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Articles » Diseases of Mankind » Introduction to Bugs in Human Code

Introduction to Bugs in Human Code

A bug refers to any type of error in human code causing disease. There are really only two types of bugs in human code:

  • External: where something outside the body causes a disease, like a virus, bacteria or poisonous toxin.
  • Internal: where something goes wrong with an internal body system, like in genetic diseases.

So the first issue is whether a disease is caused by a bug getting thrown into the body, versus the bug already existing within the human DNA code. Much of the arguments about various diseases are over whether a particular disease is caused unnaturally from the external environment, versus naturally by some internal mistake. For example, are cancers caused by a virus, or do they occur naturally by the normal process of DNA mutation that occurs in every person? In the case of cancers, it is far from clear, but certainly there is some internal aspect from over-reproduction, which is perhaps triggered initially by external agents.

There are a variety of clearly "external bugs" that cause damage or diseases:

  • Bacteria: single-celled creatures
  • Viruses: not even a full single cell, but small entities that actually live within our own body cells.
  • Single-cell parasites: protozoa, filaria, richettsias and spirochettes.
  • Multi-cell parasites: worms, flukes, insects, fungi, yeasts
  • Malnutrition disorders: inadequate diet leads to various disorders such as vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
  • Toxins: chemicals, poisons and pollutions that damage the body cells
  • Radiation: cell damage from sunlight, nuclear, electromagnetic and other energies.
  • Physical damage: accidents, homicides, and so on.

The other class is disease arising from an internal failing of the body's system. Although perhaps some are triggered by an external environmental cause, they all end up with the body acting improperly, somehow getting into the wrong program mode. There are a variety of common types of "internal bugs" that lead to diseases:

  • Inherited genetic defects: diseases that are already programmed into the body at birth
  • Cancers: mutated body cells that grow too quickly, creating clumps of cells called tumors
  • Leukemias: a particular type of cancer
  • Immune response disorders: an overactive immune system leads to various problems such as allergies and asthma.
  • Autoimmunity: a severe immune-response disorder where good cells are mistakenly killed by our own immune system
  • Metabolic disorders: e.g. Type 2 diabetes,
  • Prions: where proteins somehow over-replicate like viruses
  • Anatomy problems: where some part of the body's structure creates an obstruction or internal problem
  • Unknown: arthritis??


Bacteria are single-celled creatures with tiny flagella. Many bacteria are helpful rather than causing disease, such as the natural bacteria in the gut. However, there are many bacteria that are harmful and cause infectious diseases.

  • Pertussis (whooping cough): caused by Bordetella pertussis bacterium
  • Leprosy: caused by mycobacterium leprae, once a horrendous disease, now trivially curable.
  • Tetanus: caused by Clostridium tetani, a bacillus
  • Salmonella (food poisoning)
  • Botulism (food poisoning): Clostridium botulinum, common food poisoning of canned goods.
  • Scarlet fever: a strain of Streptococcus bacterium
  • Otitis Media (Middle Ear Infection): usually a bacterial infection
  • Streptococcus (strep throat): a bacterial infection of the throat
  • Cholera: Vibrio cholerae bacterium
  • Dysentery: intestine disease, can be caused by shigella bacterium or other amoebe.
  • Gonorrhea: Neisseria gonorrhoeae (bacteria??)
  • Anthrax: an infectious disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, usually caught from animals.
  • Diphtheria: Corynebacterium diphtheriae, usually infecting the respiratory tract
  • Syphilis (pox): the spirochete Treponema pallidum, a STD, transmitted sexually
  • Legionnaires' disease: caused by a class of Legionellaceae bacteria, usually found in water, many outbreaks have involved building air-conditioner cooling towers.
  • Tuberculosis (consumption): a lung disease caused by Mycobacterium species bacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis. Once common and dangerous, it is now largely eradicated through vaccinations.

Vaccinations are a preventive medicine for numerous bacterial diseases. For example, there are vaccines against pertussis, tetanus, and others.

Bacterial infections can be treated by "antibiotics" or other anti-bacterial medicines. The best known antibiotic is penicillin, and its descendants such as amoxicillin.


