The Black Death, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, wiped out 30 to 50 percent of Europe's population between 1347 and 1351. But, this is just the most infamous of the little microbe's shenanigans. Y. pestis, which is one-millionth our size, has caused three major pandemics and continues killing people to this very day. The plague gets such a bad rap because it represents some of the greatest tragedies to ever befall the human race.
My grandfather used to keep all sorts of things in the trunk of his car: Fishing gear, duct tape, aluminum foil, a large chain, a defused WWII hand grenade. When we asked why he squirreled away such a random assortment of items, he would shrug and say, "Just in case."
That, in a nutshell, is why we should never destroy the smallpox virus. Just in case we need it someday.
Most Americans don't think twice about workplace safety. Perhaps they should. In newly updated numbers for 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 4,628 Americans met their demise while on the job.
Editor's Note: This article was provided by our partner, RealClearScience. The original is here. The entire idea of democracy rests upon the notion that large groups of people will, more often than not, make prudent decisions. In theory, all the stupid voters will cancel each other out ...
Editor's Note: This article was provided by our partner, RealClearScience. The original is here. It has been long thought that one of the characteristics that makes humans unique is our ability to learn and manipulate symbols for communication. However, this notion is starting to slowly ...