Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Five Senses

Sight: I love watching my puppy sleep soundly, I love seeing the crinkles form around my boyfriend's eyes when he smiles, I love seeing a clean kitchen after turning it into a huge mess, I love looking out at the still and beautiful lake across from my parents' house because no matter what it calms me, and I love looking around at all the Vol Orange in Neyland Stadium.

Hearing: I love hearing the sound of my mom's laugh, I love the sound of the piano, I love city sounds outside my window like cars whizzing past, sirens blaring and trucks stumbling over potholes, I love hearing my boyfriend say "I love you" especially when it seems to come out of nowhere, I love the sound of the ocean but doesn't everyone, and I love hearing my tiny shih tzu do her "big girl bark" when she hears a sound that scares her.

Smell: My favorite smell is olive oil mmm, I love Glade Plug-Ins, I love the smell of clean clothes coming out of the dryer, I used to love my Papaw's smell but sadly I can't remember it as clearly anymore, I love the smell of good red wine, I love the smell of the mountains after rain and the smell of hotdogs at Yankee Stadium.

Touch: I love touching my legs after a shave, I love running my hands on my boyfriend's back and shoulders, I love using my hands to cook and touching the food with my fingers, I love feeling a sharp knife cut easily through vegetables, I love it when my boyfriend touches me anywhere but mostly when his lips touch mine and it's like time freezes in that moment, I love how the hot sun feels on my skin, and I also love cuddling up with one of my best friends on the couch.

Taste: I could go on and on about my favorite foods but I'll try to pick just a few like steak, ripe tomatoes, peanut butter, melted cheese, I think my most favorite taste of all is a bite into a Patsy's pizza, I love how the taste of saltwater is on your lips hours after you were in the ocean, I love how clean my mouth tastes after I gargle Listerine and I love the taste of cold, domestic, light beer cuz it tastes so good when it hits your lips.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What I'm Up To

Hi, ya. I'm procrastinating and thought instead of editing a draft that's due tomorrow, I'd post a blog about what I've been doing lately and some favorites.

Favorite TV Shows: How I Met Your Mother, Heroes, The Good Wife, The Office, Private Practice and my new favorite - Glee (love love this show!)

The BF and I both love TV, and we watch a lot together. We also like Chuck and Entourage, but they're not on right now. Ooo and we're in the middle of the 2nd season of The Wire. So good.

Favorite Music: I don't have any new favorite bands, but here are new song I love. Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z, Fireflies by Owl City, Everybody by my fav Ingrid Michaelson, Good Girls Go Bad by Cobra Starship and that Gossip Girl, and I just heard a song called Dollhouse for the first time today that I dug.

Favorite Foods: The BF is a great su chef, but I'm still learning how to share in the kitchen. That's the one place where I want all the control. Haha well, sometimes in the bedroom too! We make an excellent veggie pesto pizza, and I've perfected grits. Perfected. To the point that we're both always disappointed with grits made by anyone else (don't tell his grandma!). His favorite thing that I make is a peach bourbon pork loin. Check it out, y'all. De-lish.

We're going to DC for Halloween yay! I'm a sexy bumble bee because why not? Every girl has to be a sexy something, why not a sexy insect? My friends and I haven't decided yet where we're going, but there has to be dancing, and my only veto is Georgetown. That place is full of tools. I like to joke that The BF has some black in him because he's got such smooth moves. Sadly, I think he's a better dancer than me and I took dance lessons for 13 years.

I just submitted a paper to a conference, and I'm submitting two next week so cross your fingers please! So you know what I do and study, here are some papers I've written. One is on a cable network that's trying to broaden viewership with new programming and promotional tactics. The television industry is fascinating to me, and slowly but surely, I'm becoming an expert. My dissertation will be similar on how traditionally, the cable industry has been about narrowcasting to specific niche audiences, but some are now trying to broaden.

If you're not bored yet, I also do feminist research. A paper I'm submitting next week is on the representation of motherhood on a particular show and what that says about how society (and women in particular) feel about motherhood today, what issues exist on the subject, that kind of thing.

Snooze, right?

In other news, my cute little shih tzu has a Halloween costume too. I saw it on sale at Target for $1 so how could I refuse? It's a princess costume complete with a tutu and one of those pyramid princess hats. Poor dog.

