Month: July 2007

The end of vaccines?

The end of vaccines?

Ever since Edward Jenner first scratched cowpox pus into the arm of an eight-year-old boy in an attempt to render him immune to smallpox in May 1796, there has been debate and controversy over the procedure. Vaccination, which Jenner derived from the Latin word “vaca” meaning “cow,” was preceded by the practice of “variolation” in which dried pus from an individual recovering from smallpox was scratched into the arm of someone naïve to the disease–usually a child. “Variolus” means “pus-like material.”

Why START is important

Why START is important

The new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that Russia tested at the end of May probably sealed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty’s (START) fate. The missile, named RS-24, appears to be a multiple-warhead version of the Topol-M ICBM that Russia has deployed for about a decade. A move toward a Topol-M with multiple warheads was all but inevitable, but not expected until START expires in December 2009.

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