Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sick as a...

So I'm afraid my grand Origin reading plans have been temporarily derailed--I've been sick with a terrible head cold this last week. Which I blame on grad weekend.

Anyway, I'm just grateful it wasn't the mumps. We're at 302 cases and counting out here in Nova Scotia. And while this cold is certainly interfering with most things, I'm still trying to keep up with my reading to get started on my master's.

I've been reading up on environmental change and vector-borne diseases (as in diseases that are spread by things like insects and mites). There's an interesting discussion at Aetiology about why diseases emerge. I'm particularly interested in climate-related changes:

An obvious example of this are diseases borne by arthropods,
which live in a fairly narrow range of temperatures or environments. Global
warming or cooling may extend or decrease the range of such vectors--and as
such, the range of the diseases they transmit. (A recent example is the
recent study described here
suggesting an increase in temperature has
extended the range of mosquitoes in the African highlands, though it should
be noted that other researchers hadn't seen this connection).

When I was working on my honours thesis stuff (deerflies and horseflies and forestry activity), literature on climate and landscape changes in relation to vectors kept popping up. It's worth taking a closer look at this I think...

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