* Thanks to an excellent catch by Irish Chick Soup at Life Mechanical, I made a correction to this post. Check that blog out, by the way, she's a cool chick. And evidently makes Irish soup. ;)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Redheads, Butt Chins and Douche Bags

Saturday was another awesome night in the A.

BF loves golf, and he's actually pretty good. He and his buddies have two big tournaments every year so he was in Big Canoe this weekend trying to win another trophy. What's a girl to do? Why get drunk with her girlfriends, of course.

Saturday night, I met my friend Lala out at a bar. I named her Lala because she's sweet and peppy like a song. The girl is a ton of fun. She's a redhead so I don't think I even need to tell you how sassy and fiesty she is.

Lala threw an engagment party that night for W, her best friend and roommate. Needless to say, my girl wanted to get hammered after it was over. We started at Atkins Park in the Highlands, and I got there about ten minutes before she arrived. Some fratastic guy with a popped collar kept staring at me, and actually started to say something to me, but I gave him my best stink-eye and he scurried away to hit on a prissy Georgia girl. Phew.

Lala shows up and immediately gets hit on while she's trying to get us beers. Of course, that guy had a googly-eyed friend who wanted to talk to me. Dude had a toupee. A bad one. Ah, I hate being a good wingwoman, but I am the best.

When we get our beers, we walk away like bitches who can't be bothered.

We hang out, drink a few beers, and in an hour, Lala is slurring her words like Keith Richards after he fell out of that coconut tree. A guy she's been seeing starts texting, begging us to meet him and his buddies in Buckhead. Buckhead might as well be called Doucheville it's so full of d-bags, floppy haired guys with croakies and Georgia girls in dresses too fancy for Miller Lite. But again, I am the best wingwoman so I offer to drive.

Lala insists that we take a shot for the road so I ask the bartender for one shot of Vodka-Red Bull and one shot of just Red Bull to fool my friend with. I am also a good designated driver.

On our drive, I watch as the vodka has its way with my friend. The slurring turns to screaming and wooing. She loves my boyfriend, as everyone does because he's the nicest person on the planet, and insists we call him. It's midnight, and after a long day of golf, poker and beer, I'm certain he's either passed out or on his way. She grabs my phone and leaves him a voicemail full of things like: "awe-sommmmmmmme!" "beeeeeeeeer!" and "woooooooooooooo!"

We take a back way that winds us near where the Awful Ex used to live, and I mention that I dated an asshole who used to live nearby. She asks why he was an asshole, because while we've been friends for about 4 years, she didn't know me when I dated him. I tell a couple quick stories of his general shittiness, and the vodka in her gets mad. "Nooooooooo way! That guy sucks and you're awesommmmme." I laugh, and then she asks his name.

Foolishly, I tell her, and she punches it in on her iPhone. Oh, Apple, how much drunk drama have you caused with that contraption? She tells me she wants to find him on Facebook so she can send him a message that she thinks he's way hot and wants to hook up with him. She says it'll be the most hilarious thing ever. At this point, superlatives are the only way she's describing things. Everything and everyone is the most ______ ever. I wish I had drunk enthusiasm when I sat down to write papers.

I laugh while saying, "No, please don't, we don't even talk anymore." She insists that she can be "covert" though in her drunkenness says "co-ver." She shouts, "I found him! I found him!" and shows me a picture of some guy who looks Mexican. I laugh and say that's not him, and she asks me why I don't like Mexicans. The next picture she finds is of a guy getting dry humped by a girl. Also not the asshole. Thankfully, the guy we're meeting texts, and she has something else to fixate her Vodka-Red Bull energy on.

We walk into the bar, see her guy (Air Force cuz he used to be in it), and he buys us beers. Air Force says something about his chin dimple, and I tell him I like it, it makes him look like Buzz Lightyear. Within five minutes Lala falls off the bar stool. Not on the ground, just onto someone. It happens three more times before we leave, and each time she says the chair is broken. She's so cute and charming even when wasted that I start to get mad at the chair for tipping itself over.

