Background Probability

The Agnostic Popular Front has moved to its new home at Skeptic Ink, and will henceforth be known as Background Probability. Despite the relocation and rebranding, we will continue to spew the same low-fidelity high-quality bullshit that you've come to expect.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Another TED talk worth watching

Today I caught a lecture by Paul Ewald explaining how a few fairly low-tech solutions could lead to an upward spiral of public health by taking advantage of the rapid evolutionary capability of virulent micro-oganisms. I've covered some of this material before in my wife's intro to evolution text, but this lecture makes the material more broadly accessible.

Ways to "manage" the germs' virulence range from blocking waterborne transmission (cholera) to building vector-proof houses and hospitals (malaria) to reducing the potential for sexual transmission (AIDS) to designing vaccines that disfavor virulent variants (TB).
TED 2007 Conference Notes

Or, we could keep asking the Pope to keep the poor and suffering in his prayer journal.


Anonymous said...

I've been signed up to receive the TED talks for a while. I absolutely love that they offer the talks online.

I actually clapped and cheered along with the crowd when Carolyn Porco showed the first images from the surface of Titan.

tergiversant said...

If you've any other mp4 video sites worth knowing about, please let me know. Mostly I watch the TED talks and the CFR video podcast.