Exploring the Relationship Between Solar Activity and Pandemic Outbreaks: A Case Study on COVID-19

This research paper investigates the potential correlation between solar activity and the occurrence of pandemics, with a specific focus on the COVID-19 pandemic. The study examines the influence of solar cycles on various aspects of life on Earth and delves into the possibility that heightened solar activity could be a contributing factor to pandemics. Five sources have been referenced and cited to support the discussion and provide a comprehensive analysis of the subject.

Solar activity, characterized by phenomena such as sunspots, solar flares, and coronal mass ejections, has long been known to have a significant impact on Earth’s climate, magnetic field, and even technological systems (1). However, recent research has suggested that solar activity may also influence the occurrence of pandemics, including the recent COVID-19 outbreak. This paper aims to explore the relationship between solar activity and pandemics, drawing upon at least five sources to substantiate the discussion.

Solar Cycles and Their Effects on Earth:

The Sun undergoes a regular 11-year cycle known as the solar cycle, during which its magnetic field undergoes a polarity reversal, and the number of sunspots fluctuates. These sunspots are associated with various solar phenomena, such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, which can significantly impact Earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere, and climate (2).

Heightened solar activity can lead to disruptions in Earth’s magnetic field, which may cause a range of effects, including increased ultraviolet radiation, geomagnetic storms, and disruptions to power grids and satellite communication systems (3). It has also been suggested that variations in solar activity could affect climate patterns and weather events, such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, which can impact global temperatures and precipitation patterns.

Solar Activity and Pandemics: A Possible Connection?

The potential link between solar activity and pandemics has been a topic of increasing interest in recent years. Researchers have found correlations between periods of increased solar activity and the emergence of new pandemics throughout history, such as the Spanish flu in 1918 and the H1N1 pandemic in 2009 (4). The COVID-19 pandemic, which began in late 2019, also coincided with the beginning of Solar Cycle 25, which has led some scientists to speculate about a possible connection between the two events.

One theory suggests that increased solar activity could lead to alterations in Earth’s climate and weather patterns, which in turn could create conditions more conducive to the spread of infectious diseases. For example, changes in temperature, humidity, and precipitation patterns could affect the transmission rates and geographical distribution of vector-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever (5).

Another hypothesis proposes that heightened solar activity could directly influence the behavior of viruses themselves. It has been suggested that increased ultraviolet radiation during periods of high solar activity could cause genetic mutations in viruses, potentially making them more virulent or more easily transmissible (6).

While these theories are intriguing, it is important to note that the relationship between solar activity and pandemics remains speculative, and further research is needed to establish a definitive connection. It is also essential to recognize that pandemics are complex phenomena, with multiple contributing factors, such as human behavior, population density, and public health infrastructure, playing significant roles in their emergence and spread.


The relationship between solar activity and pandemics is an emerging area of research that warrants further investigation. While correlations have been observed between periods of heightened solar activity and the emergence of new pandemics, including COVID-19, the causal relationship remains unclear. Future research should focus on elucidating the potential mechanisms through which solar activity might influence the emergence and spread of infectious diseases, as well as examining the interplay between solar activity and other factors, such as human behavior, population density, and public health infrastructure. Understanding the potential links between solar activity and pandemics could provide valuable insights into the emergence and spread of infectious diseases, which could be crucial for developing more effective strategies for pandemic preparedness and response.

Source List:

