You have brought up many pertinent issues. Examining the rhetoric from one of the most powerful human beings on earth can serve as a form of checks and balances, as we test our critical thinking abilities. Should we take what he says at face value?
- Bill Gates, reportedly the most generous person on the planet has donated $28 billion and claims to have helped eradicate polio in India. Yet, the symptoms of paralysis from the polio vaccine and consequence deaths of hundreds of children continue their toll. Gates will provide $200 million a year in an attempt to eradicate disease in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.
Do we believe that one person would partner with so many others, investing millions into such a schema to “improve health in the developing world” purely as a good Samaritan? Let’s assume, in all honesty, he believes these investments will benefit all humankind. We still have a right to question the actions taken, the investments made, the partnerships formed and the research funded when the outcomes will effect so many.
Does the general public have a say in these matters? If the people in these parts of the world could be given options to choose the areas of investment, would they choose basic shelter, sanitation, clean drinking water, and organic farms using sustainable energy sources? Or, would they choose biological research in the many areas you’ve listed above: injecting synthetic substances into the body, breathing micro-particles into the airways, tampering with human RNA, engineering pathogenic bacteria, developing seemingly harmless vaccines that resemble common table salt, introducing live infectious viral agents and tempting profiteers with a market for these drugs?
I just read they will now attempt to predict how proteins fold, in order to devise a better vaccine. Maybe they feel this necessary because they admit the present influenza vaccines useless? Perhaps they understand that viruses mutate too fast for the researchers to keep up or to prepare an assault on the virus.
- Flu vaccines are based on antibodies that recognize certain proteins, but viruses have high mutation rates to escape antibody detection. A new technique is able to identify how the folding process changes when the protein mutates. “If people know the folding picture of how a mutation changes, it will be helpful for designing a better vaccine,” says assistant professor of nutritional science Shu-Bing Qian. Futurity
We’ve read about a ‘brave new world.’ I never expected it to appear so frightening, as if we lived in a science fiction horror script the likes of Frankenstein. Casting aside the risks when experiments go awry, we may have lost our compassionate instincts in our verve to create a healthy third world population. My fears, when humans unleash so many unknown variables into our environment without understanding the potential interactions with nature and living organisms, means soon we will not recognize our world or know how to put all of these elements back safely into the test tube.
All the best to you for providing this information to the public,