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AIDS-Like Virus New Threat To Koala

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the poor-fellas dept.

Australia 120

An anonymous reader writes "A virus that may weaken the immune system of koalas, similar to HIV in humans, is a new 'wild card' among threats facing the species and nearly all koalas in the Australian state of Queensland could already be infected."

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120 comments

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Blame CmdrTaco (4, Funny)

nadamucho (1063238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281746)

I'm pretty sure I know how this all started..

Kiwis have their sheep & people from Oz...koal (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31281760)

Stop the insanity. Leave the poor animals alone!

I knew those koalas were closet cases (4, Funny)

kawabago (551139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281762)

Sleep 18 hours a day and eat the rest of the time. If they gambled too they could be my ex!

Re:I knew those koalas were closet cases (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283890)

No, you're mistaken. Men koalas just sleep, wake up for a bit and decide to go back to sleep. When they finally wake up, they go rape some of the female koalas and afterwards gets high eating eucalyptus, and then gets back to sleep. (it's true, actually)

Awesome lifestyle, one could say.

Re:I knew those koalas were closet cases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283974)

Erich? Du hei um Slashdot?

Drop Bears (1)

muphin (842524) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281766)

oh no Drop Bears now with AIDS, even scarier

Re:Drop Bears (1)

cyberzephyr (705742) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281924)

Quite simply, Koala are NOT bears!

Re:Drop Bears (4, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282202)

I agree, they're actually closer to ewoks. Not nearly as good at mounting rebel attacks, though.

Re:Drop Bears (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282888)

oh really.... are you sure about that? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULEQpUY_crc

Why? (3, Funny)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281780)

Why is it always the Koalas with STDs? First it was chlamydia, now it's this thing. I blame the tourists.

Re:Why? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31281792)

Because it's a cute and furry dick warmer.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282630)

I can see why you posted anon. quite a gamble on that +funny or -troll
may you be praised. anon for obvious reasons.

Re:Why? (3, Interesting)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281914)

Actually, I recall a video (possibly TED vid, too lazy to look up) which discussed the method by which AIDS likely was first transmitted into humans. It was hypothesized to have actually been transmitted via hunter/gatherers carrying their bloody prey on their backs. Because their backs had abrasions from chasing their future food through trees and growth the infected animal blood was mixed with human blood and voila... AIDS came to humans.

Let's just hope there aren't too many bloodied aboriginals hunting koalas :)

Re:Why? (1)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281928)

Nah they're busy sipping Tinnies around the camp fire.

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282166)

Yeah, riiight. That’s the excuse I’d have given.
Doctor: Terrible news. You’re the first human to contract AIDS.
Patient: How would I have gotten that?
Doctor: Two ways: One: You were fucking a chimp up the ass.
Patient: LOL. Pff. Fucking a chimp up the ass... Me? No way. ... How else could I have gotten it?
Doctor: Oh, you could have carried bloody prey on your back, while your back had abrasio...
Patient: That one!
(Credit goes to Ricky Gervais. :) [youtube.com]

Re:Why? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284008)

Three ways actually.

Re:Why? (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282198)

More likely it was through a human with open wounds butchering bush meat from an infected ape. Animal slaughter in Africa isn't exactly hygienic.

Re:Why? (1)

eltaco (1311561) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282662)

do you have a link? I'd be fine with a youtube or ted link or something.. at least something with a citation. I'm no HIV/AIDS expert but to my knowledge AIDS appeared in humans around the late 1960s approx. granted, it could have been transferred via indigenous cultures, that still hunt as their primary source of food.

I'm stil weary though.

yeah sorry buddy, you're gonna have to look it up.. :-)

Re:Why? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282934)

Or, you could look it up yourself.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_AIDS [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why? (1)

eltaco (1311561) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282948)

never.

Re:Why? (1)

eltaco (1311561) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282962)

oh and I do not grant wiki acedemic status. after you posted that I could've changed half of the info to fit my claims. cite a source that has a reputation to lose (or gain).
peer review, this is somersault. somersault, meet peer review.

Re:Why? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284182)

Wow, you first state something completely off base without looking it even up, misspell wary, then hypocritically tell people to look stuff up. Then when given a page with a good summary with 47 citations - most from peer reviewed sources, you get snarky and complain about lack of peer reviewed sources.. perhaps you should think for a while about whether you really want people to think you're that much of an asshole.

Re:Why? (1)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284636)

Quote yourself: "I'd be fine with a youtube or ted link or something."

So you'd be fine with a youtube or ted link, but not wikipedia? That makes no sense, sounds more like backpedalling to me.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31284278)

Maybe the sheep have gotten too hard to sneak up on?

pools closed, (0)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281834)

mate.

