Could Bats Harbor Cures for Diseases?

Tadarida_brasiliensis_outflight_Hristov_Carlsbad_Caverns

This is some of the research that contributed to  Darwin’s Paradox: An international science mystery. http://amzn.to/2k8qJgi. Bats have a major role in this book where scientists and students protect them when they become a target of fearful people during a pandemic.

Bats have long been considered a threat to humans, but it might be time for that to change.

Of the almost 5,000 mammal species, about 20% are bats, chiroptera (KIE-ROP-TER-A) to be scientific. There are more bats species than any other order except rodents, and they inhabit every continent except Antarctica. Bats are everywhere, and they’re nocturnal, and they fly. What could be scarier than 1,000 species of bats flying into your nightmares?

Big-eared-townsend-fledermaus

How about over 3,000 species of viruses? The International Committee of Taxonomy of Viruses has identified over 3,000 virus species. Unfortunately, a large number of the viruses that are dangerous to people spend their vacations with bats. The list of viruses that are hosted by bats is both long and scary: hepaciviruses, pegiviruses, influenza A virus, hantavirus, paramyxoviruses, and of course lyssaviruses which include rabies.

Besides the viral threat, bats are vampires, as every school child can tell you. NOT! Only 3% of the bat species are vampires, and those are isolated to South and Central America.

Recall the major pandemics (Black Plague, Spanish Flu, HIV/AIDS)? All caused by viruses. People die from viruses. Bats host viruses. Bats and Rats … maybe we’d be better off if we killed them all?

This has been the myth, legend, and superstition for millennia. With modern science, it’s time to reconsider.

Science is now asking the question, “Why do viruses that infect and kill humans and other mammals exist benignly in bats?”

If scientists can answer this question, find what protects the bats, we might be able to prevent future pandemics and even cure the common cold.

Chiroptera differ from other mammals in several ways. First, bats reached their current evolutionary point over 33.5 million years ago, while other mammals continued to evolve. Felines didn’t even appear until about 25 million years ago, and people, homo sapiens sapiens, didn’t show up until a few hundred thousand years ago.

Bat_in_the_tree_at_Boga_Lake,_Bangladesh

This might explain why bats are better at dealing with viruses. Some scientists suggest that given 30 million years bats had time to evolve better defenses than we could in a few hundred thousand. Bats also had strong evolutionary pressures since they live in large, dense colonies – ideal for spreading viral infections. This is very different from primates which evolved in small isolated groups.

Others suggest that it’s just a numbers game. Given a thousand species of bats, to our one, they had a better chance to get lucky. This is supported by the rodents which have even more species and also host lots of viruses.

The third line of investigation is the high metabolism required for flight. This, combined with the observation that bats don’t seem to get cancer, leads to the hypothesis that their DNA repair mechanisms work faster and better.

This third hypothesis brings up another bat anomaly: not only are they more resistant to viral diseases, but they also live longer than expected. Are these two related? Maybe?

Greyheadedflyingfoxbabies2008canungra

Regardless, the denizens of Chiroptera have antiviral secrets that we need and science is working to find them. Today more scientists study the biology of bats, and more bats are getting their DNA sequenced. Perhaps soon we will live longer and healthier because of those scary, night flying, echolocating bats.

Imagine how important bats might be. Read Darwin’s Paradox: An international science mystery. http://amzn.to/2k8qJgi. Free with Kindle Unlimited and KOLL.

Darwin's Paradox
An international science mystery
Advertisements

US/UK Sale ends July 15 – 50% off #science #SciFi #IARTG #ASMSG #amazon

CD-Vol1+2 (105)

Pandemic Mysteries – Kindle Sale. Stand-alone novels on sale.
Book 1: Darwin’s Paradox: An international science mystery – http://amzn.to/2nmrukh
Book 2: Plague of Equals: An international science thriller – http://amzn.to/2mkfrmJ

GOODREADS REVIEWS for Plague of Equals

Excerpts from Goodreads reviews (4.5 stars):

“This is not your ordinary international suspense thriller.”

“It kept me reading, and it kept me guessing.”

“It’s got all the stereotypes, but beware of falling into the trap of thinking the stereotypes are valid.”

