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Is Bird Flu the Next SARS?

Researchers say most of the human diseases of the future will be passed to us from animals. Right now, bird flu from Asian chicken farms is killing people in Vietnam. That seems too far away to affect us, but then so did SARS, when it was first discovered in China. The World Health Organization thinks avian flu may become an even bigger epidemic than SARS. In South Korea, Vietnam and Japan, officials are killing massive numbers of chickens, trying to prevent the spread of avian flu to more humans. All the people who've contracted the flu have gotten it directly from poultry; there's been no person-to-person contact so far. If the flu virus can be controlled before it mutates to a form that allows people to pass it on, the epidemic will be stopped before it starts.

The WHO's Peter Cordingley says it's "a bigger potential problem than SARS because we don't have any defenses against the disease. If it latches on to a human influenza virus, then it could cause serious international damage."

Animal diseases like SARS, Mad Cow and Ebola may be the biggest threat to humans in the future. Australian researcher Tony McMichael says, "Diseases like SARS, HIV and Avian flu have all probably jumped from animals to humans. We really shouldn't be surprised by this?These viruses are trying to evolve."

In New Scientist, Gaia Vince quotes biologist Jeffrey Platt as saying, "Perhaps HIV managed to jump from primates to humans through infected blood from a bite, which allowed the stem cells from the two species to fuse. When the genes recombined, perhaps the virus was reawakened."

Why is it that some of the oldest artifacts, like the Great Pyramid, the fortress at Sacsayhuaman and the platform at Baalbek, display the most advanced engineering?Using the most current DNA research and archaeological, geodesic and astronomical evidence, Will Hart offers some revolutionary answers. You won't believe your ears when you listen to this week's Dreamland!

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