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Re: the germ theory; off-topic

Oh, trust me, I am quite familiar with the story of cholera in London. For
example, in that epidemic I.V. hydration was used for the first time to save
peoples' lives - the physician, Snow I think, used a quill to gain access
and used water from a pumpwell that was contaminated with large amounts of
urine seepage. It turns out, although he had no idea at the time, that the
only reason he didn't kill his patients by giving them hypotonic water
(which would lyse the red blood cells) was that the water was so full of
urine salts that it was close to the osmolality of blood!

The point you guys aren't getting is that any true scientist always keeps an
open mind, even when confronted with seeminly crazy ideas, because there's
often a germ of truth contained therein. I happen to think that the germ
theory is probably 98% absolutely true, but by assuming that it is 100%
true, we make a grave scientific error and close our minds to other
possibilities in certain cases that may not be explained as well as we are
assuming. There are many discrepancies in the germ theory, and although I
practice as if it were true all day long, prescribing antibiotics as
indicated, I would never put 100% faith in any dogma.

For example, I recently inherited a patient complaining of terrible
sinusitis, who had already been on three different antibiotics over a two
month period. I surmised that an incomplete, "allergic" immune response was
at fault, and put him on substantial doses of vit C, L-carnosine, alpha
lipoic acid and true vitamin A (not beta carotene). In three days he was
much better, he stopped his antibiotics on his own say, and after a week was
symptom-free. I think the real key was probably the carnosine, which is a
resovoir molecule for histidine, which in turn is used to make histamine,
which in turn switches off phagocytes and allows NK cells and cytotoxic
T-cells to become active. This is all great hypothesizing, but frankly a
great deal of intuition was also involved, and as long as he's better, it's
OK with me that I may have done the right thing for the wrong reason.

So, all I was saying is that to call what Morris was saying "nonsense" is to
be unnecessarily harsh, and is an example of the mistake that each
generation of close-minded people make when they think there are no more
mysteries or unanswered questions in medicine, and, no, it's not just that
we don't completely understand immunity - that's just one theory, vastly
unproven, as to why we have strange contradictions in the field of
infectious disease wherever we look.


----- Original Message -----
From: Patricia M. Godfrey 
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2001 5:44 PM
Subject: Re: Batch spelling enhancements; off-topic

> I use Batch spelling a lot when I'm copy editing; great way to find the
> personal or place name spelled two or even three different ways in a
> 100-page MS. So I did write a macro to find instances of a word from the
> batch-created list in the file in question. But it's not customized to
> run under U2, which I understand requires embedding it in a help file or
> something? It is also based on the assumption that the badwords file is
> dispalyed in one column. (Does the sort table you use take account of
> accented letters? Mine does.) Anyway, this is a transcription into
> human-language of the functions and commands:
> DF NI TR DF BC se /JM (Copy to CM)/ AS TF XC
> It would probably have been better to use the Define Line (DL) function,
> rather than having to position the cursor at the beginning of the word in
> question and then having the macro begin define, go the the end of the
> line, and then end define. I just got in the habit of positioning the
> cursor and using Define and End Define, rather than the more specialized
> definition methods. And Blind Execute or Q2 rather than XC; this was an
> old macro that may date back to Xy3. Note that the Copy to CM has to be
> executed BEFORE the switch to the next window (which must contain the
> document). Once you're there, you can hit F9 repeatedly to find the next
> instance(s) of the word, though you may have to hit Ctrl-UpArrow to get
> it back; it sometimes vanishes for some reason. I load this macro to F2-W
> when I'm going to use it (I have other uses for the W key in other
> situations).
> I don't know how the germ theory rant got on here, and I hesitate to
> dignify it with a reply, but I did once study logic, and showing that
> individuals respond differently to infectious agents no more disproves
> the germ theory of disease than the fact that some people hear and see
> normally, some are deaf or blind, and some are merely tone deaf or color
> blind, while some have perfect pitch or exact color-matching abilities
> disproves the wave theory of sound and light. And after all, the same
> variations occur in response to environmental pollutants: some (like my
> late father) can smoke like chimney pots from 16 to 80, never develop
> lung or any other kind of cancer, and have cardiovascular systems that
> are the wonder and envy of their physicians. And some people who never
> smoke develop lung cancer. We don't know as much as we should or whould
> like about the varieties of human immune response, that's all.
> Patricia