What's with the stupid hat? (3, Insightful)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281838)

Does anyone else feel mildly offended every time they see that stupid hat icon they use for Australian stories now? I mean seriously ... is this a serious news site? It'd be like using a picture of Speedy Gonzales for Mexican stories, or a fat man with a mustache saying "mamma mia!" for Italian ones.

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (4, Funny)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281860)

I agree. It should be a giant knife. And the mouseover should say "That's not a knife. This is a knife."

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282224)

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284236)

Nah, it should be this guy [filmdope.com]

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31281864)

actually, this isn't really a serious news site. its here for people to "unwind" to.
now kindly go fuck yourself and leave the koalas alone.

p.s. capitalization is for chumps!

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282192)

Right, so because you have a gripe with an irrelevant point in his post, the pseudo-racism is acceptable?

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (3, Funny)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281872)

is this a serious news site?

Is this a serious news site? How long exactly have you been coming to Slashdot, mate?

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (3, Insightful)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281876)

they still use a demonized picture of bill gates for microsoft stories...

which is worse, personalized corporate attacks long after the person has left the corporation, or generalized cultural observations? or isn't there a difference?

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281896)

Good point. Although at least Bill Gates has (had) something to do with Microsoft. That hat has little to do with Australia outside of a bad 80s movie which seems to be 100x more well-known in the US than Australia itself ;)

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281946)

Have you been to Country Australia? Or even the Outback? They are quite a popular article of clothing. Mandatory if you have a Dri 'z' bone, as no hoods on those things. An Akubra is both water proof and also good to keep the sun off your face/neck.

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (2, Interesting)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282000)

Ahh, but Australia is one of the most urbanised countries on earth (measured by proportion of population living in large metro areas). Far more so than most of Europe, or the US and Canada.

So although I'm quite aware that an Akubra is a pretty essential thing to have if you live on the land, all I'm really saying is that using it as an icon representing the country as a whole smacks of stereotyping. It just irritates me Americans just seem to instantly think of a 30 year old movie as the first thing that comes to mind when they think of Australia ... not only that but a movie that is not really supposed to be taken seriously. It's like they know nothing else about the place, except that.

Wasn't meaning to launch a massive thread on the matter but it bugs me every time I see the icon, that's all.

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (2, Interesting)

Chees0rz (1194661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282042)

I had a great conversation in a bar with an Aussie tourist. He picked up his shit and just decided to drive around the West Coast. We talked about stereotypes... he was amazed that kids picked up summer jobs when in school out here, because television/movies just showed kids raising while class was out... not working. He also had some messed up views of american football and what we do for sports in HS.

It goes both ways!

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282244)

I thought it was a well known fact that American football is messed up?

Now Australian Football... a sport of kings. :p

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1)

eltaco (1311561) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282704)

yeah, he probably though you were talking about rugger.

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282084)

ya guess what, no one cares if it bugs you, stupid fucking honkey, it's humour at your expense. now go fuck a koala or something.

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282158)

going to remove my Australian stereotype of a tuff guy that can live of the land and moving it to just the typical whiner not much different than what we have here in the US.

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282858)

Funnily enough, that'd be a lot more accurate ;)

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282214)

I used to work with a bunch of Aussies. My image of them is of a fun-loving group that has fun five work hours a day and then in the remaining three hours of work outperforms everyone else actually working eight hours a day.

Man, I miss those guys.

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282772)

I used to work with an Australian guy. He was the most uncultured and envious person I ever met. Any time someone did anything that mildly constituted "fun" at work, he would run to the CEO and make a huge fuss out of it. For fuck's sake, we worked at a video game company, not a funeral parlour. We were supposed to have fun.

There were also a lot of little cultural things that he was completely oblivious to. I took him to lunch at a Mexican restaurant the first week he started working for us and found out that he had never heard of a "burrito". Another time our office manager asked me if she could wear my jumper because she was cold and he didn't know what that or a hoodie was. So far I have lived in six different countries in my lifetime and I had never met someone who didn't know what these things were.

We all finally got tired of his whining and he was fired. I presume he was forced to move back to Australia after that, since he was here on a work visa. I hope he's having fun tossing boomerangs to the dingos.

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282390)

Hey! You dang Aussies better just be happy we didn't drop a damned A bomb on your asses after you let that damned Yahoo Serious loose like a plague upon the land! What the hell did we ever do to you? Didn't we help keep the Japs from invading your ass in WW II? And that is how you repay our kindness? Did you even WATCH Young Einstein? God that thing was fucking awful!

The only reason we spared your asses after dropping that stink bomb is you did give us Mad Max, one of the best damned pieces of cinema to ever grace a motion picture screen. But that just barely, and I mean barely, makes up for releasing the horror of Young Einstein upon poor helpless civilians like that. So don't be getting too pissy, or we may just pack up all them damned irritating Canadians leaking over our border like a bad smell like Celene Dion and air drop 'em on your ass!