We leave around 1:30 because his friends want to go to Hole in the Wall. Hole in the Wall is the cesspool that it sounds like. It's in the basement of a skanky bar and manages to be even skankier. Not to mention it's a good hike, and I'm wearing cute (thus uncomfortable) shoes. As we're walking, Lala tries to talk Air Force into ditching his friends and going to a closer bar with us. She says she knows a bartender. He's thinking it over, and I sing the Georgia Tech fight song to persuade him. He's a Tech fan too, and my rendition wins him over. A drunken stranger walked by and clapped for me so I know it was good. Also, Lala promises he can stay at her place that night, but I'm sure my team spirit made all the difference.

We bar hop a little more, never find Lala's bartender friend, and the whole time I'm impressed she's still standing. You know those big balloons that have streamers as arms and legs and walk around the room by themselves? They bob up and down while swaying from side to side. That's what Lala looked like by 2 a.m. She tripped a few times and kicked over a beer bottle at one point and almost got thrown out. Ever resourceful, my fiesty redheaded friend tells the bouncer another girl did it. He raises an eyebrow, but she's too cute to argue with and stumbles past him.

It's 2:30 and almost closing time. We're sitting at the bar, and I watch the female bartender fight with a drunk asshole. He's suited up, but his tie is loose and crooked. His shirt has one corner untucked, and he's a hot mess. I hear the bartender say, "No, honey, you have your card. I gave your card back to you." He mumbles something, and she says, "No, see here? These are the receipts. I already charged you so you have your card. See? That's your name? And that's your signature there. See? That's where you didn't tip me." He mumbles again, crumples up the receipt and stumbles a foot or two away. The bartender winks at me and rolls her eyes.

A guy behind me asks me what his chances are with taking her home. I say not good because she's hot and drunk guys probably do that every night. He says, "Yeah, but I have a butt chin," and shows it off for me. Buzz Lightyear again! To infinity and beyond! I laugh, telling him he looks like a cartoon. He rolls his eyes laughing and says, "And I have a good sense of humor too, right?" I agree, and he asks the bartender what his chances are at taking her home. She tells him she's married to the guy on the other end of the bar. He shrugs.

I make the mistake of thinking he's with The Suit and say, "You know, even if she was single, your buddy here would have ruined your chances because he didn't leave her a tip." He turns to The Suit and says, "You didn't tip her?" The Suit shrugs and says, "Yeah. So what? I don't have to leave a tip." I turn away because Air Force thinks it's time to take our drunken redhead home. I agree, and as I grab my bag, I hear Butt Chin call The Suit a douche bag and hear The Suit tell Butt Chin, "Yeah, well, you like to suck cock. You like dick in your mouth." I'm astounded at his agreement that he is in fact a douchebag while also take offense at his insinuation that there's something wrong with liking to give blowjobs.

I ask Butt Chin if they're friends, and both guys get angry at my presumption. They are not friends, they are mortal enemies. Butt Chin is defending the honor of the bartender that rejected him, and The Suit is angry at life in general. As we walk out the door, I see a bouncer try to break them up because they're shouting in each other's faces and shoving each other. I totally started a bar fight.

I drive Air Force and Lala back to her condo, but since she passed out in the car, I'm pretty sure he didn't get lucky. Chalk up another point for Alcohol, King of Good Times and Bad.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater

I've never cheated on anyone, though I have been cheated on. I'm not exactly sure what cheating is. Physical contact? Physical contact and/or emotional feelings? I had a friend whose fiancé broke up with her, then immediately started dating one of their mutual friends. I don't believe this guy cheated physically, but I do believe he cheated emotionally. Not sure which is worse.

The Awful Ex sent me chocolates while he had a girlfriend, told me she didn't challenge him like I did, he didn't feel for her what he felt for me, that I was "the greatest love he'd ever known" (literally sent that in a drunk text), blah, blah, blah...not technically cheating, but it wouldn't make her feel good if she knew about it either.

Recently, a married friend confessed that she still talked to her ex-boyfriend. She said that she searched him online every once in awhile and kept in touch just to get a glimpse of the life she could have had. Not cheating, right? But she also said that her husband had no idea she was still in contact with the ex or even knew anything about his life right now. Is deception cheating?

When The BF and I started dating, I was in regular contact with three ex-boyfriends. Now I only talk to one, T, and The BF has met him a few times, we double date with him and his girl every couple months or so. It's nice. He's a super great guy. I've already blogged about why the Awful Ex and I aren't speaking, and that's no big loss.

