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January 7, 2005

God disagrees with Phelps over Sweden

by Feòrag

Fred Phelps will be really upset when he hears that a genetic resistance to HIV/AIDS is most prevalent among Swedes.

Genetic resistance to AIDS works in different ways and appears in different ethnic groups. The most powerful form of resistance, caused by a genetic defect, is limited to people with European or Central Asian heritage. An estimated 1 percent of people descended from Northern Europeans are virtually immune to AIDS infection, with Swedes the most likely to be protected. One theory suggests that the mutation developed in Scandinavia and moved southward with Viking raiders.

This is presumably as much God's doing as the Tsunami which Phelps was gloating over so much.

Genetic HIV Resistance DecipheredWired News, 7th January 2005.

Posted in Fred Phelps and Willies at 22:59. Last modified on May 16 2007 at 17:49.
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1: Posted by: aeduna | January 10, 2005 1:15 AM

Someone was doing research into the possibility that the Black Death wasn't just bubonic plague, but that it had an autoimmune viral component as well.

Part of the theory was based on a greater resistence to AIDs in European populations. I wish I could remember the details, but I think there was an article in New Scientist a year or so ago...

2: Posted by: Red Wolf | January 11, 2005 12:16 AM

Alas the research was refuted.

People with a genetic variation in a receptor on immune cells, called the CCR5-delta-32 mutation, are resistant to infection with HIV. The mutation is much more common in people of Northern European descent than in other populations, and it seems to have arisen some 800 years ago.

Researchers have suggested that it became so common as a result of selective pressure by the Black Death plague in the Middle Ages, meaning that people with the mutation were more likely to escape the contagion.

As plausible as the theory seems, it's apparently unfounded, researchers conclude in an article in this week's issue of the science journal Nature.

It turns out that the CCR5 mutation does not protect against Yersinia infection, the cause of the plague, and so it would not have conferred a survival advantage. Instead, it is more likely that the mutation increased in prevalence as the result of smallpox epidemics.

3: Posted by: aeduna | January 11, 2005 11:07 PM


Wax lyrical

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