Homework due Thursday, 19th March, period one.

Questions A, B and C. The three paragraphs are due: Friday 20th March.

Are we pathogens that need to be destroyed? Is nature trying to "deal" with us? Has she been trying to do this throughout history: plague, influenza, Aids, ebola, flesh eating disease? Read and decide...............


A) Read the article and answer the questions
“Vampire” unearthed in Venice plague grave

By Daniel Flynn
ROME (Reuters) -- Italian researchers believe they have found the remains of a female “vampire” in Venice, buried with a brick jammed between her jaws to prevent her feeding on victims of a plague which swept the city in the 16th century.

Matteo Borrini, an anthropologist from the University of Florence, said the discovery on the small island of Lazzaretto Nuovo in the Venice lagoon supported the medieval belief that vampires were behind the spread of plagues like the Black Death.

“This is the first time that archaeology has succeeded in reconstructing the ritual of exorcism of a vampire,” Borrini told Reuters by telephone. “This helps ... authenticate how the myth of vampires was born.”

The skeleton was unearthed in a mass grave from the Venetian plague of 1576 -- in which the artist Titian died -- on Lazzaretto Nuovo, which lies around three km (2 miles) northeast of Venice and was used as a sanitorium for plague sufferers.

The succession of plagues which ravaged Europe between 1300 and 1700 fostered the belief in vampires, mainly because the decomposition of corpses was not well understood, Borrini said.

Gravediggers reopening mass graves would sometimes come across bodies bloated by gas, with hair still growing, and blood seeping from their mouths and believe them to be still alive.

The shrouds used to cover the faces of the dead were often decayed by bacteria in the mouth, revealing the corpse's teeth, and vampires became known as “shroud-eaters.”

According to medieval medical and religious texts, the “undead” were believed to spread pestilence in order to suck the remaining life from corpses until they acquired the strength to return to the streets again.

“To kill the vampire you had to remove the shroud from its mouth, which was its food like the milk of a child, and put something uneatable in there,” said Borrini. “It's possible that other corpses have been found with bricks in their mouths, but this is the first time the ritual has been recognized.”

1. The medieval Italians believed Vampires spread the plague. Why did the Vampires wish to spread the plague?

2. According to this article, how were vampires killed in medieval Europe?
3. Did the researchers believe that they had identified a female vampire? How was the text written to convey this?
4. What was another name for the plague?
5. [your own research] how did the plague spread in reality?

B) Read the Article and answer the questions

Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is a severe, often-fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees) that has appeared sporadically since its initial recognition in 1976.
The disease is caused by infection with Ebola virus, named after a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) in Africa, where it was first recognized.

The exact origin, locations, and natural habitat (known as the "natural reservoir") of Ebola virus remain unknown. However, on the basis of available evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is zoonotic (animal-borne), with 4 of the 5 subtypes occurring in an animal host native to Africa. A similar host, most likely in the Philippines, is probably associated with the Ebola-Reston subtype, which was isolated from infected cynomolgous monkeys that were imported to the United States and Italy from the Philippines. The virus is not known to be native to other continents, such as North America.
Confirmed cases of Ebola HF have been reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Sudan, the Ivory Coast, Uganda, and the Republic of the Congo. No case of the disease in humans has ever been reported in the United States. Ebola-Reston virus caused severe illness and death in monkeys imported to research facilities in the United States and Italy from the Philippines; during these outbreaks, several research workers became infected with the virus, but did not become ill.
Infections with Ebola virus are acute. There is no carrier state. Because the natural reservoir of the virus is unknown, the manner in which the virus first appears in a human at the start of an outbreak has not been determined. However, researchers have hypothesized that the first patient becomes infected through contact with an infected animal.



Treating patients with Ebola HF during outbreak of the disease in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo, in 1995.
After the first case-patient in an outbreak setting is infected, the virus can be transmitted in several ways. People can be exposed to Ebola virus from direct contact with the blood and/or secretions of an infected person. Thus, the virus is often spread through families and friends because they come in close contact with such secretions when caring for infected persons. People can also be exposed to Ebola virus through contact with objects, such as needles, that have been contaminated with infected secretions.
The incubation period for Ebola HF ranges from 2 to 21 days. The onset of illness is abrupt and is characterized by fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. A rash, red eyes, hiccups and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients.
Researchers do not understand why some people are able to recover from Ebola HF and others are not. However, it is known that patients who die usually have not developed a significant immune response to the virus at the time of death.
There is no standard treatment for Ebola HF. Patients receive supportive therapy. This consists of balancing the patient’s fluids and electrolytes, maintaining their oxygen status and blood pressure, and treating them for any complicating infections.