“Having a scientific background and (full disclosure) working in the drug development/clinical trial field, … It is a fascinating hypothesis and one I did NOT see coming.”

“It certainly is surprising, and a welcome relief from the usual thriller ending. The science is pretty interesting, and the writing makes it more so. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.”

Kindle, and free on KU and KOLL. US/UK Sale ends July 15

US/UK Sale ends July 15 – 50% off #biology #RRBC #Mustread @scifirtg

CD-Vol1+2 (109)

Pandemic Mysteries – Kindle Sale. Stand-alone novels on sale.
Book 1: Darwin’s Paradox: An international science mystery – http://amzn.to/2nmrukh
Book 2: Plague of Equals: An international science thriller – http://amzn.to/2mkfrmJ

Excerpt from 5-star Amazon review for DARWIN’S PARADOX
An uplifting story for troubled times.

I’m usually a science fiction reader, but the medical thriller angle caught my attention.

Once I started reading I could not stop … Next morning I sat down to read “just one chapter” before starting the day. Finished the book instead.

Loved the characters, the various cultures, the different views on reality and life of each. …characters did not exhibit all the “trite and true” behaviors that make me delete a book from Kindle before finishing it.

While it was a very good medical thriller, it was an even better portrayal of some of the better aspects of humanity. A nice uplifting story for troubled times.

Kindle, and free on KU and KOLL. US/UK Sale ends July 15

US/UK Sale ends July 15 – 50% off #pharma #IARTG #SNRTG #SciFi #Kindle

CD-Shelf-science

Pandemic Mysteries – Kindle Sale. Stand-alone novels on sale.
Book 1: Darwin’s Paradox: An international science mystery – http://amzn.to/2nmrukh
Book 2: Plague of Equals: An international science thriller – http://amzn.to/2mkfrmJ

READER FEEDBACK from a research biologist for Plague of Equals…

“I’ve been meaning to let you know I’ve read your book and enjoyed it very much. Maintained my interest, enjoyed the characters, appreciated the controversy, and was pleased with the conclusion – love the idea of a ‘live long kill young’ virus – very creative – I did not see that coming.”

Plague of Equals is science fiction with the emphasis on SCIENCE. Central to the plot is a worldwide epidemic that has the scientists baffled.

As in the real world, baffled scientists open the door for people with preconceived agendas and ulterior motives to exploit the uncertainty to their own ends.

In this story, the scientists do what scientists always do … they find the truth. The truth is surprising to both scientific and non-scientific readers. Enjoy.

Kindle, and free on KU and KOLL. US/UK Sale ends July 15

US/UK Sale ends July 15 – 50% off #biology #RRBC #Mustread @scifirtg

CD-Vol1+2 (106)

Pandemic Mysteries – Kindle Sale. Stand-alone novels on sale.
Book 1: Darwin’s Paradox: An international science mystery – http://amzn.to/2nmrukh
Book 2: Plague of Equals: An international science thriller – http://amzn.to/2mkfrmJ

Excerpt from 5-star Amazon review for DARWIN’S PARADOX
An uplifting story for troubled times.

I’m usually a science fiction reader, but the medical thriller angle caught my attention.

Once I started reading I could not stop … Next morning I sat down to read “just one chapter” before starting the day. Finished the book instead.

Loved the characters, the various cultures, the different views on reality and life of each. …characters did not exhibit all the “trite and true” behaviors that make me delete a book from Kindle before finishing it.

While it was a very good medical thriller, it was an even better portrayal of some of the better aspects of humanity. A nice uplifting story for troubled times.

Kindle, and free on KU and KOLL. US/UK Sale ends July 15

US/UK Sale ends July 15 – 50% off #pharma #IARTG #SNRTG #SciFi #amazon

CD-Summer STEM

Pandemic Mysteries – Kindle Sale. Stand-alone novels on sale.
Book 1: Darwin’s Paradox: An international science mystery – http://amzn.to/2nmrukh
Book 2: Plague of Equals: An international science thriller – http://amzn.to/2mkfrmJ

AMAZON REVIEWS for Plague of Equals

“Once I got into the story, it was fascinating!!! A very good read! Wonderful characters.”

