Diseases have always been an issue, and it doesn’t look like they’ll stop anytime soon.
No matter how we evolve, the hordes of viruses, bacteria, and who-knows-what roaming around the planet will evolve to match us.
No matter how hard we try to prevent them, pandemics will always happen. Not to mention diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. They’re only getting worse. And if we don’t completely change how we approach them, they’ll never stop.
Science is trying to break us out of this vicious cycle. Here’s just one weapon we’re using to fight back against the growing threat of disease.
But that’s easier said than done.
The Immune System:
Most “germs” we see today are the product of eons of evolution — some of them have been adapting to their surroundings for billions of years longer than us. When the natural disparity between us and them is so huge, it gets pretty hard to compete.
It’s one of the reasons why millions of our ancestors died decades ago, from diseases we think of as trivial today. Diseases like smallpox — a virus so deadly that it killed over 300 million in the 1900’s alone. That’s more than twice as much as the death toll of both world wars combined.
Yet today, all you need is a vaccination to stop the disease in its tracks. The enormous leaps we’ve been making in medicine are have let us “outsmart” evolution. If it weren’t for our rapid growth in scientific knowledge, the human race probably wouldn’t have lasted for much longer.
Germs are getting stronger, but we aren’t. Pathogens we’ve known for centuries are starting to become resistant to antibiotics that have worked for centuries.
They’re becoming more contagious and getting deadlier. Yet the way we fight those diseases has been more or less the same since the beginning.
But before we start learning about a way we could leave , let’s cover the basics of how our immune system works — specifically the cellular beasts that we call our lymphocytes.