Viruses are the smallest life-form existing, since they are not even a single cell. It is almost like they are not alive at all. They are small strands of DNA-like cell material. A virus consists mostly of RNA and cannot survive without host cells. There are a great many infectious viral diseases.

  • Common colds: "rhinoviruses", not one specific virus, but a whole group of viruses that share the common feature that they attack the nose/throat/lungs and cause the well-known cold-and-flu symptoms. Some viruses include: adenovirus
  • Flu (influenza): also a set of viruses, but more severe than cold viruses??
  • HIV (causing AIDS): a retrovirus
  • Poliomyelitis (Polio virus): a disease eradicated by vaccination.
  • Mononucleosis: caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
  • Rabies: caused by a rhabdovirus, usually caught by an infected animal bite.
  • Chicken pox: caused by the varicella zoster virus, a member of the herpes virus family
  • Smallpox
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella (german measles): caused by the rubella virus, not usually harmful, except to a fetus when the mother gets rubella.
  • Ebola virus: an extremely deadly virus
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV): about 20 types, many are STD's, some are implicated in cancers of the sexual and oral areas.
  • Herpes virus
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  • Hantavirus
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • Yellow fever: a tropical disease caused by flavivirus, carried by mosquitoes.
  • Dengue fever: a tropical disease caused by dengue virus (4 types) and carried by mosquitoes.

Antibiotics simply do not work on viruses. A virus is not a cell, but only a small strand of RNA material that hides inside other cells. A virus does not feed or reproduce like a bacteria, so cannot be attacked by antibiotics in the ways that bacteria can.

Vaccines can be successful against viruses. There are successful vaccines against many viruses including smallpox, chicken pox, measles, mumps, rubella, and others. The body's immune system kills viruses by actually killing the whole cell that is virus infected. Virus vaccines teach the body's immune system how to recognize specific virus-infected cells. Unfortunately, some viruses are difficult to create vaccines against, because they mutate, and the body cannot easily recognize the newly mutated form. Flu viruses mutate very often, which explains why a new flu vaccine is needed each year. The HIV virus is also particularly good at mutating itself, and has defied attempts to create a HIV vaccine as yet.


There are single-celled protozoa and multi-celled parasites like worms, flukes, and even insects. Some other small parasitic creatures are called filaria, richettsias and spirochettes. Fungi and yeasts are parasitic plants.

  • Protozoa parasite diseases:
    • Malaria, also called ague: a single-celled protozoa spread by mosquitoes
    • Sleeping sickness (African): trypanosome parasite spread by the tsetse fly
    • Chagas disease: caused by trypanosome cruzi
    • Dysentery: usually caused by parasites
    • Toxoplasmosis: parasite Toxoplasma gondii, can be caught from raw meat or from live cats
    • Schistosomiasis: a parasite spread by snails
    • Typhoid fever: caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria
    • Typhus: a group of diseases caused by richettsia parasites transported by insect vectors
  • Worms:
    • Pinworms: small worms that can infest the digestive area, usually harmless, causing only itching.
    • Roundworms: usually in the intestines, sometimes the stomach, can be long
    • Hookworms: usually in the intestines, feeding on blood
    • Elephantiasis: extreme swelling caused by filarial worms
    • Tapeworms
    • Flukes: similarly to worms, they usually infect the digestive tract, though some flukes infect other body organs
    • Whipworm: worm in the large intestine
  • Insect parasites: humans can be infested or fed upon by a variety of insects including lice, fleas, flies, mosquitoes, ticks, and so on. The majority of these are not diseases themselves, but rather transmit other parasitic diseases such as malaria (mosquitoes), sleeping sickness (tsetse flies), or Lyme disease (deer ticks). However, a few directly insect-caused diseases are common:
    • Head lice: Pediculus humanus lice
    • Crabs (pubic lice): Phthirus pubis lice
    • Scabies: caused by the itch mite

Fungi and Yeasts

Fungi and yeasts are multi-celled plants that are parasites. There are a few common human fungal conditions that are rarely harmful except for those with severely weakened immune systems.