1. What parts of the world has the Ebola Virus been found?
2. What is the descriptive name for the Ebola’s habitat?
3. How many Americans have died from the virus?
4. Describe how Ebola infections take place.
5. The incubation period for Ebola varies greatly. Explain.
6. In your view, would the Ebola virus be easy to diagnose? Explain.
7. All doctor’s are able to give is “supportive therapy”. Explain what this might consist of.

C) Read the following Article and Answer the Questions.

AYER - For Monica Jorge, the past year has been a blur of overwhelming numbers: 37 surgeries, four limbs lost, continuing rehabilitation, one new baby, one wedding, and now, one appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
Jorge's struggle with the flesh-eating bacteria that left her limbless and her efforts to relearn the simple tasks of everyday life will be the focus of the television program this Wednesday.
When Jorge's then-fiancé, Tony Jorge, drove her to Emerson Hospital in Concord last August for her scheduled caesarean-section, the couple couldn't have imagined the trials that would mark their first year of marriage.
Even in the first wonderful moments of holding their blue-eyed newborn, Sofia, the bacteria that had somehow entered Jorge's body was already ravaging her skin and muscle tissue.
She had contracted necrotizing fasciitis, literally, a flesh-eating bacteria that can dissolve inches of tissue and kill internal organs in minutes. The infection was discovered just after she gave birth on Aug. 9, when she became ill with stomach pains, a fever, and no bowel movements. By the time a helicopter flew her to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, the bacteria, a strain of streptococcus, had already consumed most of her abdominal wall.
A team of surgeons immediately began cutting away infected flesh. They would eventually take her uterus, ovaries, gall bladder, and part of her colon, knowing throughout that she would probably not survive.
Heavily sedated for more than three weeks, Jorge said she was "blissfully unaware" of the battle that an army of doctors, nurses, and intensive-care staff waged to save her.
Jorge never complained when doctors told her they'd have to amputate her arms and legs, which had blackened and withered as her body focused its resources and blood on fighting the disease in her core.
Jorge is thankful for her husband, who stepped up to an uncertain future and married her amid her most difficult times on Oct. 5, 2007, in the chapel at Mass. General in front of tearful family, friends, and hospital staff.

1. What is the scientific name for the flesh-eating virus?
2. [your research] What does necrotizing mean?
3. [your research – ask your scieence teacher!]What is a streptococcus?

