A Brief History Of The World’s Oldest Disease

Leprosy History Old Woman

A portrait of an elderly blind woman at the Nuang Kan Leper Colony in Kengtung, Myanmar. Source: DVB

A plague to rule them all, leprosy is very likely the oldest infectious disease in human history. Written accounts of the disease — sometimes referred to as Hansen’s Disease—date as far back as 600 B.C., and the genetic evidence alone supports the existence of Leprosy infections in 100,000 year-old remains.

While many other human diseases have been around as long as human beings have–such as nutritional night blindness, tuberculosis and of course sexually transmitted infections (syphilis)–Leprosy’s social history is the one that is most inextricably linked with human evolution.
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Animal Facts: Love And Sex In The Animal Kingdom

You know the Valentine’s Day drill: buy some chocolate and flowers, make reservations at a nice restaurant and exchange “I love you’s” over dessert. But how does the rest of the world—specifically the animals of the world—celebrate Valentine’s Day? Well, it’s complicated.

In the animal kingdom, love and sex are just as complex and mysterious as they are for humans. Some animals enter into long-term relationships (and short-term flings!), others engage in silly mating rituals, and a few have evolved to wield some incredibly bizarre sexual organs. Check out these 21 animal facts about love, sex, relationships, and reproduction:

1. Albatrosses are known for being flirtatious. Check out their hilarious mating dance:

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27 Incredible Underwater Pictures of Schooling Fish

Like starling murmurations, schooling fish are one of the world’s most wondrous natural phenomena. Not to be confused with shoaling fish (which refers to fish who gather to swim together socially), schooling fish are defined as a large group of fish that swim synchronously.

Swimming in a school allows fish to protect themselves from predators, improve foraging, and swim more efficiently. While scientists are still working to better understand fish schooling, experiments over the past few decades have provided much information about how (and why) fishes form schools.

For one, schooling is most likely a genetic behavior. In fact, a combination of behavioral traits and unique sensory abilities allow fish to move fluidly and in sync with the school. While schooling fish make moving in perfect time look easy, there are various factors that the fish must instantaneously account for; the fish must quickly respond to water currents and react instantly to changes within the group. Scientists have discovered that fish base their decisions on a synthesis of where all the fish in its field of view are headed, instead of following its nearest neighbors.

Check out these 27 pictures of the incredible phenomenon:

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