The most recent, X, and I dated off and on for 3 years. It was the most serious relationship, and the best, that I'd had before my current BF. We knew each other so well, we were super close and shared everything. It was hard to bounce back and be good friends again after we broke up last May, but we made efforts. We saw each other a few times, talked on the phone, texted, emailed, albeit never frequently.

In February, BF and I were out with friends, and we ran into X and about ten of his friends. I had just talked to X on the phone two weeks before, and everything was cool. I went outside to talk to X and his friends, but he just grunted and walked past me. Two or three of his friends stayed outside with me, catching up, for about 15 or 20 minutes. The entire time X and two girls stood on the sidewalk a block away staring at us. Creepy.

I hadn't told X that I was dating someone because I didn't want to hurt his feelings and only wanted to tell him once it was serious, which had just happened. But he hadn't told me he was dating anyone either, and evidently one of the two girls on the sidewalk with him that night was his girlfriend. A couple months later, they moved in together so I assume it had been serious for awhile. I was the one that ended things, and he actually cried when I broke up with him, so I feel like I had good reason to be concerned about him getting hurt. Not sure why he didn't tell me, but ah well.

After that, we emailed a little bit, but then in May, I went to a friend's birthday party and he was there with his girlfriend. He acted like we were strangers. And since then, he's emailed and texted again like things are fine, but I don't get it. I didn't respond the last time. I want to be friends, but friends don't ignore each other in public. Maybe he doesn't want his girlfriend to know we're friends? Maybe she feels uncomfortable around me and that's why he ignores me?

Either way, it's weird and sad. I really miss being friends with him. I miss talking to him and goofing off. That's breaking up, I know, but I still miss him. The thing is that there weren't a million things wrong with him or with us as a couple, there were just a few. A few big things, but in so many ways, we were compatible. I've thought about emailing him, asking what's all this been about, telling him I still care about him and want to be friends. I feel guilty, but every once in awhile, I find myself comparing X and BF, thinking, "Well, X did that with me," or "X liked ______, I wish BF did."

Is it cheating? No. Would emailing him be? Or restarting our friendship? No. But still maybe a grey area too, and as icked out as I was when my friend told me she still talks to her ex without her husband's knowledge, I want to stay out of grey areas. I want to make a clean break from the past, I don't want to take any steps backward, I only want to step forward into my future.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mustaches are Making a Comeback!

Yay! The weekend was perfect. The Yellow Jackets even beat the No. 4 team in the country! I love it when underdogs win. Especially when they're my underdogs.

My boyfriend's best friend, whom he describes as his "funnest friend," has created the best bar game. I'll call him Captain Mustache or 'Stache for short.

It began when 'Stache and his wife went to Savannah with The BF, myself along with my best friend and her husband. We were at Wild Wings in the City Market listening to a band play the greatest hits of the 90s and re-living the awesomeness that was high school. We pause for a moment of silence that Blink 182 put out one awesome album and broke up.

All six of us were happy drunk and dancing. 'Stache's wife and my best friend start talking to the roadie traveling with the band because they want to know why he has a coffin tattooed on his neck and if it hurt. "Because I'm fascinated with death" and "Yes." The next thing I know, 'Stache holds his index finger up to his nose revealing a black mustache he drew on with a marker. He's got one eyebrow raised and a big grin. We all passed the marker around until everyone had a mustache.

The next stop was the piano bar in Savannah. We all walk in and flash the doorman our mustaches. He laughs and waves us past without asking for the cover charge. "Come on in, funny drunk people!"

Friday night at RiRa in Atlanta, the mustache came out again. This time, it was me and The BF, 'Stache and his wife, and my bf's other best friend and his girlfriend. Hilarity. We kept flashing strangers our mustaches, even made one take a photo of us all, and probably scared the living daylights out of our poor waiter because every time he came to our table, all six of us flashed our 'staches like it was a stick-up and finger mustaches were our only weapons.

We have more mustache pictures than of anything else all night. The BF and I agreed that when we get married, we're making the bridal party sport finger mustaches in a formal photo. The idea has "mantel piece" written all over it, and I really can't wait to force my prissy cousin to join in hee hee! But come on, everyone knows mustaches are badass.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Boyfriend Birthday Bonanza!

