Smallpox Research

April 6, 2020
  1. Symptoms: Smallpox virus attacks the skin cells, spleen, lymph nodes, and bone marrow of its host, causing fever, vomiting, and the forming of scabs.
  2. Eradication: Doctor Edward Jenner’s invention helped in the eradication of this disease. His discoveries originated in milkmaid Sarah Nelmes, whom had caught cowpox from the cows, and said that since she had caught cowpox she was immune to smallpox. Jenner then tested the theory on eight year old boy James Phipps. It worked well, and he went on to test many people. Nearly two centuries later, in 1980, the World Health Organization declared the world to be free from smallpox.
  3. Cases: Supposedly, the first case of smallpox was in Egypt, during the 3rd century BCE. Not much later, it spreads into East Asia, then into the Middle East in the 7th century. The Crusades brought it into Europe, then expeditions introduced it to Africa in the 15th century. Only in the 20th century did smallpox cases significantly reduce.
  4. Transmission: Coughing and sneezing can all transmit the Variola (Smallpox) virus. In rare cases, air transmission also occurs. The scabs of a patient can also be containing the virus.
  5. Symptoms: There are 6 main stages of the disease, according to the CDC: the incubation period, initial symptoms, early rash, pustular rash and scabs, scabs fall off, and no scabs. In the incubation period, the virus is in the body but no symptoms occur (this lasts for around 2 weeks). In the initial symptoms period, fever, aches, and sometimes vomiting begins to occur (this lasts for around half a week). The early rash period means the rashes begin to form, and the fever might return (this also lasts for around half a week). The pustular rash and scabs stage is when the famous “smallpox scabs” start to form, and fever will go away (this lasts for around one week or more). Then, for the next week, the scabs will fall off and go away during the scabs fall off and no scabs stage.

Soil Contamination

April 6, 2020

Introduction

Soil contamination has become a problem ever since we began machine-based industrialization and agriculturalization. The soil has become polluted, and harmful to the environment. As will be explained later, this has become a huge issue and is something we all need to consider.       

How Soil Contamination Affects Everyone – and Everything

Soil contamination is also known as soil pollution. Why? Because it is just as bad as water and air pollution. When the contaminants enter the soil, the soil becomes degraded. In other words, the contaminants/pollutants destroy the soil and completely turn them into poison. Now, remember, many herbivores eat the grass that live in the soil! If that soil is contaminated, that means the plant is poisoned, and the animal will be poisoned too. The following is an extract from an article written by the SSSA (Soil Science Society of America): ’…When soil is contaminated with these substances, it can hurt the native environment. Many of these substances are…toxic to plants…and hurt animal health.’

We ourselves can have health problems related to soil contamination, even if it is hard to imagine. Think about the food chain. The plants are poisoned – then the animals are poisoned (because they eat the plants) – then we are poisoned (we eat the animals)! “About 40 percent of deaths worldwide are caused by water, air and soil pollution,” says Susan S. Lang of Cornell University. Now I believe that it can be understood that soil contamination hurts ourselves too.

How Does it Happen?

In America during 1910s to the 1950s, many pesticides used in farms contain lead-arsenate, a harmful chemical. At the time scientists and researchers did not know that the chemical was harmful. Therefore, many areas that have been farms are now contaminated and polluted. Landfills and industrial areas are also a big part of this. They also contain harmful substances that causes soil contamination.

There are many contaminants that are released into these areas’ soil. Some of them include: pesticides, petroleum products, lead, and arsenic. Many of these contaminants are very harmful or poisonous. Take arsenic as an example. It affects the eyes, skin, liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, and immune system. This is also one reason contaminated soil is poisonous.

Soil Contamination and Other Issues

Soil contamination also contributes to water and air pollution by very simple, imaginable ways. The chemicals in the soil may be floating in the air right beside you, now! The water you drink might have touched – if only a little bit – of the contaminated soil. It can be seen that even if we solve soil contamination for all, we still can’t stop all of its effect on the environment.

It is also interestingly suggested that soil contamination lets chemicals in the ground bond with each other and can create dangerous new ones! One cannot imagine all the effects of soil contamination on our Earth.

Conclusion

Clearly it can be seen that soil contamination is one of the big unsolved environmental issues. Don’t allow this to happen more around the world! You can take action yourself simply by examining some of your garden’s soil. Take action now, until it is too late!

References

Below I have listed the sources:

1. Soil Science Society of America https://www.soils.org/about-soils/contaminants
2. Cornell University https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2007/08/pollution-causes-40-percent-deaths-worldwide-study-finds
3. University of California https://ucanr.edu/sites/UrbanAg/Production/Soils/Soil_Contaminants_and_Soil_Testing/
4. Green and Growing www.greenandgrowing.org/soil-pollution-information/

          

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