  1. Hathaway, D. H. (2015). The Solar Cycle. Living Reviews in Solar Physics, 12(1), 4. Link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/lrsp-2015-4
  2. Lockwood, M. (2010). Solar change and climate: an update in the light of the current exceptional solar minimum. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 466(2114), 303-329. Link: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspa.2009.0519
  3. Pulkkinen, A., Bernabeu, E., Eichner, J., Beggan, C., & Thomson, A. W. P. (2012). Generation of 100-year geomagnetically induced current scenarios. Space Weather, 10(2). Link: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2011SW000750
  4. Dündar, C., Dündar, H. S., & Yeşilyurt, F. (2020). Does sunspot activity affect the influenza pandemics on Earth? Journal of Astrobiology & Outreach, 8(1), 1000177. Link: https://www.longdom.org/open-access/does-sunspot-activity-affect-the-influenza-pandemics-on-earth.pdf
  5. Mordecai, E. A., Caldwell, J. M., Grossman, M. K., Lippi, C. A., Johnson, L. R., Neira, M., Rohr, J. R., Ryan, S. J., Savage, V., Shocket, M. S., Sippy, R., Stewart Ibarra, A. M., Thomas, M. B., & Villena, O. (2019). Thermal biology of mosquito-borne disease. Ecology Letters, 22(10), 1690-1708. Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ele.13335
  6. Qu, G., Li, X., Hu, L., & Jiang, G. (2020). An imperative need for research on the role of environmental factors in transmission of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Environmental Science & Technology, 54(7), 3730-3732. Link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.0c01102

Sloth Hair Fungus is an Incredibly Potent and Effective Medicine

sloth smile

Three-toed sloths are giving us a reason to smile. http://www.factzoo.com/

Sloths have quickly become the center of a great deal of excitement in the medical world. Researchers from Panama and the United States have discovered that multiple species of fungi growing on sloth hair may be the answer to a large list of medical maladies. The discovery is examined in a recent peer reviewed study published on January 15th.

In the study, researchers examined a total of 84 fungal samples found on the coarse outer hair of nine live three-toed sloths. The fungus filled sloths are native to the Soberanía National Park, in the Republic of Panama.  A large number of these fungal samples were found to be beneficial in a number of different ways. Anti-cancer, anti-parasitic, and anti-bacterial properties were all exhibited by at least one species of fungus found on the three-toed sloths. More specifically, fungus found growing on sloth hair proved to exhibit bioactivity against

Trypanosoma cruzi, the causal agent of Chagas disease; Plasmodium falciparum, the causal agent of malaria; the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7; and a range of Gram-negative and Gram-positive human pathogenic bacteria.

sloth hair malaria cdc

The global distribution of malaria.

This is great news since Chagas disease is listed by the CDC as one of the top five most neglected parasitic infections in the US based on its severity, the number of people infected, and the ability to prevent and treat it. This is largely due to a lack of awareness regarding the disease. Over 8 million people in Mexico, Central America, and South America have Chagas disease. It has made its way to the United States with nearly 300,000 US citizens currently diagnosed with the illness. Sloths to the rescue.

Related Article: Fungi Fun: Mushrooms and How to Harness their Power

As for malaria and cancer, the need to find an expedient cure or effective preventative mechanism is clear. Over 3 billion people live in a malaria-risk zone. 655,000 people (86% were children) died in 2010 of malaria. Everyone is at risk for cancer. 8.2 million people died from cancer in 2012. There’s no need to elaborate on the need to find a cure for these illnesses.

Not surprisingly, this is the first time fungal samples found on sloth hair have been tested and reported to be at least minimally effective in treating human disease. Who would have thought that something so slow and easy to catch would prove to be so extremely beneficial to us?

The researchers originally chose the three-toed sloth as a viable candidate for harboring natural medicinal substances due to the vast amount of fungus and algae that grows on the sloths’ hair. Since the discovery of penicillin more than 80 years ago, fungi began and continue to be widely used for their medicinal benefits. This applies to both raw fungus, and fungus as a base for chemical derivatives used in various types of medicine around the world.

Related Article: Amazon Rainforest Holds Many Surprises

Unfortunately, the success rate of finding a fungus that exhibits bioactivity against human sources of diseases has dramatically slowed. This led some scientists to believe that we had already discovered the easy to find bioactive fungi. As the authors state in the study, many scientists believed that the slowed rate of discovery could be an indication of,

the impending exhaustion of ‘low hanging fruit’ – the easily and frequently accessed fungi such as soil microfungi – as sources of new bioactive metabolites.

Simply put, with the exhaustion of “low hanging fruit,” discovering and creating effective medicine becomes increasingly difficult. However, just because the “low hanging fruit” is exhausted doesn’t mean the whole tree has been uprooted. We have discovered less than 100,000 different fungal species out of the conservative estimate of five million species of fungus that calls Earth its home. This is why scientists are starting to get creative in the places they look for new, bioactive fungi. Cue the the three-toed sloth, and wait a few hours for it to make its grand appearance.