Now, if you don't mind my bloggy friends, I would like to mush a bit.

My super awesome boyfriend's birthday is this Saturday, and I'm so excited! We've been together not quite a year so this is the first time we'll celebrate it together - the first of many.

I've planned everything perfectly. He did a great job throwing me a birthday party a few months ago, we went to some of my favorite spots in Atlanta, and the best part of it all was that one of my very best friends surprised me! She came in from out of town, and her visit totally made the birthday. He didn't exactly arrange it, she's just super great and loves me, but it was his idea to invite every one of my friends - even the out-of-towners. I told him that was silly, no one would come in for it, but someone very special did!

So in an effort to surprise him with some of his favorite people too, I've arranged for us to meet up with his two best buds on Friday night. And he has no idea! One friend is coming in from Charleston. He knew he'd get to see Best Bud #1 at Georgia Tech on Saturday, but I talked him into coming in early on Friday as a special birthday surprise. Best Bud #2 is getting his MBA from Emory and is a study-aholic. The bf didn't expect to even get a chance to see this one! I'm quite proud of myself, as you can see.

We're going to dinner at a trendy, new sushi place because he loves sushi. Then I'm going to insist that we go to the Irish pub next door, RiRa, which At Least I'm Skinny just blogged about. That's where the best buds will be hiding out. Surprise! I can't wait.

Saturday, we're going to cheer on the Yellow Jackets as, fingers crossed, they whoop on some Hokies from Va Tech. Yep. A battle of the Techies. Aw, but I love my nerd. And I love that his team is not in the SEC. I especially love that he is not a terrible Georgia fan. They're so awful. To my first Tech game (he has season tickets), I wore a shirt that said, "I don't like Georgia fans." On the back, was the Tech logo. I was a smash hit, of course.

But it's true. Georgia fans are the pits. I don't know which are worse - the boys or the girls - but the girls really annoy me. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely exceptions to the rule, and I have a few good friends that are female dogs (hee hee). But for the most part...they're spoiled prisses who wear sundresses and high a football game. Most of them could care less about football. They don't watch College GameDay, they don't even know their team's schedule or roster, yet they'll swear up and down that they love the Bulldogs. Turn a game on, and watch the boredom wash over them. And the guys, yick. They're just rude rednecks...though I'll concede I've seen a couple rude redneck Tennessee fans myself. Remember the ex that was creepily stalking my blog?

But I digress. Point is, I love that my man loves college football and that his team never plays mine. He looks hot in orange too, I'd like to add. And sings a mean Rocky Top. We've been to three UT games this season, and I just love watching him cheer on my team. And I like cheering on his too. We certainly both agree about Georgia fans. Go Jackets!

After the game, we're going out to celebrate again. Probably the Highlands this time, which is full of d-bags, but it don't matter as long as I'm with my man. Sunday night, we're heading to the Dome to watch the Atlanta Falcons beat up the Chicago Bears. We love football.

I'm also baking some yummy red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing for the bday tailgate. Ooo and you know his gift rocks. He's been talking for several months about wanting to go to Baltimore so we're going. Dinner on the Harbor of decadent crab cakes that melt in your mouth, a sweet little trolley tour, finished off with kickass seats to watch the Ravens take on the Colts. Did I mention we love football?

I am excited about our fun weekend plans, but I'm mostly just excited to have a reason to celebrate him. He's the best person I know. He makes me happier than I ever thought I could be, and I just want to thank him. I've never made it to a year with anyone, even though I've had a couple long term relationships, they were off-and-on. I've never wanted to be with anyone this much or this consistently. He's a dream come true. And so his birthday should be too.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I have nothing interesting to say! I can either complain profusely about how busy I am with school this semester and how much I hate my classes. Or I can spew out lovey-dovey mush about how awesome and perfect my boyfriend is. Neither topic is interesting. But my brain seems totally consumed with only those two thoughts. Sigh.

My last post was about some huge, exciting research news about an illness I have. I don't talk about being sick, I don't like talking about it, I don't even like acknowledging it. Most of my friends don't even know actually. It's not that I have anything to be ashamed about, I know I don't. It's just not a good feeling to admit that something's wrong with you, and I'd much rather continue letting everyone treat me as though I'm perfectly fine and normal. Also, I really hate explaining it to people. I hate the name of the disease. I hate that there hasn't been enough research conducted and that not enough people (including doctors) understand it.

