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A Lousy Tale of the Naked Ap‪e

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Vintage Lunch Hour Lecture

A lousy tale of the naked ap‪e

Although human DNA is 98 percent similar to that of the chimpanzee, the infections we catch are 80 percent different. Most are new acquisitions that we have picked up as humans spread across the world. In fact, pandemic infections like smallpox and influenza only date from the last 12,000 years or so after we formed settled farming communities and later developed large colonies known as cities. Does the history of infectious diseases help to predict future epidemics?

Professor Robin Weiss
UCL Immunology & Molecular Pathology
11 October 2007

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