Immune System Redundancy Syndrome

Just as the little toe is becoming a superfluous physical feature of our bodies, and the Appendix too, through process of evolution has been rendered an obsolete piece of biological furniture, due to lack of use, and requirement, I wonder whether there is a danger of another aspect of our physiology that might well be in danger of diminishing through under use... Although this one may be a little more cause for alarm, and may cause a whole slew of potential problems for us all, maybe even a threat to our very existence as a species: 



The Human Immune System.


 
For while those two first examples of biological redundancy I have sited are the result of no longer being physically required, it seems evident that our bodies could never do without an immune system, not least because it is a fundamental systemic service it provides in allowing the very possibility of our continual existence, and will, for this reason, always remain essential to this end, regardless of other physical changes which may occur to our bodies.

 
But I raise this possibility as a serious consideration, as, although the issue of drug resistant viruses is a current topic of concern (engendered by the apparent overuse of such drugs as antibiotics, which has allowed these viruses to mutate and adapt to survive them quicker than new antibiotics can be created, or even the full value derived from existing ones) this still only deals with these external threats from foreign bodies as regards to their inherent, and acquired capacity to harm us...

 
...but there is another way in which our immune biology could be threatened which I don't think I've heard anyone yet mention in the way I'm thinking:

 
What if we're too successful in treating diseases and viruses through the use of drugs and antibiotics?


By which, I mean, that in this modern world of ever advancing medical research into all aspects of disease, through the study and manipulation of DNA, and the unlocking of it's secrets, and consequently with regard to the increasing ability this has given us in ways to treat, cure or overcome...or quite plausibly, in the near future very possibly eventually forestall and annihilate whole classes of disease and virus altogether,

 
...What then becomes of our immune system?

 
What need will we have of it, when all viral or disease threats are controlled and overcome through external means, or no such threats are deemed to exist?


If, as in the example of the little toe or appendix, a piece, or aspect of our physiology is biologically redundant, and obsolete, doesn't evolution do away with it altogether?

 
 
What then I ask?

I think we shall be in no greater peril from the biological effects of our environment than in such a situation as this.
Our immune system is the product of millions of years if reciprocal call and response between our biochemistry and the environment... it has created us through this process and shaped us as we are, as we have contributed to the shaping of the environmental biology, as has everything else of which it is made
 
 
...To create a scenario whereby we suddenly turn it off, and attempt to just drop out of nature biologically seems calamitous in the extreme.


I think it best, in some senses to regard the immune system as any other faculty of the body, in that muscles need exercise to make them strong, through encountering resistance, just as the mind or any other aspect of ourselves also requires constant rigour to maintain their function.

 
If we should turn off our immune system through these means, either by design, and intent, or as is more likely, a miscalculation or oversight of such an effect as an accidental bi-product, it is conceivable that we open ourselves to being more greatly damaged and damaged by ostensibly less potent diseases and viruses, which we may have previously been able to deal with comfortably, and without our even noticing, as the price we pay for tackling headline viruses, diseases and conditions...

 
What if the great Irony would be to cure such a big, nasty disease, only to open the door to the destruction of the human race by the Common Cold through our now unpractised immune systems having lost the ability to deal with even this?

 
After all, the common cold is common, more widespread, and easily transmitted over large areas.



Perhaps then, it may well be that the common cold actually does us a favour of sorts at present, by exposing our immune systems periodically to new things, and giving us a stiff, though not fatal work out, and keeps the body's immune function strong as a result, and perhaps a little more able to deal with worse things that may come our way (intriguing possibility that as well as cures and treatments, we might actually design and create a virus to be purposely released among the populous to perform this very function to our benefit... although I wouldn't trust anyone to try, or be able to predict potential consequences!!!!!!! (most likely that's how AIDS got started in the first place, as something artificially created which was intended to be good for us???!!!))

 
But perhaps we may be seeing evidence of this in the world already?

...After all, it seems to me that allergies are on the rise, and developed nations have been using drugs and antibiotics as a matter of course some time now, perhaps we've been steadily shutting down our immune system responses by teaching them that they are no longer required, while at the same time, making the viruses that would harm us more effective and potent.

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badfaith

badfaith

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