Contagious Cancer

Contagious cancer: The evolution of a killer. A malignancy that spreads like an infectious disease. Scary, huh?

Contagious Canine Cancer Spread by Parasites

Addendum (1/11/09): “Cancer resistant” Tasmanian devil gets cancer

Published in: on 10 January 2009 at 12:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Lyme Disease

Brief notes for M.V.
Causative agent is Borrelia burgdorferi, which is of a curious type of bacteria called a “spirochete” (the “spiro” in the name suggests the corkscrew shape of the microbe). Transmitted by the bite of the deer tick Ixodes (yuck). The classic diagnostic sign is a bulls-eye shaped rash that appears about a week after infection, and that gradually grows. Treatment can be with tetracycline-type antibiotics, e.g. doxycycline, among others. Left untreated, long-term sequelae could potentially include arthritis and problems with the nervous system (specifically, central nervous system, and more specifically, the brain — yikes).

Addendum (12/11/08): I was thinking today that the names involved are curious. The first syllable of Ixodes is “ix”, which evokes “ick”. It reminds me of this dreaded fish disease. It also rhymes with “ticks.”

On the other hand, Borrelia burgdorferi is a pretty name. “Borrelia” sounds like the name of a beautiful woman with long golden tresses, wearing a diadem. And “burgdorferi” sounds to me like a delicious dish from central Europe — pieces of meat and potato in a rich cream sauce.

Published in: on 11 December 2008 at 2:36 am  Comments (2)  
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