Dragon Phylogeny

Some people believe that science ignores effective alternative treatments to keep funding research. They really think we would deprive patients of cures to further our livelihoods.

They are wrong.

Some diseases are dragons. With the right sword, they are dead, killed, over. For example, the dragon Polio can be slain by a vaccine. Researchers who had studied the virus' predilection for certain cells in the central nervous system and other characteristics turned to other diseases. Of course, now that we have lived without the horrors of polio for a generation, some people are rejecting the tools that killed the dragon.

Infectious diseases are often dragons. A vaccine, an antibiotic can conquer them. If you miss, though, you may still end up dead. If you conquer them, then you find a new dragon.

Other diseases are more difficult to conquer. We swing our sword and a limb comes off; instead of dying, though, the limb grows back. Or, like some starfish, each piece grows into a new dragon. Or we kill the dragon but injure ourselves in the process.

We keep challenging these complex disorders, these wicked dragons. We try new weapons, sharpen the ones we have, and find new targets. The work is slow and difficult. Herbs and other "alternative" remedies do get studied in our labs. Some work; many do not. If they work they are no longer "alternative" medicine; they are medicine.

Please remember that we want dragons to be extinct. Even if it means early retirement!

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