The researchers suggest that their results illustrate that sloth hair may be a potential source of even more bioactive fungi. They note that there are five other sloth species on the planet with fungi-filled hair ready for examination.

It takes a great deal of time and luck to find a new, effective medicinal constituent. Let’s hope father time and lady luck are on our side. As for sloths; thanks for hanging around.

sloth hair slow soon

It’s a good thing for this sloth that time is relative.














The Most Dangerous Animal, and How We Can Defeat it

When I envision the most dangerous animal in the world I picture, like most people, a shark strapped to a starved bear coated in Valyrian steel. Some of the more clever humans among us may tell us that WE are in fact the biggest threat to ourselves.  Well, as news to all you General Zaroffs out there, there’s a much more serious and clandestine danger than humans out there, and it is lurking the skies with a stark mad craving for blood.


 A. aegypti, the Dengue Dealer.

A. aegypti, the Dengue Dealer. (www.impe-qn.org.vn)

Vampires! Scientifically known as mosquitoes.  Throughout history, mosquitoes have killed more humans than all wars and plagues combined. Every year, there are 200-300 million cases of malaria and 50-100 million cases of dengue fever worldwide, diseases that are easy to catch and highly fatal.

With malaria, you can head to the hospital and be treated with antibiotics relatively quickly (though malaria mutates rapidly and is becoming immune to just about every drug proven to be effective at a rapid rate). Dengue on the other hand, known as breakbone fever (because it feels like every bone in your body is shattering) is a completely different story. Unlike malaria, there is not a single drug proven to directly seek out and destroy the dengue virus.  If you get it, you are stuck riding out the ordeal in a hospital.  If you get it again, rather than becoming immune, you will likely die.  If you get it a third time, unless you are Bruce Willis from Unbreakable, you have absolutely no chance. The worst part?  Despite huge efforts to rid areas of the mosquito that carries the dengue virus, as seen by this frequently updated, interactive map from the CDC, it is spreading at a rapid rate.

In this eye-opening TED talk,  Biotech entrepreneur Hadyn Perry asks the question: why, with all our advances in technology, have we not succeeded in destroying the single greatest killer of humanity?  Why are we treating the symptoms and not aiming for that tiny hole leading to the main power source that is always built in to every death star? Why can’t we just kill all the mosquitos?

Most people will point out that ridding the world of the mosquito legion scourge would leave a gap in the global food chain, causing irreparable damage to eco-systems around the world. Despite the rationality of this argument ecologists are very certain that the removal of mosquitoes, a species that has existed on the planet for over 100 million years, would have little to no effect on the overall ecology of the planet.  Something would quickly fill the gap left by mosquitoes; everyone would be less itchy, our skin would be deet-free, and the hand of God would come down to give us a well deserved high-five.

So, how do we get rid of mosquitoes forever?  We’ve been hosing down towns and cities with insecticide and pouring larvicide into the planet’s waters for decades and the result has been even more death and disease due to mosquitoes.  As usual, biotechnogoly is the answer.

Hadyn Parry is on the forefront of genetic modification research and he wants the issue of genetic modification, or GM, to stop being so political and start focusing on actual research and results. He has at the ready, a cheap, efficient, proven to work solution for ridding the world of mosquitoes through the use of mosquitoes engineered in the lab.  Through his method of releasing genetically sterile males into the wild, females that mate with these males (which look like the perfect mixture of Edward and Jacob to female mosquitoes) produce sterile offspring.  His team has put this method into practice with remarkable results.  He has reduced mosquito populations in villages throughout the world by over 85% within 4 months, with the mosquito death toll continuing to rise with time.

Imagine a world where you can lay out on a summer’s eve without smelling like a chemical cocktail and bitch slapping yourself repeatedly.  According to Hadyn Parry, this vision of the future is a reality ready and willing to take place.

Take a look at the TED talk below for more information and specifics regarding Parry’s method and ideology.