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (2, Insightful)

fuzzix (700457) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282610)

It just irritates me Americans just seem to instantly think of a 30 year old movie as the first thing that comes to mind when they think of Australia

And that's the point, it's a useful piece of iconography on an American site to make 'em go "Australia". It's like having pictures on a menu so the unlettered folk can point at the food they'd like and grunt "four".

I don't think there's an icon for Ireland but if there was, what would it be? Text now and win a prize!

Text "A" for: A Leprechaun!
Text "B" for: A Shamrock!
Text "C" for: Government corruption and petty revenge!
Text "D" for: A bishop covering up a priest's sexual abuse of altar boys!

ENTER NOW!

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (4, Informative)

Nobo (606465) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284616)

It just irritates me Americans just seem to instantly think of a 30 year old movie as the first thing that comes to mind when they think of Australia ... It's like they know nothing else about the place, except that.

Speaking as an American, I think you may be underestimating us. We also know about Outback Steakhouse.

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282330)

You know Akubra is a brand and not a type of hat. Some of them [akubra.com.au] go well with suits.

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281976)

i agree that popular opinion should not justify anything... but if that hat says "austrailia" 100x more than anything else, is it irresponsible not to use it?

i get more offended when people ask questions in the negative sense... like "you didn't wear the dundee hat?"... popular opinion says that the response "no" means "i did not wear the hat" while logic says that the response "yes" would also mean "i did not wear the hat".

people adapt to other people, and some people are dumb.

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284674)

they still use a demonized picture of bill gates for microsoft stories...

which is worse, personalized corporate attacks long after the person has left the corporation

What? Since when do peoples actions magically get absolved the moment they change jobs? By your logic, if Hitler had merely changed jobs instead of committing suicide, then voila, it would no longer be reasonable to "demonize" him. Not that I'm comparing Bill Gates to Hitler, but nonetheless Bill Gates earned his bad reputation quite deservedly.

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1)

grim-one (1312413) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281986)

I agree, the hat doesn't even have corks on strings!

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1)

ipquickly (1562169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282004)

I like the hat, although I think a Didgeridoo [wikipedia.org] would be more appropriate(hats are everywhere).

But if they were to use an igloo for Canada, I would be deeply offended.

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (2, Funny)

SEE (7681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282212)

I agree, they should use the Australian flag [crwflags.com] , with the traditional boot kicking a bare arse.

Thanks for countering the stereotype (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282216)

And by that I mean the stereotype that Australians are easy going people who don't take themselves too seriously.

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282236)

Would you rather have a picture of Yahoo Serious?

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282338)

Nah, Sir Les Patterson.

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284680)

Should be a guy in a prison jumpsuit.

is this a serious news site? (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283914)

No. Next question?

Re:What's with the stupid hat? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31285120)

Does anyone else feel mildly offended every time they see that stupid hat icon they use for Australian stories now?

No. All that is Australia seems pretty easy to sum up with a gator hat. With a much more complicated state like the US, I think you might need two such symbols to properly sum up the country, maybe an American flag flapping in the breeze to represent the deep patriotic side and a huge bling ring that says "BLING" in diamond studded font so that you know that this ten ounce ring is a bling ring and not some other kind of ring. Educational and ostentatious at the same time. That's American too.

There is only one possible conclusion (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31281866)

GOD HATES KOALAS!!1!!

Re:There is only one possible conclusion (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282470)

now we to can have those nut bag baptists. they can wave signs infront of the zoo stating "thank god for aids" and "aids kills gay animals"

Re:There is only one possible conclusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283370)

Ok, let's learn from the AIDS mess. NO-ONE FUCK ANY KOALAS!

There is a second, more possible conclusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31284438)

God is punishing Australia for censoring the internet.

Seems like.. (0)

Elitist_Phoenix (808424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281880)

Seems like the Koalas have been playing to much "Knifey Spoony"

Distribute condoms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31281884)

The Aussies should distribute condoms and teach safe sex to them.

Re:Distribute condoms (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281964)

If it didn't work with year 11 students at my high school I doubt it would work with our other fauna.

Re:Distribute condoms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31281972)

But that would only promote promiscuity!

Abstinence only FTW!!

Re:Distribute condoms (1)

deek (22697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282104)

And now we know why Geeks will inherit the earth.

Mutations? (0)

fsbomlslisting (1754528) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281950)

It seems as though these serious virus' probably start with animals then spread.

Let evolution take care of them. (0)

ipquickly (1562169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281956)

If this virus affects the survival of the species, let the species die out.
I don't like the idea that we should interfere with 'survival of the fittest'.