  • Candida (thrush)
  • Yeast infections
  • Tinea (Athlete's foot)
  • Ringworm: not a worm, but actually a plant

The use of anti-fungal creams and pills is common to control fungi. Unfortunately, it is natural for the human body to have lots of different fungi on its skin and membranes, so the recurrence rate can be high.

Generic Infections

Some diseases are named by where they occur rather than their cause. Often they just pick a body part and add "itis" as a suffix.

  • Tonsilitus: tonsil infection by virus or bacteria
  • Sinusitis: sinus infection, usually bacterial
  • Bronchitis: infection of upper lung bronchioles, by virus or bacteria
  • Meningitis: infect the meninges, a membrane around the brain and spinal cord, by virus or bacteria
  • Pneumonia: (breaks the pattern, as the word is not "lungitis") infection of the lower lung, can be viral, bacterial, or even chemical.

These descriptions are obviously very helpful to doctors and those treating a disease. But they don't specify an underlying cause of the infection of that area. In fact, an "itis" can theoretically be caused by viruses, bacteria, physical abrasions, autoimmune reactions or any possible cause.


The environment has many substances that are toxic to the fragile metabolism of the human body. The best known are industrial chemicals like lead and asbestos, but there are also naturally occurring toxins even in various foods and plants.

  • Cigarrette smoke and tar
  • Chemical poisoning
  • Metals: mercury, thallium
  • Asbestos poisoning
  • Lead poisoning
  • Soot and chimney sweeps
  • Natural poisons:
  • Toxic shock syndrome

The list of toxins and poisons is too long to complete. Some toxins are directly deadly or damaging by direct contact. Other toxins have been implicated in cancers and autoimmune diseases.


Every day we are subjected to the dangers of sunlight, a natural radiation. Human society has also created numerous artificial forms of radiation energy, many of which have been implicated in diseases, though some remain controversial.

  • Sunlight, Ultraviolet (UV) light: known to cause skin cancers.
  • Electromagnetic radiation: power lines, cell phones, etc. Whether these cause diseases such as cancers is still a controversial issue.
  • Nuclear radiation: the dangers of atomic radiation are well known.
  • Radium radiation (uranium miners)
  • Radon gas radiation: although radon gas is inert, radiation occurs in the decay of radon gas atoms. Unfortunately, radon can occur naturally in many locations.

High doses of radiation can be fatal from immediate cell damage. Lower doses can lead to chronic diseases such as cancer and autoimmunity later in life.


Cancer is a horror word, and yet it is not anything foreign in the body. In fact, a tumor is the body's own cells over-producing. It is almost ironic that something so wonderful as growth produces a scourge as dangerous as cancer.

There are of course numerous types of cancer. Theoretically, there is probably a different type of cancer for each of the body's different cell types, more than 250 in all.

There are many different major classes of cancers. Not all cancers are solid tumors, because some cells move around the body. The different classes of cancers include:

  • Cancers (named simply by site): skin, colon, cervix, larynx, throat, testicular, breast, ovarian, uterus, pancreatic, bone, bowel, lung, and so on.
  • Leukemias: cancers of the white blood cells (sometimes red), resulting in cell proliferation but no solid tumor.
  • Lymphoma (cancer of lymph nodes): subcategorized into Hodgkin's Lymphoma or Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL)
  • Sarcoma: a general term for any cancer that affects internal soft tissues (e.g. muscles, tendons, etc.). A sarcoma can affect many parts of the body (e.g. bone: osteosarcoma, etc.)
  • Carcinoma: a general term for a cancer affecting the surface areas and epithelial cells of the body or organs. A carcinoma can occur anywhere, and are named according to where they occur.
  • Different names: There are numerous cancers that have a different naming pattern simply for historic reasons: melanoma (cancer of pigment-producing skin cells), myeloma (cancer of plasma cells of the immune system), and many others.

