Filed under: America
Two years following Christopher Columbus ‘s journey across the Atlantic in 1492, Columbus and colonists took off on a second trip. The result of their subsequent voyage was the foundation of the first established European town in the New World. It was given the name La Isabela.
La Isabela had a short four year existence. The demise of the town has always been believed by historians to have been the result of the diseases smallpox, influenza, and malaria.
However, recent findings from the town’s graves, from the bones that remained, also show that the colonist suffered as well from a condition known as scurvy. To be sure scurvy would have made the towns people vulnerable targets to the diseases that befell them.
Scurvy is a condition developed from low levels of Vitamin C. Before 1747 when James Lind was able to prove the connection between scurvy and vitamin c depletion, people did not know the importance of eating citric fruit and other fresh foods that contain Vitamin C. Therefore in the 15th century town of La Isabela scurvy was rampant and contributed to the vulnerability of the immune system to fight off disease.
Read more in National Geographic:
Filed under: Firsts in History, Science, This Day in History
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
Filed under: Medicine
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|
|2008||Democratic Republic of Congo||Ebola Zaire||32||14||44%|
|2007||Democratic Republic of Congo||Ebola Zaire||264||187||71%|
|1996||South Africa (ex-Gabon)||Ebola Zaire||1||1||100%|
|1995||Democratic Republic of Congo||Ebola Zaire||315||254||81%|
|1994||Cote d’Ivoire||Ebola Ivory Coast||1||0||0%|
|1977||Democratic Republic of Congo||Ebola Zaire||1||1||100%|
|1976||Democratic Republic of Congo||Ebola Zaire||318||280||88%|
The Ebola Zaire strain
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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.
Filed under: Black History, Civil Rights, This Day in History
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”.