Dr. Alex Berezow is the Executive Editor of Big Think. He holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and is a veteran science writer, author, and public speaker. He also is a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors, and his articles have appeared in BBC News, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Wired, Scientific American, The Economist, and many other publications. His most recent books are "The Next Plague and How Science Will Stop It" (2018) and "Little Black Book of Junk Science" (2017).
∆G = ∆H - T∆S is one of the most abstract formulas in science, but it is also one of the most important. Without it, life cannot exist.
Life largely owes its existence to this equation. Be sure to hug your house plant today.
There is no rule that will force Omicron or another COVID variant to become less deadly over time, but there is reason for hope.
The credibility problem facing the biomedical and public health establishment is, at least in part, a product of its own making.
Smallpox, Ebola, HIV, influenza, the plague, malaria, and a whole host of terrible bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites were cooked up by Mother Nature, all on her own. Apparently, Mother Nature hasn't banned gain-of-function research.
The new treatment targets the underlying genetic cause of the disease.
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.
Editor’s Note: This article was provided by our partner, RealClearScience. The original is here. You might recall from high school biology a scientist by the name of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. He proposed a […]