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The Tick That Gives People Meat Allergies Is Spreading (wired.com)
45 points by sohkamyung 120 days ago | hide | past | web | 19 comments | favorite

I personally know four people with this allergy. It's crazy how bad it can be. They all have to carry epipens and constantly remain vigilant about the food they eat. For one of them, it's not even the food they eat though. If they eat from a grill or plate that just had red meat on it, they can still break out in hives. She's been hospitalized several times from accidental exposure.

Here's the relevant radiolab episode: http://www.radiolab.org/story/alpha-gal/

Would make an interesting premise for an environmentalist terrorism novel.

Ticks along with mosquitoes are (IMHO) something we should be waging biological war against to prevent the spread of disease. But then I'd probably eat a shotgun if I could never have another steak or swiss and mushroom burger. Of course some juicy sci-fi exploring the "Eh, what's the worst that could happen" theme sounds like a lot of fun.

My favorite plot in this theme was someone who released a virus that rewrote and reduced your ability to understand abstract concepts, with the idea that lawyers would never again be able to obfuscate evil intentions behind ornate language. Absent was what the impact on software would be since (arguably) software engineers are using the same skills to express abstract thought in sometimes obscure ways.

> Eh, what's the worst that could happen

This actually sounds more plausible than sci-fi - but the worst that could happen would be that this tick-borne allergy becomes something where the fact you're a mammal (and "made of meat") brings on the symptoms, to the n-th degree...

Star Trek: DS9 episode 1x05 Babel. Terrorist device is triggered which causes the replicated to insert a virus that has the effect of causing people to lose their ability to speak - Aphasia.

Actually one of the more interesting episodes.

Good example but I was thinking of a book which I can no longer remember.

Weaponized Vegetarism

Awesome! They could work this into a "12 Monkeys" remake.

Also prevalent in Sydney's Northern beaches:


(edit: the allergy that is, not the tick, which is a different species)

"I certainly couldn't go to Bunnings on the weekend when there's a sausage sizzle."

How awful. This is the only reason I go to Bunnings. Sometimes I buy a plant or a few screws. But always a snag.

Interesting - just researched it; here in the states Lowes or Home Depot will sometimes have vendors selling hotdogs - which sounds similar to what you guys call a "snag" (interesting term), but with a money-making, not fund-raising involved...

Though a hotdog is technically a sausage, it's not the same as what we call a sausage over here, which usually denotes a breakfast item made of pork (and somewhat spicy), or is used in "italian" food (spaghetti and pizza being the main ones), cut into slices (pizza) or crumbles (pizza, spaghetti).

For something similar to "sausage on a bun" - it would be a bratwurst dog (or "brats" as we say); this is a more coarse kind of "hot dog" sausage, with some spicyness (but not the same as breakfast sausages); if they're done right, they are first boiled in beer (any cheap brew will do - don't have to get fancy here), then grilled; serve on a bun with whatever condiments you desire (I generally prefer some simple yellow mustard and maybe some mayo, nothing else).

Gia ie Earth fights human and protects the environment in its own way :D

Well, spread of the Lone Star tick may well be a consequence of global climate change. And meat production does contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

But it's probably just coincidence ;)

There is an interesting theory that deer ticks and associated diseases are in a symbiosis with deer by damaging predators and competing species that haven't co-evolved.

This tick/disease would be at the maxima of such a natural selection, able to achieve symbiosis perfectly with herbivores it hasn't co-evolved with. A biased probability sort of coincidence. ;)

Co-evolved with herbivores to damage carnivores? Insidious!

There's probably a way to check for that.

No cases outside of the US?

Plenty. See my comment above.

Ticks are freaking creepy AF. Stay safe folks.

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