Quest for the Killers by June Goodfield (auth.), June Goodfield (eds.)

By June Goodfield (auth.), June Goodfield (eds.)

The 5 tales during this e-book are stories approximately people and the human during which they locate themselves. they're tales of scientists - yet now not of white-coated laboratory figures, chuffed to go away to others the sensible software in their discoveries. within the conditions I recount, the scientists have been introduced head to head, occasionally in dramatic confrontations, with the very humans whose difficulties their paintings may help resolve. As I got here to gain, there now exists a global community of surprising scientists whose participants are involved contributors, deter­ mined that their medical paintings may also help alleviate the human . This ebook was once conceived as an account of a few fascinating epi­ sodes in modern biomedicine. yet through the 4 years it took to accomplish, numerous different issues emerged. First, every one tale illustrates features of the relation among Western technology and know-how and people significant illnesses that are usually of dreadful importance for the 3rd international. during this relation the end result of Western study aren't easily utilized to worldwide illnesses. quite the relation is reciprocal, for medical examine, no matter if triggered via the clinical difficulties of the 3rd international or truly carried out there, is yielding important clues to many basic points of human biology, in addition to pointing towards attainable remedies for the intense illnesses of Western society, resembling melanoma or the dementi as of previous age. After I had written the 1st draft a moment topic emerged.

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And, as Joe Gibbs said, faced with the reality of a lot of negative experiments, where do you go? Still, the challenge was one virtually impossible to decline. " Two caretakers for the animals were recruited. Gibbs soon expanded his research quarters from the single laboratory their program had been allocated into the next one, then on he went, up the corridor, acquiring more space until eventually he had a sizable scientific empire. Persuading Joe Smadel to support the program had not been easy, for keeping a colony of chimpanzees and other primates for years and years would not be cheap, and, moreover, the complicated research program they proposed to him was based on the suggestion of a veterinarian of whom no one had ever heard.

Although infected animals looked perfectly healthy until the first symptoms appeared, it was the central nervous system that was finally affected. Scientists suspected viruses because scrapie could be induced in laboratory animals by injecting them with cell-free filtrates of tissues from dead sheep. This revealed that the agent had properties that set it totally apart from all other known infectious agents: it could withstand high temperatures, even half an hour in boiling water, which inactivates most viruses; it was resistant to formaldehyde, which kills most bacteria; it could remain quiescent for months before producing symptoms.

Eight years later while working on tropical neurology at NIH, he told his boss, Joe Smadel, that he was leaving for Brazil. " "You're going to Gajdusek," came the reply. " Gibbs, most reluctant to leave the safe waters of conventional virology for a voyage on the stormy seas of kuru navigated by the flamboyant Gajdusek, argued for a whole day. " So began Joe Gibbs's collaboration with Carleton Gajdusek, one that has lasted twenty-five years and which works magnificently, he says, because not only are they total opposites but they have never shared the same laboratory.

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