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Weird, might even be true

I honestly didn’t believe this one when I heard it on the radio so I had to fact check the shit out of it. (How’s that for academic-speak.)

10% of Europe’s population is immune to the HIV virus. The immunity is highest in Scandinavian countries.

I can imagine it is, would be happy about the explanation. Don’t know whether it is true tho’.

6 thoughts on “Weird, might even be true”

  1. Yes, it’s true, and it’s also not an either/or as to the exact cause.

    Welcome to the concept of predation being a driving/selecting force in evolution, with “predation” not being defined as “must have claws, teeth, and an appetite”.

    It’s also, by far, not the only example in humans.

    It’s also a good example of why the whole “our DNA is 99.99% the same, so there are hardly any differences between people/race doesn’t exist” is mostly bollox.
    It’s that 0.01% that carries all the variations and adaptations, including the “hedges and bets” that give rise to these immunities.

    But both the concepts that we are still essentially prey and that a tiny fraction can make all the difference, are not exactly popular, especially nowadays in the Soy Snowflake Age.

  2. Makes sense. It’s all down to cellular chemistry. Both teargas in Tim’s link & the HIV virus will latch on to & affect one bit of chemistry. But there may be more than one way to do that bit of chemistry. If the cells are doing it the other way, there’s nothing to latch on to.
    As Grikath says, humans may be 99.99% identical but 0.01% different can be a lot of different. It’s in the 90%-100% range differentiates us from a banana, isn’t it?

  3. Human DNA has around 300 million base pairs, so 0.01% difference is 30,000, which is something in the region of 10^150000 permutations. And as BiS says, about 95% of DNA is there just to enable “being alive”. A DNA strand that was AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA….. wouldn’t produce anything viable, but it’s still one possibility of that “100%” that’s being compared with.

  4. There is a cohort in any population with natural immunity to certain pathogens, otherwise the human Race would be extinct.

    Also, infection with a pathogen which goes unnoticed because the viral/bacterial load is insufficient to overwhelm the immune system so noticeable symptoms don’t occur, gives that person immunity.

    Plus as pathogens reproduce and mutate, less serious strains emerge which are better adapted to survival and dominate and these leave those who get the disease but recover, with immunity.

    This is widely known and understood, has been for decades – well until March 2020 when it was replaced by ‘The Science’.

    That’s why so many, 99%, had immunity to or mild disease only with CoVid because coronaviruses have been circulating and giving us Colds for many, many years, so we have a very high level of community immunity… and this has resulted in new strains of CoV 2 even less serious.

  5. Not quite jgh… We, and all eukaryotes, are “alive” because of some 16.5k highly conserved base pairs that replicate independently in a cellular symbiont.
    The rest is just window dressing.

    And calculating the possible permutations is…. risky.. Only parts ( usually only very small parts..) of a DNA sequence actually give a change in function, the rest codes for structural bits that need to be seriously shaken up to make any noticeable change in anything.

    The whole system is a lot more stable than most people think, or are led to believe.
    In fact, all eukaryotic DNA ( and a majority of prokaryote DNA ) has incorpated remains of viruses that jump all over the place when allowed, because DNA in and of itself is too stable to maintain a rate of mutation high enough to adapt to changing circumstances.
    To provide that Shaking Up.

    And yes.. Most of those mutations are misses. Mother nature, the most uncaring bitch on the planet…

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