“Health trends” and Innovation

What’s going on with medicine?

A few days ago a BBC article stated with relief that three African Countries at the core of Ebola epidemic spread (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone), had registered no new cases during the past week.

It was the first time since the disease outbreak in March 2014. This episode seemed to open a new bracket of hope. However, after a two-week break, a new case was recorded just a few hours ago.

The race to find a cure is becoming increasingly more significant, just like it happened with AIDS in the 1980s. Studies on transmission of the disease, for instance, have recently proved that bats seem to play a consistent role in the spread of not only Ebola, but many other kinds of epidemies (nevertheless, as this video shows, it might not be entirely their fault).

Facing this topic we can’t help thinking about how the importance of this discovery clashes with some “health trends” which are sadly becoming more and more popular.

One of the latest ones insists on not vaccinating babies, because the side effects are considered to be potentially dangerous.

Of course, vaccines are not harmless and there is a possibility to get sick because of them or to have anaphylactic shock. Still, the percentage of people dying because of them is very tiny compared to the massacre that an epidemy can cause, as the Ebola case proves.

Continuously switching from one view to another, public opinion seems to be anyhow consistent with its strong interest for new perspectives offered by genetics.

Though the Human Genome Project turned out to be not so significant in terms of medical implications, a brief lecture on epigenetics can give you a good insight into this innovative branch of studies. By focusing on the importance of external factors in DNA expression and changes, the options it offers could be revolutionary.

Someone even thought that intelligence could be genetically modified to make you smarter (or better at singing, if you really wish to become a musician).

However, though we know that scientific growth is exponential, we’re not sure whether we’ll be able to enjoy some of these privileges or not.

In the meantime, while the world is fighting against a moltitude of diseases, it’s better not to follow any trend or hopeful possibility, but trusting in good old vaccines instead.


A few more words

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