
Brain Eating Amoebas - Also frightening. Use a neti pot? Well, make sure to boil your water beforehand, or you can get these things. The naegleria fowleri gets into your brain from the only part of your brain that is exposed to the air (olfactory bundle in your sinuses) and starts chomping away at the grey matter. Fun stuff. Very curable though, but you've got to catch it early.
That's why I only buy 100% Australia beefPlease Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
Oh and as for the bitch session on the definition of diseas
Our opted odd & unnatural environment & lifestyle.
With similar exposures to any odd, few are effected but all not. It may suggest that we or our odds can also be responsible for diseases & disorders than germs or other disorder causing agents.
As I noted already, there is considerable suspicion that by protecting newborns and young children from pathogens (by various means ranging from vaccination to basic public sanitation), we have removed from their environment the very experiences that their immune systems rely on to learn to distinguish pathogens from other substances.
For example, this has been suggested as the reason for the proliferation of allergies. Consider that 400 years ago any European child with a wheat allergy would have starved to death, so this disorder is clearly not hereditary. Dogs ran loose everywhere; anyone who was allergic to them would have had nowhere to escape. Within the last century, in the cities perfume was used to mask the ubiquitous smells; anyone who demanded that women stop wearing it would have been tossed out of the nearest window. (I still feel like doing that, I really miss the wonderful perfume smells that were in every office.) Even during my own childhood in the 1950s virtually every kid came to school with a peanut butter sandwich for lunch because peanut butter was cheap. If the schools had enacted a zero-peanut-tolerance rule back then, we would all have starved.
The explosion of autoimmune disorders such as lupus and fibromyalgia are (so I've been told by people who have them) essentially the body's immune system going haywire and attacking its own cells. Again, because it was never trained to identify the kinds of things that the body truly needs to be protected against.
It's like a night watchman, in a back lot where nothing ever happens, pulling out his gun and shooting at moths because he's bored, and ending up shooting out all the light bulbs.
Odds & evens can be there everywhere. It is not necessary that whatever look good or bad is also true in real/ultimate sense. I think, all new developments if can be subject to maintaining the basics & nature, it can be a prosperity in true sense OTHERWISE that will just be new introduction subject to field tests.
FR please stick to linguistics, not health. There is a Hypothisis that over sterilisation is reducing both the good flora which we need for good health and reducing the work load on the immune system leading to it going off track. That doesn't mean that allergies aren't hereditary too, it's very rare for there to be a single cause for anything anyway and your comment that anyone with an allergy would have died off may well be right, that doesn't make it a good thing any more than people dying of choliera reducing those suseptable to that bacteria was a good thing. Sanitation saves more lives than it has killed but the over use of bleach and antibiotics is a problem both as it increases the rates of resistant bacteria and it maybe contributing to the increase in auto immune disease. Better than leaving people to die from the common cold, cholora and small pox
That's fine with me Fraggle, I'll let you handle it. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
Once again, fine with me. In fact, I employ sarcasm in a useful and friendly manner quite a bit in everyday life. Just not here though since it's difficult (and sometimes impossible) to convey it through plain text. (Sadly)
Precisely! Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! I consider 1/70 of something to be just "a bit." Say... was that an attempt on your part to be a bit of sarcastic humor? It's difficult to tell, you know, but if so, I consider it a good one. <grin>
Read a disease is a condition which adversaly effects a body system, the brain is a body system (actually its an organ and the nervous system is a system but meh) and innumerable studies have show the changes what mental illness and addiction cause in the brain, PYSICAL CHANGES. Therefore it's correct to call it a disease and your just wrong and your reasoning comes from stigma and prejudice, specifically that mental illness isn't "a real condition" and isn't "as bad as a real illness"
When you want a definition of medical terms don't go to a linguist, go to a health car professional. Just like its the legal system that defines legal terms (even if it's compleatly contradictiory to normal English), it's the health care sector which defines mescal terms, mostly the WHO but there are other organisations. They change as understanding of health changes.
For instance the definition of health isn't "absence of infection" it's "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
I like the Aborigional definition of health “…Health does not just mean the physical well-being of the individual but refers to the social, emotional, spiritual and cultural well-being of the whole community. This is a whole of life view and includes the cyclical concept of life-death-life"
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