Paragraph Writing
Write three paragraphs: Statement/ Explanation of Statement/ Example/ Analysis and explanation of your example / Summary or Your comment.
1. Man is a pathogen that is poisoning the world
2. Man is not a pathogen that is poisoning the world
3. That man can be seen to be both a pathogen and a necessary part of planet earth.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Choose from the following two news articles and answer the questions for one of them. German School Massacre A 17-year-old gunman who went on a shooting spree at his former high school in southern Germany was killed in a shootout with police today after being cornered in a massive manhunt. Police said that the teenager, named locally as Tim Kretschmer, killed a total of 15 people, 12 of them at the Albertville technical school in Winnenden, in the suburbs of Stuttgart, before he was himself shot dead. In a crime that is likely to reawaken debate on German gun laws, the youth walked calmly into the school at 9.30 am and started spraying bullets around wildly. He was dressed in a black combat uniform but his face was uncovered - and he was immediately recognised by teachers and former classmates. One report said that he was using a machine gun. The gunman then fled the scene, prompting a huge manhunt involving around 1,000 police with dogs and helicopters. Police also stormed his parents' house in the nearby village of Leutenbach: his father is said to be a prosperous businessman who legally owns 18 firearms. After initially fleeing towards the centre of Winnenden, a town of some 28,000 people, the gunman hijacked a Volkswagen Sharan and its occupant and drove at high speed through a police barricade. He was finally cornered on the parking lot of a shopping mall in the village of Meldlingen, about 40km (25 miles) from the school. Police sources said he shot and injured two officers before being shot dead by a third. Although there is still some confusion surrounding the day's events, it appears that the gunman killed nine students, aged 16 or 17, in the school, and three teachers. He also shot dead an employee of a nearby psychiatric hospital as he fled across its grounds and was said to have killed two bystanders at the parking lot where he was killed. "He went into the school with a weapon and carried out a bloodbath," said Erwin Hetger, the regional police chief. "I’ve never seen anything like this in my life." After the attack, the suspect fled the Albertville high school toward the center of Winnenden, a town of 28,000. Police said that the teenager had graduated from the school last year. Witnesses said students jumped from the windows of the school building after the gunman opened fire. Concerned parents quickly swarmed around the school, which was evacuated during the incident. About 1,000 children attend the school, located in a suburb some 12 miles (20 km) north east of Stuttgart. Germany has been shocked by several school shootings in recent years. In 2006, a masked man wearing explosives and brandishing rifles opened fire at a school in the western German town of Emsdetten, wounding at least 11 people before committing suicide. In April 2002, Germany suffered its worst school shooting when a gunman killed 17 people, including himself, at a high school in the eastern city of Erfurt. Robert Steinhaeuser, 19, shot and killed 12 teachers, a secretary, two students and a police officer before turning his gun on himself in the Gutenberg high school. Steinhaeuser, who had been expelled for forging a doctor’s note, was a gun club member licensed to own weapons. The attack led Germany to raise the age for owning recreational firearms from 18 to 21. 1. What was the worst school shooting that has occurred in Germany? 2. Was the gunman a student at the school? 3. Why was the gunman recognised? 4. What kind of weapon was he using? 5. What time of the day was it? 6. What do you think teachers and students in New Zealand schools could/can do to protect themselves and their friends from this happening in New Zealand high schools?

=----
=

Blues go back to basics for consistency

Last updated 07:51 12/03/2009

The Blues are taking a back-to-basics approach to get their Super 14 rugby campaign back on track against the bottom-of-the-table Cheetahs in Auckland tomorrow night.
The Blues' results, like their form, has been inconsistent, with two wins and two defeats, including a last-up 35-31 loss to the unbeaten Sharks that left them fifth on the table.
Despite the long trip home from South Africa a few days earlier, the Auckland-based side made a brave attempt at coming from behind against the Sharks before ending up just short.
However, coach Pat Lam bemoaned the errors that hampered the Blues' effort at Eden Park.
"We have to do the basics well and that let us down against the Sharks," he said.
"We made far too many errors so we have to be accurate in what we do."
For the Bloemfontein-based Cheetahs, the trip to North Harbour Stadium will mark the fifth of six consecutive away matches that make up the start to their season.
Their run of four defeats so far maintains their disappointing record of being winless away from home since they joined the expanded Super 14 in 2006.
But Lam ruled out any complacency within the Blues' ranks, saying that the old cliche still rang true of any team being able to win on the day.
He was also wary of the Cheetahs' tall lineout, which he described as one of the best in the competition.
"They pinch a lot of ball so we have to very accurate with our ball," he said.
"We just want to step up in the whole set piece area to give us the launching pad to attack from."
Winger Rene Ranger returns from an eye socket injury, while Lam has opted to elevate draft utility Michael Hobbs to starting second five-eighth.
Lam said Hobbs had done well each time he had come off the bench to fill either of the inside back positions.
Hobbs also offered the Blues another option as first receiver in additional to first fifth-eighth Jimmy Gopperth.
"He'll work with Jimmy to give us a double pivot and give us two kickers in there," Lam said.

Lock Ali Williams agreed that countering the Cheetahs' lineout would be a key to success.
"All of us as a pack have to buy into the fact that they have a great lineout and we have to be at our best."
The experienced All Black said attacking the opposition's strength could also take away some of its potency, but there was no underestimating the Cheetahs' ability at lineout time.
Williams made his first appearance for the Blues last week since returning north from a championship-winning season with the Crusaders last year.
He had been kept out of the first three rounds because of a back problem.
He said it usually took him three or four games to be back up to speed in terms of match fitness.
At the moment, he, too, was concentrating on the basics in his personal game, like "ball in contact, lineouts, scrums – those simple cliche rugby terms".

-NZPA
1. What is meant by a "back to basics" approach?
2. What does bemoaned mean?
3. Who joined the expaned Super 14 in 2006?
4. What does "they pinch a lot of the ball" really mean?
5. What is a "set piece"?
6. Who was concentrating on this basics of his personal game?