“This is not your ordinary international suspense thriller”.

“It’s got all the stereotypes, but beware of falling into the trap of thinking the stereotypes are valid.”

“[The ending] certainly is surprising, and a welcome relief from the usual thriller ending.”

“The science is pretty interesting, and the writing makes it more so.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.”

Kindle, and free on KU and KOLL. US/UK Sale ends July 15

US/UK Sale ends July 15 – 50% off #chemistry #SFRTG #bookboost @scifirtg

CD-Vol1+2 (108)

Pandemic Mysteries – Kindle Sale. Stand-alone novels on sale.
Book 1: Darwin’s Paradox: An international science mystery – http://amzn.to/2nmrukh
Book 2: Plague of Equals: An international science thriller – http://amzn.to/2mkfrmJ

Excerpts from 5-star Amazon review for DARWIN’S PARADOX: I very much enjoyed this near-future science fiction novel [with] its comprehensive world view.

As the best fiction does, this book works to educate as well as well as to entertain, with true detail about daily life in the novel’s various settings, the process of science, challenges of management,…

There is rich, resonant character development and much curiosity about the nature of the human condition. In its understated way, this novel wonders at the fact that some of the most vibrant humans are nurtured in some of the planet’s toughest environments.

Kindle, and free on KU and KOLL. US/UK Sale ends July 15

US/UK Sale ends July 15 – 50% off #clinicaltrials #kindle #IAN1 @iartg

CD-Vol1+2 (104)

Pandemic Mysteries – Kindle Sale. Stand-alone novels on sale.
Book 1: Darwin’s Paradox: An international science mystery – http://amzn.to/2nmrukh
Book 2: Plague of Equals: An international science thriller – http://amzn.to/2mkfrmJ

GOODREADS 5-STAR REVIEW FOR PLAGUE OF EQUALS

“Plague of Equals” is a book in the tradition of Wilbur Smith, Leon Uris or James Michener: a big, sprawling adventure tale centered on a specific theme, with an almost Chaucerian cast of characters. The action moves from the jungles of South America to the corridors of power in D.C., weaving together personal stories and medical science into a cautionary tale about both theory and life.

There are a few bumpy moments – places where the action seems unnecessarily interrupted by information about disease or current medical technologies – but overall, it’s a gripping tale with wild exploits and sympathetic every-day heroes that will keep you thinking long after “The End”.

Kindle, and free on KU and KOLL. US/UK Sale ends July 15

US/UK Sale ends July 15 – 50% off #science #scifi #kindle @scifirtg

CD-Vol1+2 (103)

Pandemic Mysteries – Kindle Sale. Stand-alone novels on sale.
Book 1: Darwin’s Paradox: An international science mystery – http://amzn.to/2nmrukh
Book 2: Plague of Equals: An international science thriller – http://amzn.to/2mkfrmJ
Excerpts from 5-star Goodreads review for DARWIN’S PARADOX:

Unlike a lot of science thrillers, this one mostly gets the science right, and the science does not dominate the main theme: that solving critical, worldwide problems can be done by means other than massive government programs.

The disparate characters and cultures are handled well from the perspective of an American reader, we’ll wait and see what the rest of the world thinks. It does point up the benefits of education and the pursuit of science worldwide–it shouldn’t be just for privileged first-world because we’re going to need all the help we can get.

Kindle, and free on KU and KOLL. US/UK Sale ends July 15

Summer Reading for STEM Teens #STEM #iartg #sftrg #Kindle

Darwin's Paradox
An international science mystery

A new disease is threatening people across the globe. International scientists, including the CDC and WHO, are frantically looking for an explanation and a cure. In addition to funding the traditional science establishment, they have funded a high school science club in Roswell New Mexico and a high school chemistry class in Maputo Mozambique. As is true for much science, the answer is as unexpected as the source.

This exciting science mystery is appropriate for tweens and teens, as well as adults. Ideal for students with an interest in science and research.

Available everywhere on Amazon paperback and eBook http://amzn.to/2s3QwKU

Free on KU and KOLL

Flyers and Promotions