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Infection and Consequence

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On Aetiology, Tara C. Smith shares some intriguing student work on the role infections play “in cancer, autoimmune disease, mental illness, and other chronic conditions.” First, Ahn To investigates the causes of nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Smoking is not a prerequisite for this type of cancer, but risk factors include infection with Epstein-Barr virus and “consumption of ‘salted fish.’” Ron Bedford explores Post Polio Syndrome, which occurs among polio survivors who experience “significant deterioration of their neuromuscular functioning” after a long period of stability. Although “the mechanism of PPS occurrence is not well understood,” the immune system may be to blame. And Zainab Khan asks if too much cleanliness is bad for children, as “not enough exposure to germ can and does cause insufficient development of an individual’s immune system.” An inexperienced immune system is not only vulnerable to disease, but may also contribute to allergies and asthma. Keep an eye on Aetiology as Tara posts more student work over the coming week.

Links below the fold.