Morgellons Disease Has Science-Fictional Effects

Morgellons is characterized by red, blue or black filaments that emerge from skin lesions. The sufferer also feels itching and crawling sensations below the skin.

Morgellons was first named by Mary Leitao, a Pittsburg biologist who took the name from a centuries-old medical paper describing what may be a related illness.


(From Morgellon's disease in situ)

Dermatologists are skeptical; they see it as a form of delusional parasitosis and note that it can be associated with schizophrenia, obsessive behavior, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety disorders.

The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has contacted Kaiser Permanente Northern California to investigate the problem. The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology will also participate. The study will take at least 12 months to complete.

"The cause of this condition is unknown," said Dr. Michele Pearson, principal investigator with the CDC. "Those who suffer from this condition, as well as their families and physicians, have questions, and we want to help them find meaningful answers."

Last year, the CDC received about 1,200 inquiries about the disease from both patients and physicians. At present, the CDC refers to Morgellons as "unexplained dermopathy."

Here's a short video of some of the problems associated with Morgellon's Syndrome, with some close-ups of the disease presentation.


(From Morgellon's syndrome)

When I first read about this, I immediately thought about a purely science-fictional problem; intelligent lymphocytes taking over a person's body in Greg Bear's classic Blood Music:

In the dark, just as he was on the edge of sleep, his back began to crawl. He scratched abstractedly, then sat up in bed with a whispered curse...

He turned and looked at himself in the bathroom mirror... His chest was splotchy and red from scratching and rubbing. He rotated and peered over his shoulder at his back.

From shoulder to shoulder, and criss-crossing down his spine, faint pale lines just beneath the surface of his skin drew a crazy and unwelcome road map...

Read more at CDC To Launch Study on Unexplained Illness - CDC press release and Study seeks clues on skin-crawling Morgellons syndrome.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/17/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 5 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.

Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...' - Larry Niven, 1968.

MIT Scientists Create 'Peek-a-Boo Prober' From Jetsons
Well, George, it's the latest thing.

Wound Healing With Wearable Nanogenerators
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to ... erase the other internal-external damage.' - Frank Herbert, 1972.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
'The world ... is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon.'

Tesla Driver Caught Napping Behind The Wheel
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.'

Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
'He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna...'

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'

BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
It's the polite thing to do, and has been the polite thing to do for about four generations.

Superfast Replicator: Volumetric Additive Manufacturing
I can't wait. Bring it on.

DNA May Contain Malware
'You were told to embed the logical pathogen.'

I Can't Resist Worm Robots
'Seen close it was not completely flexible...'

Rplate Digital License Plates Now Legal In Michigan
'Gragg's digital ink license plates ...'

Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'

Giant Dolphin Spotted On Jupiter!
'Now at last he could appreciate its real size and complexity...'

Musk's Starship An SF Fan's Dream Come True
Perfect for testing, perfect for fans!

TinyMobileRobots Are Sewer Sentinels
Every movie monster gets its start someplace.

Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible
'Palenkis can identify random line patterns better than any other species in the universe.'

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.