Thursday, July 17, 2008

DARC gene and the politicisation of HIV/AIDS

Apparently there is something called the DARC gene which is allegedly carried by 90% of Africans South of the Sahara which makes us more susceptible to HIV infections and also helps us to survive it a little longer. The gene is supposedly a genetic mutation or response to Malaria. It supposedly leads to an 11% more HIV infections in Africans. There is a book called Survival of the Sickest one of the best books on Epigenetics and complexity as well as a brilliant read, it lays down some of the most lucid thinking in this area.

I have always posited that we are yet to truly discover the story of HIV/AIDS that most of the thinking here is of the Laboratory technician variation rather than true science. As Gary Zukav suggests in his book the Dancing Wu Li Masters true science is about revelation of emergent aspects of the natural world not its reduction into parts that are captured in smaller parts within the abstractions of a laboratory test tube.

Anyway this news was accompanied by spin on both sides of the Atlantic with BBC pushing it as UCL discovery and in reality it was led by University of Texas. More importantly it was based on an American sample without any from Africa itself included. It becomes once again the story of the Kenya prostitutes who were apparently immune to the virus then we were led to believe the solution from this was coming out of efforts in the university city of Oxford ignoring the African scientists whose work it is primarily . This is no accident, there is a lot of money involved, prestige and national credibility but more importantly it is the that powerful narrative that those of European descent are superior in areas of intellectual and scientific pursuit. So long everyone buys into this narrative then the hegemony will continue and they set the rules. We will see if it can continue. By the way the lead Author is a Professor Sunil Ahuja,

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