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Infectious Diseases

The Fear Factor

October 5th, 2009 | Posted in Articles, The New Yorker | No Comments
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View the PDF On April 21st, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that two children in Southern California had developed a “febrile respiratory illness” caused by a flu virus that had never before been recognized in humans. The C.D.C. referred to the infection, in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report , as a swine-flu virus, because some of its genes matched genes found in pigs. It was a deeply unfortunate—and largely misleading—choice of words.

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Darwin’s Surprise

December 3rd, 2007 | Posted in Articles, The New Yorker | No Comments
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Download the PDF Why are evolutionary biologists bringing back extinct deadly viruses?
by Michael Specter

Thierry Heidmann’s office, adjacent to the laboratory he runs at the Institut Gustave Roussy, on the southern edge of Paris, could pass for a museum of genetic catastrophe. Files devoted to the world’s most horrifying infectious diseases fill the cabinets and line the shelves. There are thick folders for smallpox, Ebola virus, and various forms of influenza. Read more »