Saturday, May 27, 2006
  Origins of AIDS Virus
This news item - The origin of AIDS virus, really got me thinking about the role of Statistics in helping human beings understand so many intricate patterns in the nature.

The finding represents the culmination of a 10-year hunt for the source of the pandemic and provides a crucial link between HIV, which causes AIDS in humans, and the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), a strikingly similar virus that infects monkeys and chimpanzees.
It seems that scientists, who have been tracing the path of the AIDS virus for the last ten years, have finally determined that the virus jumped from the Chimpanzees to humans in Cameroon sometime in the beginning of the century. Slaughtering of the chimpanzees by human beings for food might have been the cause of the virus jump from the animals to human beings. Getting bitten by a chimpanzee might have been another plausible cause for the jump. Here is a quote from Dr. Paul Sharp from the report filed by the Sydney Morning Herald:

"For us, this is really the last piece of the puzzle," said Paul Sharp, a professor of genetics at the University of Nottingham. "This is where it probably all started. We've got these viruses in south-east Cameroon, which are so close to HIV, and it's difficult to envisage there could be any which could be closer."
I am amazed by the data collection and archiving ability of the team that made this possible. As a researcher, I have immense problems in trying to archive and analyse the data for my research in multimedia communication networks. These guys struggled for 10 years around the world to pinpoint the source of the AIDS virus. They would have collected, archived, and analysed thosands of samples of God knows what before arriving at their results. At the end of this remarkable journey, they did find the source of the origins of the virus. It is a stupendous scientific achievement and would probably help the other researchers develop a vaccine or medicine for the virus in few more decades. Patience, faith, and generous funding has made this kind of research work possible.
I hope all reasearch will help find a cure for my AIDS.
Ah. But these people do not have to worry about funding or graduating do they. With security of life, yes, I agree, people can and will pursue higher goals such as helping the whole human races. But for some one like us, Ph.D. candidates, I guess the only goal is graduating, and can care less of anything else.
The very fact that this blog about AIDS has no mention about actual human victim shows how intellectual society always applaud and pat each others back, but conveniently avoids crux of the issue - the victims! To them it is about ‘individual achievement’ and thrill behind the discovery.

What is wrong to live for the thrill behind the discovery? That is what drives thirst for knowledge in an individual. Caring about the victims of AIDS is necessary and humane, but can caring substitute for curing a victim of AIDS?

"...can caring substitute for curing..."

Care can be a form of healing! Science can never explain "The wonders of believing". You are yearning discovery for the "thrill" and victims are yearning discovery just for an extra day to enjoy simple pleasures - fresh air, smell of fresh cut grass and a smile from fellow human. Individual thrills over shadows simple life!
No, I never meant that "individual thrills overshadows simple life!" But individual thrill does motivate individuals in the research communities to pursue knowledge that contributes to the overall development and evolution of humanity and the world around us. Seeking individual thrill in knowldege does not mean you stop caring about people who are going to benefit from the knowledge. You are greatly mistaken if you think that they are mutually exclusive.

Post a Comment

<< Home
"Saptarishi" in Sanskrit means the Seven Sages or rishis who are extolled at many places in the Vedas and other Hindu literature. They are regarded in the Vedas as the patriarchs of the Vedic religion. The constellation of Ursa Major is also named as Saptarshi. (Source:

2005-12-11 / 2005-12-18 / 2005-12-25 / 2006-01-01 / 2006-01-08 / 2006-01-15 / 2006-01-22 / 2006-01-29 / 2006-02-05 / 2006-02-26 / 2006-03-05 / 2006-03-12 / 2006-03-26 / 2006-04-09 / 2006-04-16 / 2006-04-30 / 2006-05-14 / 2006-05-21 / 2006-06-04 / 2006-06-11 / 2006-06-25 / 2006-07-02 / 2006-07-23 / 2006-08-06 / 2006-08-13 / 2006-08-20 / 2006-09-03 / 2006-10-15 / 2007-03-25 / 2007-04-08 /

  • Anonymous HIV+ Chat Rooms // Saturday, May 27, 2006 10:47:00 AM
  • Anonymous Dan Ye // Wednesday, May 31, 2006 9:33:00 AM
  • Blogger Phantasm // Sunday, June 11, 2006 8:11:00 PM
  • Blogger Aninda Bhattacharya // Wednesday, June 14, 2006 10:52:00 PM
  • Blogger Phantasm // Sunday, June 18, 2006 7:09:00 AM
  • Blogger Aninda Bhattacharya // Sunday, June 18, 2006 7:44:00 AM
  • Google News
  • Yahoo News
  • NY Times
  • Slate
  • BBC
  • Rediff
  • Sulekha
  • Bharat Rakshak
  • The Onion
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • IFilm
  • You Tube
  • Rotten Tomatoes
  • Amazon
  • IMDB
  • Great Bong
  • Sepia Mutiny
  • Deesha
  • The Acorn
  • Cynical Nerd
  • Seriously Sandeep
  • Desi Critics
  • Desi Pundits
  • Gaurav Sabnis
  • India Uncut
  • Indian Economy
  • 3 Quarks Daily
  • Vulturo
  • Ranga
  • Winds of Change
  • The Other India
  • Powered by Blogger Add to any service