Interesting Facts about Swine Flu (H1N1)

Influenza Season and the Swine Flu H1N1:
While the typical influenza season is usually during the cold and dry months of Winter and early Spring months (Science Daily article on typical human flu); the current H1N1 flu (Swine or Pig Flu) has spread very rapidly during the months of April and May which are in fact warm in Mexico, current temperatures in Mexico City are in the 70-80's °F during this time of the year. A study by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City found that normal flu thrives in winter months because of the low humidity and low temperature.

The jury is still out on whether this influenza virus will thrive in the hot months only or if its effect will increment during the cold months of winter/early spring. This is a reason why the development of a vaccine is necessary: so that we can be prepared for it when we are the most vulnerable. It is still unclear if the colder weather will make the spread of this virus more aggressive.

Genetic Makeup of H1N1 Swine Influenza Virus:
The current H1N1 Influenza Virus has a genetic makeup that includes genes from three different virus that affect pigs, birds, and humans. It is now apparent that the predecessor to the current H1N1 pork flu had already been around in pigs for 10 years and just recently acquired the additional genes that have allowed it to become virulent in humans.

The H1N1 chimeric virus is mostly of swine origin, with 6 segments from pig virus, 1 from bird, and the last from human.

The pig flu virus can jump back and forth from Humans and Poricine species.
The H1N1 virus is first thought to have jumped from pigs to humans in Mexico, and it has been confirmed that once it made it to Canada, it infected pigs jumping from a human host. Humans that work in proximity with pigs are rarely infected with porcine-viruses, it is even more rare that a human infected with porcine virus infects another human (happens every 5 decades or so), but what was never documented is the virus of pig oringin jumping back to pigs.

Ten facts about swine flu

Swine flu is an acute respiratory disease which affects pigs. In pigs, according to the World Health Organisation, "morbidity tends to be high and mortality low" - which means that it spreads quickly but kills between 1 and 4 per cent of its victims.

Pigs are the perfect mixing vessels for what is known as reassortment of flu strains, when genetic material from swine flu, human flu and avian flu is jumbled up to create entirely new influenza strains to which humans have little or no immunity.

The currrent H1N1 virus contains genetic elements from North American swine flu, North American avian (bird) flu, and human and swine flu strains normally found in Asia and Europe. According to the Centres for Disease Control it is "an unusually mongrelised mix of genetic sequences".

This new strain of swine flu is not infecting pigs - and has never been seen in pigs.

Seasonal flu viruses (which mutate every year) kill between 250,000 and 500,000 people a year.

The symptoms produced by the current strain of swine flu resemble those of seasonal flu - fever, coughing, muscle aches and extreme tiredness - but it also appears to cause diarrhoea.

The currrent H1N1 virus contains genetic elements from North American swine flu, North American avian (bird) flu, and human and swine flu strains normally found in Asia and Europe. According to the Centres for Disease Control it is "an unusually mongrelised mix of genetic sequences".

The most lethal flu pandemic of the past century was also caused by a swine flu strain. One billion people are thought to have contracted "Spanish flu" in 1918-19, of whom around 50 million were killed - although the death toll could have been much higher.

In 1976, an Army recruit at Ford Dix, New Jersey, complained that he was feeling tired and weak. He died the following day. After Swine flu was diagnosed panicked officials persuaded Gerald Ford that the entire population needed vaccination. About 40 million people were vaccinated before another fear took hold - that the vaccine was more dangerous than the disease - and the programme was aborted.

The WHO's pandemic alert level has been raised a notch to level 4. Level 5 is considered a pandemic - with "sustained community-level transmission" in at least two countries - and level 6 a full-scale global pandemic affecting more than one region in the world.

Symptoms of H1N1 (Swine Flu)

This Video Cures Swine Flu


Interesting Facts about Evolution of Car Logos

The Volkswagen Automobile Company originally founded in 1938, also known as Volkswagen Passenger Cars, or just VW, is an automobile manufacturer based in Wolfsburg, Germany, and is the original brand within the Volkswagen Group, as well as the largest brand by sales volume.

Renault S.A. (Euronext: RNO) is a French automaker producing cars, vans, buses, tractors, and trucks. Due to its alliance with Nissan, it is currently the world's 4th largest automaker. It owns the Romanian automaker Automobile Dacia and the Korean automaker Renault Samsung Motors. Carlos Ghosn is the current CEO. The company's most successful car to date is the Renault Clio, and its core market is France. The company is known for numerous revolutionary designs, security technologies, and motor racing.

Peugeot is a major French car brand, part of PSA Peugeot Citroe"n, the second largest carmaker in Europe.

Peugeot's roots go back to nineteenth century coffee mill and bicycle manufacturing. The Peugeot company and family is originally from Sochaux, France. Peugeot retains a large manufacturing plant and Peugeot Museum there. It also sponsors the Sochaux football club, founded in 1928 by a member of the Peugeot family.

