Friday, October 21, 2005

Return of the Uggghh

Well, it looks like I've contracted round two of this flu we've had going around. My wife got it, a bit different from what we had before, then gave it to me. As a result, I've been flat on my back all day today, mostly sound asleep the whole time. It's a real shame, I had a lot I wanted to do today. Oh well!

I've never really understood what makes us get sick. Oh, I know about the body's immune response and all that, but mechanically and physically, what makes us sick? What makes us ache like we do? What makes your temperature go up when you have a fever? For a lot of medicine, we know that "if you do this, this will happen," and that forms the basis of a good deal of our understanding. But why does it happen that way? I think we're still a long way from understanding how the body works from a mechanical standpoint. It seems to me that so much of medicine is descriptive. That's probably why there's so much to be memorized in medical school (lists of symptoms, etc.)

If, at some point in the future, we really understood how the body works, would we then be able to do anything we want with it?

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