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If we had a cure, would we use it ?

Posted on Sunday, 10 June, 2012 | Comment icon 34 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

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If mankind invented a cure to all known infectious diseases, would we and should we even use it ?

The answer might seem like an immediate 'yes', however there are some possible side-effects in long term human evolution. Throughout history such diseases have played a role in our development by weeding out those susceptible to certain pathogens, before modern medicine was available huge numbers of people died from illnesses that are treatable today.

"Our evolutionary history has been a continual arms race against the pathogens that plague us," said Professor Vincent Racaniello. "We have all these ways of intervening when people get sick, when otherwise they would have died and we would see some natural selection for people with more robust immune systems."

"With scientists chasing after cure-all anti-virus treatments and a universal flu vaccine in labs around the world, the eradication of infectious diseases certainly appears to be medical research's ultimate (if remote) goal."

  View: Full article |  Source: Live Science

  Discuss: View comments (34)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #25 Posted by libstaK on 11 June, 2012, 12:42
Some of your "genetic management" ideals are scaring the beejesus out of me right now folks - just saying
Comment icon #26 Posted by Socio on 11 June, 2012, 12:51
Not much different than how we manage other spices of animals today, to not take steps to manage our own species is absolutely irresponsible with a guaranteed catastrophic outcome.
Comment icon #27 Posted by libstaK on 11 June, 2012, 12:54
Yes but disregarding a person's right to determining whether or not they wish to be a parent is going a little too far - diversity is also a part of the evolutionary process, what may be considered a genetic weakness could be the first tweek that leads to an alternate evolutionary path that proves beneficial in particular environmental circumstances, claiming we know what "perfection" is equates to having a "God" mentality.
Comment icon #28 Posted by karmakazi on 11 June, 2012, 14:22
It isn't about killing those who are alive, but stemming the number of new lives being conceived. Rather than jump, just don't have kids. I'm not sure we have to go that far, in the US one of the issues is that the more kids you have the more tax breaks you get. If that were reversed, the fewer kids you have the more tax breaks you get, childless people would pay the least taxes. I think that the financial repercussions alone would coax a lot of people into abstaining... in a much more gentle manner Of course, to be fair the tax changes could only apply to births occur... [More]
Comment icon #29 Posted by paperdyer on 11 June, 2012, 19:11
Does anyone remember the Title of the Star Trek TOS where Kirk was kidnapped to a duplicate of the Enterprise in order to give a race a disease they had no cure for? Their world had become so crowded that they wanted/needed diseases to cause death? We'd eventually get that way here if diseases were erradicated.
Comment icon #30 Posted by Spid3rCyd3 on 11 June, 2012, 21:31
I think the super rich would have access to this kind of technology, the rest of us, well...more than likely not.
Comment icon #31 Posted by csspwns on 12 June, 2012, 1:16
well tat wont happen in my lifetime so no
Comment icon #32 Posted by Socio on 18 June, 2012, 13:47
Yes strict measures would have to be put into place to keep any kind of "God" Mentality to ever come to fruition, but the benefits that could come from controlling the Human population would be enormous for not only mankind but all life on this planet. Imagine if we only let the most responsible, educated, healthiest, and financially well off married couples have children, imagine if if we could control populations so that each country has a population it could sustain. No more famine, no more need so spend billions on foreign aide, illegal immigration all but gone, child abuse... [More]
Comment icon #33 Posted by libstaK on 18 June, 2012, 17:03
I am absolutely certain that you do not comprehend what you are suggesting here. Controlling people is what Dictators and Totalitarian Regimes do. Yes, let's just eradicate all these "undesirables"? I agree, the world would be Utopic without homelessness, starvation, overpopulation and all those things but the foundation of Utopia cannot be built on the suppression and suffering of those members of humanity least capable of defending themselves. There is something very deep and fundamental I think you need to see about why what you are saying is not the answer. I'll ... [More]
Comment icon #34 Posted by Socio on 22 June, 2012, 13:30
What is more humane thing to do? 1, Control the population by having prospective parents go though something similar to an adoption process to try to ensure the children of the future have the best chance possible in this world and maintain a sustainable population levels? Or 2, Keep going down the path we are on, where being born it is a crap shoot, where they are born into poverty, where parents can't even feed themselves let alone their off spring, where they are born addicted to drugs, where become victims of abuse, where they are just extra welfare benefits, where they become d... [More]

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