But I do admit that it would be sad if they are gone.

Reminds me of Eddie Murphy routine from the 80s (-1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31281998)

Patient: "AIDS? But I'm not gay!"
Doctor: "Sure you're not gay".

Only I'm thinking

Kangaroo Patient: "Koala AIDS? But I'm not a Koala!"
Doctor: "Sure you're not a Koala".

No insult intended to gay people.

Re:Reminds me of Eddie Murphy routine from the 80s (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282368)

No insult intended to gay people.

Hey, you forgot the kangaroos, you insensitive clod!

Re:Reminds me of Eddie Murphy routine from the 80s (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284146)

... and the Koalas!

Is it named... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282048)

Koalaids?

All Right Fess Up (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282062)

Who fucked the Koala?

And you should have used protection -- that Koala's a whore!

Dont worry (0, Troll)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282064)

Only the gay koalas are in danger

Safe sex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282082)

They didn’t now what safe sex is? They pass all day rubbing itself in the hard wood (use condom dudes!)... Maybe they religion didn’t permit... I fell sad for them...

apparently (0, Redundant)

brennz (715237) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282094)

Koals don't know how to use condoms

So what? (0, Flamebait)

Caustic Soda (1286402) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282100)

Does it really matter that much?
We have about 16 hojillion koalas in this country.
Looking at the number of people who have died of HIV/AIDS, it hasn't made any kind of dent in our population
Is it really going to be any different for the koalas?

Or perhaps we should all just wait and see what the hell this virus does, before deciding that it's actually significant.

apparently (0, Redundant)

brennz (715237) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282124)

Koalas don't know how to use condoms

Re:apparently (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282296)

I wonder what the koala pope has to say about Koalas' promiscuous behavior!

Proof! (1)

IMightB (533307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282134)

That God hates gay koalas

Kondoms ?? (1)

nerdyalien (1182659) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282280)

I think it is time to introduce...

KONDOMS ...condoms custom tailored for Kualas !!!

I never thought I'd get to say this, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282284)

the koalas are fucked. And they keep fucking. No wonder they sleep 18 hours a day, they're exhausted from fucking 6 hours a day!

Fucking like rabbits? No, even worse mate, they're fucking like koalas.

Relax, koala-lovers (4, Interesting)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282298)

The only HIV-like aspect of the virus is that it is a retrovirus. It may even be harmless. BTW, does anyone have data on the prevalence of non-HIV retroviruses in humans?

Ubuntu Linux Virus!? (0, Offtopic)

bcn17 (1390121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282376)

Thank god they weren't talking about Ubuntu.

Re:Ubuntu Linux Virus!? (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283558)

Hey, no karma whoring.

So? (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282478)

I don't really see the big deal. The only reason AIDS is a problem is because we tend to feel bad when a large portion of our population dies off. This is bears (ok, bear-like animals) in Australia, natural selection will sort it out.

Re:So? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284172)

Even tough they have fur on their chest, Koalas are not bears.

boardtracker is in trouble then.. (1)

slashmojo (818930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282644)

"Update: BoardTracker recently replaced its spiders with Koalas.."

http://www.boardtracker.com/boards/4/ [boardtracker.com]

Um ... a "friend" of mine wants to know (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282660)

Um ... a "friend" of mine wants to know. Can it be passed to humans. Just out of curiosity ... yes of course it is. Oh and what are the early symptoms/

Re:Um ... a "friend" of mine wants to know (1)

lanswitch (705539) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282696)

Asking stupid questions on /.

Re:Um ... a "friend" of mine wants to know (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284202)

Oh and what are the early symptoms

I dunno.... an itching dick?

Retro is cool (5, Informative)

MightyDrunken (1171335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282866)

The nature article [nature.com] to the news story seems very interesting. As retroviruses have to integrate themselves into the cells genome to replicate, if the retrovirus infects a germline cell the virus can become incorporated into the animals genome and passed to their offspring. This seems to be already happening with this virus and it gives a chance to study the process in action.

About 8% [newscientist.com] of our genome is probably from ancient viruses which "invaded" our genome millions of years ago. Generally they become deactivated by mutation but they have been implicated in the growth of mammal embryos and the placenta. It would be pretty cool if the placenta, a defining feature of most of the mammals is due to a virus!

Easy solution... (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283044)

Give the Koala's sex-education, hand out condoms and demonize gay sex, because it's for teh gays...

Don't fuck with Koalas! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283600)

Only one lesson to draw from this article.

Condom usage for Koalas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283684)

It is needed to use condom in both of your penises and during the entire intercourse.

One had sex with a Monkey!! (1)

neptunusmaris (1466809) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284316)

Yeah one had sex with a monkey then it spread... duh!
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