I have a friend who has diabetes. It's not something she advertises either, but it's something that she does have to tell people every once in awhile if she's eating with them. As soon as she says, "i have diabetes," the conversation can end there. Everyone knows what it is. Everyone knows how it works and how it affects people. We're taught about it in health class, and most people know someone or have known someone who has it. I am not diminishing diabetes or any other illness. I know how serious it is. But I do wish that my conversations about having what I have would go as smoothly and as simply. (Not that hers always do, of course.)

"Tired" is subjective. No one knows what that means. I hate explaining just how tired I am or how my disease makes me feel. The worst is when people joke that they have it too. Annoying! It's not like if I said, "I have arthritis," anyone would say, "Oh yeah! I think I do too because sometimes my joints ache." It's a stupid named illness that confuses even doctors. Blah. So I don't like talking about it. But I was so excited about the research, I just had to share it. I sent the article to my mom and boyfriend and posted it here for all of you nice people. Maybe little things like that can help spread awareness.

Thank God every day for your health. I still do.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Major Health News

Retrovirus May Be at Root of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Study finds two-thirds of those with the mysterious illness infected with XMRV

Posted October 8, 2009

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- About two-thirds of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome sampled in a recent study were infected with a retrovirus called XMRV

The finding, albeit preliminary, has raised hopes that there might be a concrete cause for the mysterious malady and thus, down the line, treatments for the disease.

"This study does not prove that XMRV is the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, however it does suggest it is a viable candidate for a cause," said Robert H. Silverman, co-author of a report appearing online Oct. 8 in Science.

"But if it can be proven that the virus causes the disease, that would be a breakthrough in diagnosing, combating and preventing the disease," added Silverman, a professor of cancer biology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute. "There could be an antiretroviral drug that could prevent this virus from replicating."

Another expert was similarly hopeful.

"This article could give a spark of hope, one, that chronic fatigue syndrome is caused by something, and two, if that bears out, maybe we could do something about it," said Dr. Tamara Kuittinen, an emergency physician with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Chronic fatigue syndrome was first recognized in the late 1980s and initially dubbed the "yuppie flu," resulting in an enduring credibility crisis.

Some segments of the medical community do not believe it is a discrete illness because there is no known cause, and diagnosis can only be made through excluding other conditions, such as depression.

"There's no test, no clear etiology, the symptoms are vague, there's no treatment and no cure," said Kuittinen. "It's very frustrating."

Possible explanations for the disease have been far-reaching, ranging from different viruses, including Epstein-Barr, enteroviruses and herpes, to childhood trauma.

The illness affects an estimated 1 percent of people worldwide and, as its name implies, involves crippling fatigue as well as aching joints, headaches and variousother symptoms.

Recently, XMRV was detected in prostate cancer patients and in prostate tumor biopsies. Like other retroviruses, it can activate latent viruses in the body, such as Epstein-Barr, which has been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome.

For this study, researchers analyzed 101 blood samples taken from patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and found the virus in 68 of the samples, as compared with only eight samples in 218 healthy patients (67 percent versus 3.7 percent).

Although 3.7 percent seems a small proportion, the authors do note that this could mean millions of people are infected with a virus whose effects are as yet unknown.

Retroviruses, a group that includes both XMRV and HIV, have genomes made of RNA instead of DNA.

"When the virus infects cells, the RNA gets copied into the DNA, then the DNA inserts itself or integrates into the host DNA," explained Silverman. "One of the many problems with infections with retroviruses is that it's very difficult to actually cure the patient because the virus DNA becomes part of the infected person's DNA. Patients need to continually take drugs to keep it from replicating."

XMRV is simpler than HIV, though, Silverman added, which is a good thing. "It's a kind of stripped down version of a retrovirus. It has just the genes required for infection and replication. We could probably stop it with an antiretroviral drug."

There's also the possibility that a vaccine would prevent people from being infected in the first place.

But, stressed Silverman, "there are lots of qualifiers because it hasn't actually been proven that it causes disease, although the evidence looks pretty intriguing. This is an area that needs more research."

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