British and French nuclear submarine collision 'as serious as sinking of Kursk'

The collision of two British and French nuclear submarines was described last night as the most severe incidents involving nuclear submarines since the sinking of the Russian Kursk.

By Caroline Gammell and Thomas Harding
Last Updated: 4:13PM GMT 16 Feb 2009

HMS Vanguard, which is believed to have been involved in an underwater collision with a French submarine Photo: MOD
HMS Vanguard and Le Triomphant were both damaged in the deep underwater crash in the middle of the Atlantic, which is expected to cost up to £50 million in repairs.
Dents and scrapes were clearly visible on each submarine, while the French vessel completely destroyed its sonar dome in the incident which took place in heavy seas on the night of February 3 and 4.
The Vanguard, Britain's first Trident class submarine, returned to Faslane on the Clyde on Saturday, while Le Triomphant took three days to get home to L'Ile Longue, near Brest in north west France.
Investigations were launched on both sides of the Channel as the two countries tried to work out how such a seemingly simple error could have been made.
Although both are fitted with state-of-the-art technology aimed at detecting other submarines, it appears neither saw the other until it was too late.
One theory being considered was that their respective anti-sonar devices - which hide submarines - were just too effective in concealing one from the other.
Only two people out of a 135-strong crew on a nuclear Trident submarine such as Vanguard know the precise location of the vessel, the captain and the navigator.
A senior British submariner source said: "We are embarrassed about this but let's see what the inquiry shows."

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Jonathan Band said the submarines collided at low speed.
"Two submerged SSBN, one French and the other UK, were conducting routine national patrols in the Atlantic Ocean," he said.
"Recently, the two submarines came into contact at very low speed. Both submarines remained safe and no injuries occurred.
"We can confirm that the capability remained unaffected and there has been no compromise to nuclear safety."
A French naval source said the £50 million figure for repairs was "conservative" and would be met by the French and British taxpayer.
The badly damaged sonar dome should have detected the Vanguard but Le Triomphant's crew of 101 claimed to have "neither saw nor heard anything".
A French naval spokesman said: "The collision did not result in injuries among the crew and did not jeopardise nuclear security at any moment."
Kate Hudson, from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said the collision could have unleashed a radioactive disaster: "This is a nuclear nightmare of the highest order.
"The collision of two submarines, both with nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons onboard, could have released vast amounts of radiation and scattered scores of nuclear warheads across the seabed.
"This is the most severe incident involving a nuclear submarine since the sinking of the Kursk and the first time since the Cold War that two nuclear-armed subs are known to have collided."
The Kursk sank in 2000 with the loss of its entire 118-man crew.
Miss Hudson called on the Government to bring an end to its policy of deploying at least one nuclear submarine at sea at all times.
SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson demanded a Government statement into what went wrong.
"The UK Ministry of Defence needs to explain how it is possible for a submarine carrying weapons of mass destruction to collide with another submarine carrying weapons of mass destruction in the middle of the world's second-largest ocean."
Liberal Democrat defence spokesman Nick Harvey called for an internal inquiry with the partial publication of its conclusions to reassure the public.
"Now that this incident is public knowledge, the people of Britain, France and the rest of the world need to be reassured this can never happen again and that lessons are being learned."
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, said the crash showed the inherent danger of military operations.
"For two submarines to collide whilst apparently unaware of each other's presence is extremely worrying.
"Hopefully lessons have been learned to prevent anything like this ever happening again in the future."
The UK submarine service has been badly undermanned for some time with technicians in particular shortage.
The Vanguard, which went into operation in 1994, is one of Britain's four nuclear-powered submarines. Alongside Le Triomphant, it is capable of carrying up to 16 nuclear-armed Trident missiles.
A senior naval officer said: “Manning in the submarine service is in a parlous state and is recognised by the Navy Board as a serious risk to the maintenance of the strategic deterrent and the nuclear submarine service.
“At the moment is it not a pretty picture and I am not convinced it will get better in the short term.”
Shortages are particularly evident among Warfare Officers and in the Strategic Weapons Systems department.

Write two paragraphs

Statement, explanation of statement, example and your comment
The statement has been given.

1. The collision between the British and French submarine was potentially catastrophic.
2. The British and French submarines were too clever for their own good.