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Smallpox Vaccine

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148646.  Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:06 pm Reply with quote

Contrary to popular belief, the first person to practice vaccination against smallpox was not Edward Jenner in 1796, but a farmer called Benjamin Jesty, who first administered the vaccine in 1774.

Having observed that cowpox provided vaccination against smallpox, he used a darning needle to insert pus from a cowpox-infected cow into his wife and two sons. The word vaccination itself comes from Vacca, the Latin for "cow".

While Jesty's sons suffered no adverse reaction to the vaccination, his wife, Elizabeth, developed a high fever and her arm became inflamed. Because of this, a doctor had to be called and it became known among the local community was Jesty had done. The result was that Elizabeth and boys ridiculed by the locals, and Jesty was "hooted at, reviled and pelted whenever he attended markets in the neighbourhood. He remained undaunted and never failed from this cause to attend to his duties".

A portrait recently acquired by the Wellcome Trust provides further evidence for the above. It was commissioned by the directors of the Original Vaccine Pock Institution, run by Dr. George Pearson who had fallen out with Jenner. In 1805, the Institution invited Jesty to London to examine and interrogate him about his experiment, then had the portrait painted as a testimonial to him. The verbal evidence provided by the examination led to the results being published in the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal.


148799.  Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:16 am Reply with quote

I knew that already, I found it to be interesting alright.

He noticed that milk maidens didn't tend to get small pox, he must have thought (obviously I can't say what he actually thought) this had something to do with their close working with the cows, he obviously then linked cowpox and small pox and came up with the idea that people exposed to the less deadly cowpox developed an immunity to small pox, he tried it, it worked but if that was happening in today's world we'd have no cure for small pox because that sort of experimenting would never be allowed these days

148819.  Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:51 am Reply with quote

People undergo medical experiments every day. Don't you remember the fuss over those guys who had an extreme adverse reaction to the drugs they were testing a while ago?

They would probably insist on a few more safety checks these days, rather than just giving someone cowpox and then exposing them to smallpox, but it's wrong to suggest that we would be unable to develop a vaccination for smallpox these days.

148821.  Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:59 am Reply with quote

What I meant was that if a farmer, for example, was just following the same routine that it wouldn't be allowed, the results would also be disregarded as the results of a madman infecting his family with all sorts and he would be jailed.

I never said that a vaccine wouldn't be found by using the proper channels I was just trying to say that science is a more controlled environment these days with routines to follow and a lot of testing to be done.

It is a pity though because it probably discourages people from carrying out their own little experiments

148822.  Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:01 am Reply with quote

<cough> Brainiac <cough>

148832.  Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:30 am Reply with quote

Funny Ameena, I'll accept defeat on the ground that brainiac get away with doing daft things in the name of science.

Heres an even more interesting one:

Stomach Ulcers and Helicobacter pylori were known to be linked since Helicobacter pylori's re-discovery back in 1979 but did the bacterium cause the ulcer or did the inflammation encourage the bacterium to grow?

Koch's postulates (or Henle-Koch postulates) are four criteria designed to establish a causal relationship between a causative microbe and a disease.
They are 1.The organism must be found in all animals with the disease but not in healthy animals
2. The organism must be isolated from a diseased animal and grown in a pure culture
3. The cultured organism should cause the disease when introduced into a healthy animal
and 4.The organism must be re-isolated from the experimentally infected animal.

Barry Marshall and Robin Warren were trying to find out weather Helicobacter caused the ulcer or the ulcer caused the bacteria to grow. Upon isolating and culturing the bactrium they hit a snag when their experimental pigs wouldn't fall ill on the 3rd postulate, when the cultured bacterium was introduced to the healthy pig. Marshall instead got a petri-dish of the culture and drank it.

This caused stomach ulcers in Marshall and he was proved right after all that helicobacter caused stomach ulcers

149454.  Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:30 am Reply with quote

okay I thought it was interesting but I guess not then

149457.  Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:32 am Reply with quote

It is, but you pretty well said all that needed saying.

150545.  Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:26 pm Reply with quote

Wasn't it common knowledge before 1979 (and maybe even after) that stress caused ulcers? My health teacher attests to that, but I've yet to have the time and opportunity to correct her. I didn't buy that stress caused ulcers so I did my own research.

150687.  Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:19 am Reply with quote

Stress weakens your immune system so I'd imagine that if you already had the bacteria in your stomach but it was being kept in check that it would takeover and cause an ulcer when you were stressed. This is just a theory of mine, I'm perfectly willing to be corrected by people who know what they're talking about.

150755.  Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:03 am Reply with quote

no1 school swot wrote:
Stress weakens your immune system so I'd imagine that if you already had the bacteria in your stomach but it was being kept in check that it would takeover and cause an ulcer when you were stressed. This is just a theory of mine, I'm perfectly willing to be corrected by people who know what they're talking about.

The jury's still out regarding the whole stress leading to illness thing. It's been shown that people who exhibit type A behaviour (where you are aggressive, impatient, angry, irritable etc.) are more susceptible to heart disease and stroke. In the case of cancer, the current belief is that while stress does not cause cancer in the first place, it does hasten the development of it (whether that's metastasis (spreading of the cancer around the body) or just the tumour growing more quickly, I would need to check).

With regards to infectious diseases (those involving bacteria, viruses, fungi etc.), a study in July 2004 was carried out by two psychologists - Suzanne Segerstrom and Gregory Miller. It showed that short term stress actually improves the immune system, while when stress is more chronic, it leads to a weakened immune system. They also found that people with already weakened immune systems (such as the eldery) were far more susceptible to changes in the immune system brought about by stress.

152898.  Fri Mar 02, 2007 6:32 am Reply with quote

Here one to ponder, does a feeling of stress lead to a weakened immune system or does a weakened immune system lead to a feeling of stress?

I know I feel most stressed out when I haven't had much sleep etc. (e.g. exam times), could a lack of sleep lead to a weakened immune system and could that lead to a feeling of stress??

Also when I'm ill I become a lot more irritable and feel "stressed" a lot more.

152968.  Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:26 am Reply with quote

Also when I'm ill I become a lot more irritable and feel "stressed" a lot more.

That's true of me too. I sulked for most of this week because of a sinus infection.

152998.  Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:52 am Reply with quote

I caught a repeat of "What the Ancients Did For Us" yesterday and they were wittering on about how Jenner discovered the vaccine, going on to add that the Indians (Asian kind) did it first, via scratches on the arm and human smallpox pus rubbed into those. They gave a statistic of 30% mortality dropping to 2% mortality after this, only they didn't use such 'big' words - I'm sure Adam Hart-Davies is a clever bloke an all but he's yet to make a TV program where he doesn't sound like he's addressing 8 year olds /sigh.

Anyways, my roundabout point being that surely TV stations are able to stick text on such programs, providing more accurate information. The myriad solar system programs made when we considered that there were 9 planets spring to mind as a more obvious use of such a correction system. Then again, if they stopped propogating unrevised information then QI might have less depths to trawl in.


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