IBM Introduces the System/360

April 7, 2014 · Posted in Firsts in History, Science, This Day in History · Comments Off 

May the computers unite and with that revolutionary concept the IBM System/360 was born. Before the uniting of computers into a network of systems, each was its own creation uniquely customized for each of IBM’s clients.

It has been 50 years since the 360 mainframe was introduced in 1964. It boasted the first mainframe computers that IBM customers could optimize from a lower cost model to something upgraded in power. ABC News

 

 

Ebola Virus: One of Its Most Deadly Forms

March 26, 2014 · Posted in Medicine · Comments Off 

The history of the Ebola virus is believed to date back to the beginning of our planet, though it was only first discovered in 1976. A clue that indicates an ancient origin is that the molecule’s genetic code is one of the most primitive and ancient  having a single strand of RNA. The Hot Zone

The recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, upon careful DNA analysis, is determined to be of the most deadly of the Ebola viruses known as the Zaire strain. This version of the Ebola virus typically kills up to 80 percent of the victims it infects. The name is derived from the 1976 outbreak in northern Zaire; for the Ebola River in Zaire (see table below from WHO International for exact number of deaths)

It takes only a small number of particles contracted through Blood-borne pathogens for an “extreme amplification” to erupt in Ebola Zaire’s host.

 

Table: Chronology of major Ebola haemorrhagic fever outbreaks (as of May 2012)

 

Year Country Virus subtype Cases Deaths Case fatality
2011 Uganda Ebola Sudan 1 1 100%
2008 Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola Zaire 32 14 44%
2007 Uganda Ebola Bundibugyo 149 37 25%
2007 Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola Zaire 264 187 71%
2005 Congo Ebola Zaire 12 10 83%
2004 Sudan Ebola Sudan 17 7 41%
2003 Congo Ebola Zaire 35 29 83%
(Nov-Dec)
2003 Congo Ebola Zaire 143 128 90%
(Jan-Apr)
2001-2002 Congo Ebola Zaire 59 44 75%
2001-2002 Gabon Ebola Zaire 65 53 82%
2000 Uganda Ebola Sudan 425 224 53%
1996 South Africa (ex-Gabon) Ebola Zaire 1 1 100%
1996 Gabon Ebola Zaire 60 45 75%
(Jul-Dec)
1996 Gabon Ebola Zaire 31 21 68%
(Jan-Apr)
1995 Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola Zaire 315 254 81%
1994 Cote d’Ivoire Ebola Ivory Coast 1 0 0%
1994 Gabon Ebola Zaire 52 31 60%
1979 Sudan Ebola Sudan 34 22 65%
1977 Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola Zaire 1 1 100%
1976 Sudan Ebola Sudan 284 151 53%
1976 Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola Zaire 318 280 88%

The Ebola Zaire strain

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/03/24/293754812/ebola-breaks-out-in-west-africa-for-the-first-time

History Topics

March 17, 2014 · Posted in Research History · Comments Off 

End of War Kiss

March 14, 2014 · Posted in World War II · Comments Off 

Glenn Edward McDuffie, a U.S. Navy sailor in World War II and  believed to be the man in the famous kiss picture taken by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, died today March 3, 2014.

It was decades ago  on Aug. 14, 1945 in Times Square when McDuffie and a nurse celebrated the end of the war in an embracing kiss that is an iconic image in American history.

famous kissing photo

V-J Day in Times Square, a photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt, was published in Life in 1945 with the caption, In New York’s Times Square a white-clad girl clutches her purse and skirt as an uninhibited sailor plants his lips squarely on hers

Ole Miss Riot

March 13, 2014 · Posted in Black History, Civil Rights, This Day in History · Comments Off 

On Oct. 1, 1962 Mississippi University admitted James Meredith; their first black student.  This Federally ordered act of integration resulted in a violent mob riot on the campus. Two people were killed and hundreds injured. Mississippi had segregationist laws that Governor Ross Barnett tried to uphold despite President Kennedy’s order to obey the federal law against segregation. The fight to preserve James Meredith’s civil right to attend the University of Mississippi is sometimes referred to as “the last battle of the Civil War”.

Learn more about the facts and people involved.

The Bubonic Plague is Alive and Well

March 8, 2014 · Posted in Medicine · Comments Off 

When we think of the plague, we imagine ages gone by, the middle ages in particular, safely contained inside the texts of detailed accounts in history books. Most of us don’t associate the plague with current times, but the truth is 10 to 20 people in the United States contract plague each year. In fact, infected mice  from a lab in New Jersey escaped in 2005 and have never been found.

In the news recently, we are warned of an increased risk of ancient diseases thawing back into existence; the Bubonic plague being one. An example is a 30,000 year old virus that has been brought back to life from its Siberian permafrost tomb. Scientist believe  that we could be vulnerable to more of these frozen enemies as climate change thaws out our planet.

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