I went to school in a small town in Hampshire, where IBM was one of the largest employers for the town. I duly went to do my work experience there in my Sixth Form year, though by the second week, I opted to go to work at St Mary’s Hospital instead, where I spent one day a week for the next two years. St Mary’s shaped me life enormously: I gave birth to my son at St Mary’s, had my first job at St Mary’s, and am not ruling out going back to work at St Mary’s.
But I have always kept my interest in IBM. Recently, IBM and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore announced that they had created a molecule that could destroy all viruses. Of course, that got the world in a tizz, like wow! After all, viruses are the main cause of the terrible illnesses in the world, from Ebola to HIV to killer flus.
You can read the article by clicking on this link.
Virus are not to be confused with bacteria. The treatment modality for both differs. So, it is pointless taking antibiotics for illnesses and diseases caused by virus. I wrote about it here for Huffington Post.
Viruses are extremely complicated. They can change and mutate (this is why flu jabs have to be given each year). Recently, it emerged that the much-trumped protocol for preventing HIV is not as watertight as it was first made out to be. Two cases of PrEP failure on solo tenofovir pose significant research questions – you can read about it here. I have several friends with HIV (the virus is more common than ever), who are trying to live with it as well as hope for as miracle cure.
I am no virologist, but I am not excited by the IBM/Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore’s miracle molecule. It will be years down the line. It may only be affordable for the rich. And more damagingly, viruses could evolve new strategies for coping with this super-molecule.
The third point fills me with disquiet, because even the dumb bacteria have, over the decades, evolved immunity to humankind’s best weapon: antibiotics. Now, antibiotics immunity is endemic in many hospitals in developed country. Healthy young people going in for routine surgery die as victims of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
For me, cure starts with prevention. Now, that is something to get excited about – building a body that is able to meet the challenges of staying alive organically. We have to evolve alongside the clever viruses and bacteria, rather than rely on expensive medication.
And here is my list of five things:
- Drink green smoothies daily. The raw vegetables provide your body with trace elements that it might lack but need for repair;
- Eat organic as far as possible so that your immune system is not fatigued by heavy metals;
- Stay away from food with preservatives and additives;
- Get dirty! Though dirt is caused by bacteria, it gives your immune system the fire drill workout;
- Live well.
Wishing you all the best x
This is interesting although Im confused by what heavy metals are. Perhaps you could explain that in a future post? P.s. I always enjoy your science-related posts.
Hi Val, thank you for reading and thank you for your kind comments. Here’s an article in a journal about metals entering the food chain from various sources, including pesticides, fertilisers and even waste water. When I lived in Jakarta, I was always feeling run down, and I suspect my immune system was whacked.
Heavy metal-contaminated food can seriously deplete some essential nutrients in the body that are further responsible for decreasing immunological defences, intrauterine growth retardation, impaired psychosocial faculties, disabilities associated with malnutrition and high prevalence of upper gastrointestinal cancer rates (Iyengar and Nair, 2000; Türkdogan et al., 2003;Arora et al., 2008).
This is the article.
Click to access 060413652%20Kamran%20et%20al.pdf
Thanks for the link. This is new to me, and also worrying. I can see now why you advocate eating organic produce – something I may have to consider for my family too.