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Old 2019-10-29, 17:25   #2608
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"Tiny". It's roughly the size of Massachusetts. Twelve times larger than the Isle of Man.
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Old 2019-10-29, 19:45   #2609
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Thomas Jefferson was long interested (perhaps "obsessed" would be more accurate) with the incognitum, then thought to have been a mammoth, but now classified as a mastodon. He thought they might still exist in the wild.

In Thomas Jefferson's letter to Meriwether Lewis about the mission of the Corps of Discovery, he wrote (my emphasis),
Quote:
<snip>
"Other objects worthy of notice will be;
"The soil and face of the country, its growth and vegetable productions, especially those not of the United States;
"The animals of the country generally, and especially those not known in the United States;
"The remains and accounts of any which may be deemed rare or extinct;
<snip>
He didn't, as far as we know from his writings, specifically tell the Corps of Discovery to be on the lookout for mammoths, but, his obsession with mammoths being well known, he probably didn't have to.
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Old 2019-10-29, 20:24   #2610
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"Tiny"
Clickbait is gonna get clicks.
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Old 2019-11-07, 02:36   #2612
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Measles Wipes Your Immune System's "Memory" So It Can't Fight Other Infections | Live Science
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Scientists have long theorized that the measles virus may cause "immune amnesia," but they never knew exactly how. They know that, once the virus infects a person, it depletes the body's supply of pathogen-purging white blood cells. The cell count rebounds to normal levels once the infection clears, but even then, the affected person may remain immunosuppressed for years afterward — basically, the measles virus transforms people into sitting ducks for other infectious diseases.

"Yet, it paradoxically leaves robust anti-measles immunity in its wake," Dr. Duane Wesemann, a professor of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital who was not involved in the work, wrote in a commentary accompanying the study in Science Immunology. In other words, while measles survivors struggle to defend themselves against other pathogens, their bodies can fend off a repeat attack by the measles virus itself.

In fact, before the measles vaccine was introduced in the 1960s, an estimated 50% of childhood deaths may have been associated with infections that kids caught after surviving a bout of measles, according to a 2015 study published in Science. How does measles wreak such havoc on the immune system, even after the infection clears?
That bolded figure is mind-boggling.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2019-11-07 at 02:39
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Old 2019-11-07, 09:41   #2613
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I wonder how this could help those with hyperactive immune systems. I knew someone who quite quickly became allergic to most food in her 20s. If this could reset her immune system that could be quite useful. She is continually on immune suppressants anyway so recovery from measles wouldn't be such a difference.
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Old 2019-11-07, 10:40   #2614
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryzz View Post
I wonder how this could help those with hyperactive immune systems. I knew someone who quite quickly became allergic to most food in her 20s. If this could reset her immune system that could be quite useful. She is continually on immune suppressants anyway so recovery from measles wouldn't be such a difference.
Assuming she survives the infection and apart from the side-effects.

I had measles when very young. It made significant changes to my eyesight. In particular, my retina is much more sensitive than most. For a variable star astronomer that is a benefit but the hypersensitivity is a disadvantage elsewhere. The concomitant myopia is very far from beneficial.

I was lucky. Some measles patients don't survive the experience. Of those that do, some suffer much more serious after-effects than I do.
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Old 2019-11-07, 19:46   #2615
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryzz View Post
I wonder how this could help those with hyperactive immune systems. I knew someone who quite quickly became allergic to most food in her 20s. If this could reset her immune system that could be quite useful. She is continually on immune suppressants anyway so recovery from measles wouldn't be such a difference.
Rather than a wildly dangerous and broadly immunocompromising pathogen like measles, your friend might want to look into alternatives such as helminthic immunomodulation therapy.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2019-11-07 at 19:47
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Old 2019-11-16, 22:06   #2617
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Climate Change Fueled the Rise and Demise of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, Superpower of the Ancient World | The Conversation
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Old 2019-11-17, 12:45   #2618
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A prolonged and severe drought would certainly go a long way to explain the decline of an empire. I wonder why the neighbors were in a position to take advantage, though. Why weren't they also in dire straits because of the drought?

BTW the uranium-thorium dating method is one I was not familiar with. It uses the alpha decay of U-234 to Th-230 (half-life, 245500 years) and depends on the relative abundances of these isotopes in, e.g. precipitated calcium carbonate, which is what stalagmites are.
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