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    Here's a cool reuse, thanks to Creative Commons... My photo of flick is making a guest appearance on the UCSF home page.

    Here is the summary of their new findings:

    “The beetle’s back and the crab’s shell owe their toughness to a common compound called chitin that now appears to trigger airway inflammation and possibly asthma, UCSF scientists have found.

    Insects, molds and parasitic worms — all common sources of allergies or inflammation — produce billions of tons of chitin a year. Humans and other mammals lack chitin, but we do have specialized enzymes to break it down. The scientists wondered why…

    In the last 10 years, the "hygiene hypothesis" has been proposed and explored to explain why asthma and other allergies have greatly increased in many industrial nations, Locksley explains. The hypothesis holds that modern societies have largely cleaned up living conditions so that people are exposed to far less dirt and all of its organic constituents. At the same time, antibiotics and microbicides have reduced the numbers of microbes in the environment. Bacteria are known to degrade chitin, and Locksley suggests that the reduction in bacteria may lead to an increase of chitin in the environment — largely from molds and insects — perhaps explaining the findings from several studies that the highest childhood asthma risk tends to be associated with the lowest exposure to bacteria.”

    Here’s more info on asthma and inflammation from Apieron.

    1. Tropewell [deleted] 117 months ago | reply

      Nice, very cool reuse of the pic, very interesting article as well. I've got one in wikipedia, but that's about it.

      Seen on my Flickr home page. (?)

    2. drona 117 months ago | reply

      Great info...

    3. maesk 117 months ago | reply

      That's very interesting and quite ironic. Also, scientists have recently found that worm infections might help to protect from allergies

      "[...] Those children who had been treated for worms became much more sensitive to house-dust mites, which suggested the worms were dampening allergic reactions: preventing hypersensitivity to allergens such as dust mite as a 'side-effect' of the suppression of the host's immune system that is essential to their survival. [...]"
      Source: www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/695

      BTW: It's great to see your (spectacular) photo (and not just this one) re-used for important and interesting things like that, thanks to the Creative Commons Licence. This and a fascinating presentation by Lawrence Lessig that I recently was lucky enough to attend convinced me to change the licence for all my photos from "all rights reserved" to CC-BY-NC

      PS: I wonder if I should add the "SA" (Share Alike) option and/or leave away the NC. What do you think is the best option(s)?

    4. Todd Huffman 117 months ago | reply

      I just changed my to Attribution-ShareAlike! I didn't realize I was saving all the other rights for myself, I'd much rather people use my photos for cool stuff like yours!

      What do you think about the ShareAlike clause?

      Meh, I just took it off there. Attribution is fine by me. I'd rather see people get convinced of the power of CCommons-ing works by seeing it in action.

      Congrats on the photo, btw.

    5. msamaclean © 117 months ago | reply

      This theory makes a lot of sense. I work with special needs kids, and have some with various forms of Autism, such as Asbergers(SPELL?) . Autism has steadily increased since the fifties. I have my own theory on that one. Plastics, or should I say petrolium based products. From food containers to toys, the they chart on similar lines. But, I'm not a scientist or researcher, so it's just my theory...;-)

    6. Eppie 117 months ago | reply

      How nice to have your photo used there... new links made in the web of life. :-)

      Very interesting to add this perspective of bacteria that degrade chitin to what I already "know" based on my own experiences with my children and asthma. The link between disinfectants and anti-bacterial products used by schools and homes... and the high proportion of children with asthma and other respiratory disorders. Switching to common and simple (non-chemical) soaps makes a difference in these children's lives, and in the meantime the little germs that advertising has so effectively caused people to be frightened of (to get them to use their products) don't seem to emerge as problems at all. Plain soap is enough. And if necessary, the oldfashioned brown soap for more sensitive situations like surgery.

      Indeed, some study I read (forget where and what) went to show that as far as what the mouth comes into contact with: babies and toddlers whose toys are regularly disinfected have a history of getting sick more often than those who have the "opportunity" to explore the natural world (such as the earth and sand, sticks and stones). The latter group not only seems to have healthier immune systems, but these experiences have led to greater opportunities to explore and dicover (multidimensional learning) and thus development on an intellectual level.

      Yes, we learned from the spread of plagues and other infectious diseases, as well as outbreaks of e-coli and other harmful things that enter into our waters and foodsupplies... the downside of people living in such close proximity with each other. And this has led to this focus on ultra cleanliness which has been exploited by big business making profits through their sales of pesticides and herbicides and so on.

      It's time to bring things to a place of balance. And the more we know about how to create and maintain it, the better. Too many children are suffering from this focus on exteme cleanliness and the desire to get rid of little critters. It's not just a case of respiratory problems, which is bad enough.

      My son, for example, by being exposed to pesticides by way of a golf course, which work by destroying the nervous systems of the pests, had serious neurological problems. He developed the first stages of neuroblastoma, a kind of nerve cancer which, along with leukemia, has affected an unusally high proportion of children in the area. My son was lucky, because he healed, but many other children in the vicinity ended up being casualties of this war on insects. Herbicides are no better. They work on destroying the dna of unwanted plants. What do they do to small children whose playgrounds are regularly sprayed?

      Luckily, an anti-pesticide law has been put into effect in our province (even though people still spray in secret in the darkeness of the night, willing to pay the fines if they get caught, because they are so minimal). In other places the problems are not being addressed.

      David Suzuki, the well known environmental educator, pointed out quite a long time ago already, the effects of the use of pesticides on children in Mexico. The neurological damage to the children and the "disappearance" of males... And now here's yet another report on how chemicals are affecting our children and thus also the future of humanity: ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/070422/national/boy_girl_rati...

      It's foolish to ignore this sort of information.

      Sorry. I didn't mean to go into a crusade in this thread. I guess that the information that you have shared here speaks strongly to me in light of my own experiences. To the maternal instinct to protect my children and their children.

      Mostly I am grateful for the information that you have provided here. We need more people like Locksley, who help us to see the whole picture. And people like you to post about it (links made in the web of life). Because this seems to be what is needed to bring things back into balance.

    7. lutrasimilis 117 months ago | reply

      Congratulations! Looks like I should look into this creative common idea. You seem to be getting really good outcomes from that.
      Seen next to a fellow photo of Scientist Photographers. (?)

    8. jurvetson 117 months ago | reply

      Yeah - I use a simple attribution license which for me is just perfect. It maximizes the freedom for reuse while maintaining a channel for attention back to this photoblog.

      And it really works. I never imagined that my photos would be used by anyone, and certainly not in the unusual places that they have so far... including: Maxim Magazine, Science magazine, on TV with the Charlie Rose Show, the cover of a board game, and numerous textbooks, even one for the blind (go figure!)... Here are some examples.

      Eppie: great comments. Thanks!

    9. kitchenlady 108 months ago | reply

      Yeap, I can say all your shot look really really good here:)

    10. marhawkman 102 months ago | reply

      It's spelled "Asperger's". Must Permalink!! :)

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