Immune over-reactions

Although most diseases the immune system tries to fight, there are a few diseases where it is exactly this fight that causes the disease. Sometimes the immune system does too much. Some examples of diseases from an over-reacting immune system include:

  • Asthma: an allergic over-reaction that causes the inflammation of airway muscles and mucus membranes lining the airways.
  • Allergies, allergic reactions - too many IgE antibodies from immune system B-cells
  • Delayed hypersensitivity - an allergic reaction, caused by immune system T-cells, occurs after days or weeks
  • Anaphylactic shock


  • Juvenile Type 1 diabetes (but not Type 2 adult diabetes, which is not autoimmune)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (??)
  • Lupus, SLE
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lyme disease: a somewhat mixed cause: initiated by a parasite spirochete called Borrelia burgdorferi that is spread by ticks (deer ticks in the USA), but also an autoimmune reaction sets in.
  • Psoriasis

Genetic Inherited Diseases

There are several ways the genetic system can fail. These diseases are usually congenital and in-born, though depending on what parts of the body these genetic errors affect, the actual symptoms may arise either immediately or after delay.

  • Chromosome disorders: a massive error in an entire chromosome, affecting a large number of genes, and usually causing massive problems. There are certain patterns in chromosome replication that make certain chromosome errors more common than others.
  • Single gene disorders: an error in a single gene, leading to a specific disease, depending on what gene got affected.
  • Multiple gene disorders: more complex disorders that result from patterns of errors in multiple genes. Some such diseases are well understood, but certain diseases are believed to be "polygenic" (from multiple genes) but are poorly understood (e.g. Type 2 diabetes).

Sex chromosome disorders: Gender is based on the X and Y chromosomes: women are XX, men are XY. But some people have odd and rare sex chromosome disorders.

  • Turner syndrome (X): females, 1-in-5000, minor problems except for sterility.
  • Klinefelter syndrome (XXY): male, 1-in-1000, reduced testosterone, more female-like features, usually sterile.
  • Jacobs syndrome (XYY): male, 1-in-2000, mostly normal, sometimes over-male features such as acne, very tall, and behavioral aggression.
  • Triple-X (XXX, also XXXX or XXXXX): female, 1-in-700, most are apparently normal, some sterile, some have slightly lower mental ability.

There are no known examples of the sequences Y, YY, or YYY. Order does not matter, so that XYX is just XXY.

Non-sex chromosome disorders: The 22 non-sex chromosomes can sometimes have major problems, such as an extra or missing chromosome. The most well-known is Down syndrome.

  • Down syndrome: occurs 1-in-800 to 1-in-25 depending on mother's age, extra chromosome 21, usually mentally retarded, enlarged tongue, round flat facial features.
  • Edwards syndrome: an extra chromosome 18, occurs 1-in-3000, few children survive, usually more severe mental retardation and physical problems than Downs.
  • Patau syndrome: an extra chromosome 13, 1-in-5000, severe mental and physical problems.

There are also non-sex chromosome disorders caused by subtractions and deletions from chromosomes.

  • Cri-du-chat syndrome (cat's cry): deletion in chromosome 5, 1-in-50,000,

Single gene disorders: These tend to be inherited gene disorders of a single gene.

  • Hemophilia (familial)
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Some immune failure disorders: Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease (SCID, bubble boy disease), DiGeorge syndrome (missing T-cells from thymus failure), hypogammaglobulin anemia (missing B-cells)
  • Achondroplasia (dwarfism)
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Tay Sachs
  • Albinism
  • galactosemia

Multiple gene disorders: ???

Malnutrition disorders

  • General malnutrition disorders:
    • Marasmus: general food deficiency (starvation): severe weight loss, weakness
    • Kwashiorkor (protein malnutrition): bloated stomach
    • Malnutrition-related diabetes mellitus (MRDM): a form of diabetes with high sugars, but without causing diabetic ketotic coma.
  • Vitamin deficiencies:
    • scurvy (vitamin C deficiency/ascorbic acid deficiency): immune weakness
    • rickets (Vitamin D deficiency): weakened bones
    • Vitamin A deficiency: night blindness
    • beriberi: a deficiency in thiamine, vitamin B1.
    • pellagra: a deficiency in niacin, vitamin B3.
    • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency
    • Riboflavin deficiency
  • Mineral deficiencies:
    • Goitre: iodine deficiency: swelling of the thyroid gland in the neck
    • Iron deficiency: anemia: tiredness and fatique
    • Calcium deficiency
    • Magnesium deficiency

