Re: diseases and immunity

Philip Deitiker (
Sun, 30 Jun 1996 22:36:41 GMT (Eric Brunner) wrote:

>Philip Deitiker ( wrote:
>: (Eric Brunner) wrote:

>: >Philip Deitiker ( wrote:

>: >: >The argument that adaptivity is sufficiently related to climactic locales
>: >: >(the old Africans work better in the heat line), is rather less than
>: >: >convincing, as markedly different pathogens evolved in isolated faunal
>: >: >ecosystems.

>: >: So the selection of new allele classes simply occurs by chance right.
>: >: HLA class types are conserved as groups move from one temperate
>: >: climate to the next but the alteration of variants between north and
>: >: south america is profound and this data can not be swept under the rug
>: >: in lieu of 200 year old interpretations of inaccurate victorian
>: >: literature. Your argument about investiment can also be tied to
>: >: disease rate since a subsequent waves of colonizers would choose
>: >: between regions that were more as opposed to less hospitable, the
>: >: presense of tropical diseases and the fear of contracting a disease
>: >: that europeans were not familiar with would be a good motivation for
>: >: selecting a different colonization site. The colonization of tropical
>: >: south america is clearly tied to changes in technologies over the last
>: >: 50 years which has allowed the bulk of european colonizers to
>: >: penetrate previously inhospitable areas. Part of the equation are the
>: >: medical/immunological technologies which prevent and treat new
>: >: occurances of disease.

>: >Hmm, what is the demographic change you are referring to here?

>: See the literature.

>Now that you've established some level of background in this set of
>modern ethnographic deconstructive, Pre-Contact and Contact Period
>demographics, epidemiology, and archaeological problem areas which
>surround what is the oldest major issue in New World historicism,
>to wit that other than shallow grins you have a very limited grasp
>of the subject area, I'd personally appreciate a less obscure cite.

_Science_, I don't think is an obscure cite; although, since it is
popular science magazine the one usually has the data for a while and
see what becomes of it. But in this paper, in particular the data had
been presented from almost a year and I feel its fairly reliable.
Secondarily, CRI is one of the best non-political immunolgical review
journals and accepts reference from all over the world, showing little
favoriticism. The fact that you're not aware of critical papers in
the feild of imunological molecular evolution testifies to your
knowledge ion this area also, don't you think.

>Just which literature do you suggest I see for the demographic change
>to which you refer? Cites, or at least reasonably inobscure references
>are the usual way of doing things. In your case, I suggest going over
>to the Baylor library and looking up Anne Ramenofsky's thesis on film.
>It last longer than a "grin" in a newsgroup.

BCM does not have a single library, it works through the TMC library,
and thesises are held at the departmental libraries , the thesis
advisor and are also at the universtiy of michigan's(?) depostiory of
thesis. If you can tell the department I might have a snowball's
chance in hell finding the thesis you mention. I have thoroughly
reviewd the 2 papers I gave as references and compared them to sequnce
information at other loci and the results appear to be completely
consistance if you would like more information on this and do you own
comaprison I might suggest the following papers.

HLA class I and Class II molecules and their sequences are reported in
the Journal 'Tissue Antigens' every summer, if this reference is so
obscure that you can't find it, I'm sorry but thats where in the world
health organization (WHO) has decided to publish such things, and you
can tell them, not me, whether you think that their publication
stratigies are wothwhile or not, I had no problem at all finding these
papers of hitting them on medline database search, so I suggest you do
a little foot work and find a good library.

>I'm still interested in when the Victorian literature you mention in
>passing (as inaccurate) was written. The idea of interpretations of
>this body of literature having a 200 year old history is surprising
>to say the least, regardless of its accuracy or inaccuracy.

I see, so you'de accept 18th centruy literature on how molecular
genetics was inheritance (Don't waste your time gregor mendals work
wasn't recognized as being significant until 20th century, as with the
work of charles darwin). You made the point yourself that under
certain circumstances the passage of one individual versus another mey
be recorded differently. If this is the case the data is by definition
biased. We know that there were efforts made to take census of the
populations in europe, there may have been efforts ot take census
within the endemic populations of the northeast, if there was the
information did not seemed to be passed on. OTOH, how does one handle
the interpreations of a sea captain of the 17th century, and what is
his expertise in epidemiology, what methods of accurate accounting did
he ascribe to. In a court of law his testimony amounts to hear-say,
not that of an expert witness. Such things can be called corraborating
testimony if other evidence is present but cannot be used as the
principle source of information.
Secondarily how do define the contact period and what where the
demographics of mobility concerning the populations of contact. The
correct answer is there was some, it might have been significant but
there is not enough data to do statistics on. So I remit the question
to you, when you see a graveyard full of fresh graves, and no effort
was taken to dig those individuals up and do postmortem pathological
analysis, how can you define the casue of death. I don't know about
the parameters of decay, but in the south one can consider a grave to
be all but completely decomposed in about 25 years, with significant
decomposition and obscurment occuring in the first couple of years, so
secondarily when one sees a bunch of fresh graves, does it neccesarily
mean that something unusual happened or where previous die-off's in
the population a reasonably common thing, and what might have been the
rate of such events. Again alot of heresay comes into this argument,
because one relies on observations of outsiders with a stocastic
representation fo visual sitings, and/or the representations of the
endemic population.

So as I say above, how thoroughly can you define the preeuropean
historical rate of infection and mortality in the subject population.

I can give you an example of the problem in modern but subsistance
populations such as africa. The debate about when and where AIDS
originated is a very complex issue. There are several contributing
theories and an important premise to a couple is that AIDS evolved
over the last five hundred years from similar stains of SIV (simian
immunodeficiency virus) and the bulk of the strains are found in
subsaharan africa. But the problem in africa is that up until about
ten years ago AIDS was lumped with a number of common diseases
including shistosomiasis, cancer, etc. as a wasting (slimming) disease
(or as we say consumption). From this point of view the virus could
have been unrecognized in an isolated population for 500 years, or
might have arisen in the late 50's (according to molecular genetic
comparisons of several strains world wide) the answer is that there
simply isn't enough documented cases in which blood profiles were
complete. So the debate goes on with all kinds of specualtion
including the CIA as an intermediate in it's evolution. The answer is
in this instance is, since there is so little indicative evidence, its
better to list all the alternatives than to concretize a hypothesis.
All I've done is give a list of other explanations to that of
significant differences in the molecular genetics of immunity to
explain sharp population declines (see other post for list). I'm
sorry if you don't want to entertain alternative hypothesis.