The Mitsubishi Group, Mitsubishi Group of Companies, or Mitsubishi Companies is a Japanese conglomerate consisting of a range of autonomous businesses which share the Mitsubishi brand, trademark and legacy.

Mercedes-Benz is a German manufacturer of automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks. It is currently a division of the parent company, Daimler AG (formerly DaimlerChrysler AG), after previously being owned by Daimler-Benz. Mercedes-Benz has its origins in Karl Benz's creation of the first automobile in January 1886, and by Gottlieb Daimler and engineer Wilhelm Maybach's conversion of a carriage by the addition of a petrol engine the same year.

Mazda Motor Corporation is a Japanese automotive manufacturer based in Hiroshima, Japan.

During 2007, Mazda produced almost 1.3 million vehicles for global sales. The majority of these (nearly 1 million) were produced in the company's Japanese plants, with the remainder coming from a variety of other plants worldwide.

Ford was launched in a converted factory in 1903 with $28,000 in cash from twelve investors, most notably John and Horace Dodge (who would later found their own car company). During its early years, the company produced just a few cars a day at its factory on Mack Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. Groups of two or three men worked on each car from components made to order by other companies. Henry Ford was 40 years old when he founded the Ford Motor Company, which would go on to become one of the world's largest and most profitable companies, as well as being one to survive the Great Depression. As one of the largest family-controlled companies in the world, the Ford Motor Company has been in continuous family control for over 100 years.

Fiat S.p.A., an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (English: Italian Automobile Factory of Turin), is an Italian automobile manufacturer, engine manufacturer, financial and industrial group based in Turin in the Piedmont region. Founded in 1899 by a group of investors including Giovanni Agnelli. Fiat has also manufactured tanks and aircraft.

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), (English: Bavarian Motor Works) is a German automobile and motorcycle manufacturing company. Founded in 1916, it is known for its performance and luxury vehicles. It owns and produces the MINI brand, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

The company traces its origins back to 1899 and August Horch. The first Horch automobile was produced in 1901 in Zwickau. In 1909, Horch was forced out of the company he had founded. He then started a new company in Zwickau and continued using the Horch brand.

Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p.A. is an Italian automaker founded on 24 June 1910 in Milan. Alfa Romeo has been a part of the Fiat Group since 1986. The company was originally known as A.L.F.A., which is an acronym for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (translated: Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company).

Interesting Facts About The Human Body

Children grow faster in the springtime.

It takes the human stomach an hour to break down cow's milk.

Your stomach needs to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks or it would digest itself.

It takes 72 different muscles to produce human speech.

Relative to size, the strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.

There are 10 human body parts that are only 3 letters long - eye, jaw, rib, hip, arm, leg, ear, toe, lip and gum.

If you go blind in one eye you only lose about one fifth of your vision but all your sense of depth.

Babies are born without knee caps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2-6 years of age.

You were born with 300 bones. When you get to be an adult, you have 206.

Your nose and ears never stop growing.

After you die, your body starts to dry out creating the illusion that your hair and nails are still growing after death.

The length of the finger dictates how fast your fingernails grow. The nail on your middle finger grows the fastest, and on average, your toenails grow half the speed of your fingernails.

A healthy adult can draw in about 200 to 300 cubic inches (3.3 to 4.9 litres) of air at a single breath, but at rest only about 5% of this volume is used.

15 million blood cells are destroyed in the human body every second.

The average human will shed over 18 kilograms or 40 pounds of skin in a lifetime.


George Washington Fun Facts

A few things you may not know about America's first president:

* Clothing was always important to George Washington. As the commander of Virginia's militia in the 1750s, Washington designed his soldiers' uniforms himself. The unit became known as "The Virginia Blues," a nickname arising from their color-coordinated outfits. Washington's earliest known fashion statement was a note he wrote during his late teens – a set of instructions to his tailor for altering a coat. The message ran more than 150 words in length.

* From the time he was a young man, George Washington was renowned for his towering stature – he was well over six feet tall – and his remarkable strength. He was able to hunt on horseback for as many as seven hours straight, and on one occasion, threw a rock to the top of a famous Virginia landmark, a 215-foot-high rock formation known as the Natural Bridge. The shot was roughly the equivalent of a quarterback tossing a touchdown pass from his own 30 yard-line into his opponent's end zone ... a 70-yard throw.

* The familiar portraits of Washington that stare at us from dollar bills and postage stamps suggest a man who lacked any emotion. The contrary, however, seems to have been true. Washington's biographers, and those contemporaries who actually knew him, describe Washington as an intense and passionate man who worked hard at keeping his feelings in check. One incident illustrates the struggle. During his early twenties, Washington found himself in a heated argument with a man known to history only as "a Virginia landowner and politician." The dispute turned violent when the man knocked George to the floor with a stick. Though George was much taller than his assailant – and almost certainly stronger – he chose not to retaliate. Instead, he left the room, collected his thoughts, returned and apologized ... even though the other man was at fault.