Prion Diseases

  • Animal prion diseases:Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) also called mad cow disease, scrapies in sheep, feline spongiform encephalopathy (cats) transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME), and chronic wasting disease (CWD) of mule deer and elk.
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD): a mental degenerative disease of unknown cause, not believed related to animal diseases such as mad cow disease.
  • Variant CJD: the new form of CJD that may be related to BSE in cows.
  • Kuru: a brain damage "laughing disease" in Papua New Guinea, transmitted by people eating the brains of those who died.
  • Fatal familial insomnia (FFI): a surprising oddity, a degenerative and eventually fatal mental disease that is caused by the inability to fall asleep.

Unknown causes

  • Arthritis
  • Autism: autoimmune? genetic?
  • Schizophrenia: genetic??
  • Type 2 diabetes (adult diabetes)
  • Alzheimer's?
  • Addictions (alcohol, drugs, nicotine, gambling): Is it purely environment? Is there a genetic predisposition to becoming addicted? Or are these just excuses for what are just natural and ugly human weaknesses?
  • Obesity?

Anatomy problems (physical)

  • Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS): where a part of the clavicle (collar bone) presses against a nerve, the ulnar nerve (from the shoulder to the lower fingers) causing tingling or numbness in fingers or elbow.
  • RSI?? Tennis elbow??
  • Appendicitis: most commonly caused by a blockage that initiates the inflammation, though other causes are possible.

TODO: To categorize

  • hep A/B/C, tuberculosis,
  • Cataracts
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Acne
  • dyspepsia
  • heart: coronary
  • Mental: anorexia, depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder (ADD), dyslexia, bulimia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder, manic depressive, insomnia,
  • Grave's
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Lupus, Lyme, MS
  • Parkinson's
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Psoriasis
  • Rosacea
  • Stroke Meningitis Herpes I Herpes II Lyme Disease Encephalitis Pseudomonas Pyelonephritis Tuberculosis Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Bells Palsy Guillain-Barre Syndrome Tourette Syndrome BLACK DEATH - typhus,
  • SEPTICEMIA - blood poisoning
  • Red Measles Shingles Encephalitis Impetigo Gingivitus, Periodontitus
  • Endometriosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Impotence
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • SIDS: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • Gout
  • Cholic
  • Jaundice
  • Lassa Fever, Peptic Ulcer, Sickle Cell Disease, Gaucher Disease, Mucopolysaccharide Disease, Phenylketonuria (PKU), Acromegaly, Acidosis, Alkalosis, Mitochondrial Disorders, Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders, Melas Syndrome, Amino Acid Metabolism, Inborn Errors, Hypoglycemia , Hypophosphatasia , Lipid Metabolism, Inborn Errors, Galactosemias, Diabetes Insipidus, Hemochromatosis: Iron Overload, CAMP FEVER - typhus,
  • Gout (joint inflammations, caused by imbalances in uric acid metabolism),
  • JAUNDICE - a condition caused by obstruction of bile and characterized by yellowness of the skin, fluids and tissues, and by constipation, loss of appetite, and weakness,
  • LUMBAGO - a pain in the loins and small of the back
  • Chorea: involuntary jerky movements; Huntington's chorea is a progressive dementia.


Most vaccinations are for viruses or bacteria. It is more difficult for other parasites such as the parasites for malaria and African sleeping sickness.


  • Antiseptics: what do they do? Related to antibiotics?
  • Antibacterial: same as antibiotic?
  • Mirror DNA: left-right mirror image people with normal life
  • Anti-antibodies: stop antibodies after all foreign antigen destroyed.
  • Cancer can convert fetus-to-mother! Example: mother gets rare infant brain tumor while pregnant.
  • Cancer of a mal-formed missing testicle. Tissue was already bad???

    Germs are a generic name for any type of unfriendly body invader including viruses and bacteria.


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