* During his military career, George Washington inspired a popular belief that in battle he was protected by "Providence" so that he might play a central role in the destiny of the nation. This view first surfaced in 1755, during the French and Indian War. At the Battle of the Monongahela, the French decimated the British force that Washington served with. Hundreds of men were killed and Washington's own clothing was pierced by several bullets. Still, Washington emerged from the fighting without a scratch and was soon being hailed as the "Hero of the Monongahela." While visiting the western frontier several years later, Washington encountered a party of Native Americans who had fought against him in the battle. These former enemies greeted Washington with the utmost respect – as a warrior who was protected against death by "The Great Spirit."

* The decimation of the British army at Monongahela was so extensive, that George Washington's family apparently concluded that he was among those killed. They further assumed that he had uttered a dramatic "dying speech" as was the custom in those times. Upon learning of this, Washington wrote to his brother with a touch of humor, " ... As I have heard ... a circumstantial account of my death and dying Speech, I take this ... opportunity of contradicting the first, and assuring you that I have not, as yet, composed the latter."

* During the early years of the American Revolution, Washington was eager to meet the British in a face-to-face, winner-take-all battlefield confrontation. This was especially true during his siege of the British in Boston, an eight-month stand-off that began when he assumed command of the army in July of 1775. By the winter of 1775-76, Washington was itching for an all-out attack. He proposed numerous invasion plans to his war council, including one that supposedly called for American soldiers to put on ice skates, glide across the frozen expanse of Boston Harbor in the dark of night and assault the British. The plan was eventually abandoned as impractical.

* From the start of the Revolution, Americans hailed George Washington as both the champion and symbol of their cause. His exalted status was confirmed when the township of Washington, Massachusetts, was incorporated in early 1776. By all accounts, this was the first geographical place named for the Commander in Chief. A few months later, Mount Washington (now known as Washington Heights) on Manhattan Island received its name. By the end of the year, the town of Washington, New Hampshire and the Washington district in North Carolina had also been established, as well as Washington counties in Virginia and Maryland.

* The plight of Gen. Washington's starving, frost-bitten army at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-1778 has been recounted numerous times. One of the less well-known measures Washington took to alleviate the suffering was his engineering of a monumental cattle drive that reportedly moved more head of beef than any operation up until the era of the railroads in the 1870s. Washington sent agents throughout New England, Maryland and Delaware to buy up herds of cattle, or requisition them from those farmers reluctant to sell. Some cattle would be driven from as far away as 250 miles and the entire operation had to be orchestrated without drawing the attention of British or Tory spies. After several weeks, the first cattle began to arrive in Valley Forge, a trickle that soon grew into a flood of roughly a thousand head each week. The British captured only one herd, and George Washington, cattle-drive mastermind, was able to save his soldiers from starvation.

* By the spring of 1778, the bitter Valley Forge winter was becoming just a bad memory. Food was plentiful and the men were healthy. General Washington ordered a camp holiday to be held on May 6. A highlight of the festivities was a traditional European military exercise, a complex maneuver involving some 10,000 soldiers. Each man fired his musket, shooting immediately after the soldier next to him. The soldiers reloaded, and repeated the cycle – three times. All told, some 30,000 shots were fired in sequence ... a thunderous, non-stop display of power and precision. The party was still going strong when Gen. Washington mounted up and began to ride back to his headquarters. In a spontaneous outpouring of affection and respect, the men began to cheer. Washington turned towards his army and waved his hat. The soldiers responded by tossing their own hats into the air – all ten thousand of them.

* George Washington had no children of his own and would outlive both of his stepchildren. His stepdaughter, Patsy Custis, died in Washington's arms in 1773 – a victim of epilepsy at the age of sixteen. In September 1781, Washington's 26 year old stepson, Jackie, joined him during the Siege of Yorktown as an impromptu aide. The British surrendered on October 19th, ending the last major campaign of the American Revolution. Just two weeks later, Jackie Custis came down with what was known as "camp fever," which was probably meningitis. He died on November 5th, with Washington at his bedside.

* Washington's victory at Yorktown in October of 1781 marked the end of Britain's attempt to subdue its rebellious colonies. All that remained was to hammer out a peace treaty which would formalize what had been accomplished on the battlefield. With their political future suddenly upon them, many Americans, including members of congress and officers in the Continental Army, wanted George Washington to become King of America. To one such suggestion, Washington responded in no uncertain terms. "Be assured Sir, no occurrence in the course of the War has given me more painful sensations than your information of there being such ideas existing in the Army ... If I am not deceived in the knowledge of myself, you could not have found a person to whom your schemes are more disagreeable ... if you have any regard for your Country ... or respect for me ... banish these thoughts from your Mind. ..."