• Question: If you could destroy a disease (any).. Which one would it be?

    Asked by inkmamelanin22 to David, Thiloka, Shonna, Shobhana, Ryan, Ross, Rebecca, Rachel, Patrick, Nina, MattyB, Matthew, Marianne, Lorena, Kate, Kaitlin, James, Ettie, Emmanuelle, Deepak, Anabel, Ambre, Alex, AlexAgrotis, Aina on 12 Jun 2019. This question was also asked by thataesthetickid.
    • Photo: Aina Roca Barcelo

      Aina Roca Barcelo answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      “Inequalities” (of any kind).

      In England, most deprived males and females are believed to be around 5 times more likely to die of a curable disease than least deprived males. However, it not only impacts the number of deaths, but also quality of life in general.

      This is due to two main aspects:
      1) People with little resources are more likely to be exposed to higher levels of environmental hazards (e.g. air pollution)
      2) They are more vulnerable to the health effects, either because they have a generally poorer health status or because they have less resources protect their health.

      “Socioeconomic inequalities” have been recognized by multiple international organizations as a “fundamental environmental hazard” affecting population’s health, next to other as well-known as air pollution. What is even more interesting though, is that its effects do not limit to a unique biological pathway but instead they include really complex and interconnected impact routes by interacting with other co-existent environmental hazards and underlying health conditions.

      So, yeah… if I had the superpower to destroy a disease… I would say: Let’s destroy the social disease of “inequalities”!

    • Photo: David Wilson

      David Wilson answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      I think I would choose a neurological disease like Parkinson’s, MS, or Alzheimers. These are truly terrible debilitating diseases where you lose control of your own body, memories or personality. It’s sad to watch someone you love go through this and it must be worse to go from fit and healthy to immobile despite perhaps being cognitively normal.

    • Photo: Rebecca Moon

      Rebecca Moon answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      Obesity – it is related to so many poor health outcomes including cardiovascular disease, arthritis and musculoskeletal problems, mental health issues, cancer, metabolic disorders, that by reducing obesity we could reduce the burden of so many other conditions.

    • Photo: Marianne King

      Marianne King answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      I’d destroy neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s, ALS, and many more. They have no cures yet, leading to devastation for patients and their families. In Alzheimer’s disease you start to lose your memory, until eventually some patients can’t remember anything or recognise anyone they used to love. In ALS, patients gradually lose their ability to move until eventually their respiratory muscles stop working. It’d be wonderful to make it so that no one had to go through these diseases.

    • Photo: Kaitlin Wade

      Kaitlin Wade answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      Cancer, for sure.

    • Photo: Shobhana Nagraj

      Shobhana Nagraj answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      It would have to be Malaria.

    • Photo: Nina Rzechorzek

      Nina Rzechorzek answered on 14 Jun 2019: last edited 16 Jun 2019 2:28 pm


      Probably Ebola or Rabies, but I would rather prevent humans and other animals contracting the disease than ‘eradicating’ the pathogen – you never know when it might come in useful – some forms of rabies virus are used in the lab to help us understand how brain cells communicate with each other so even the deadliest viruses can be useful (if well controlled!).
      Some of the most devastating neurodegenerative disorders such as Motor Neurone Disease can affect people at a very young age and it would amazing if we could rid the world of diseases like this that currently have no effective treatments.
      FYI you may have caught on the news recently that the Pirbright laboratory in Surrey just destroyed the last UK stocks of Rinderpest virus. This virus was responsible for one of the worst catastrophes in history; you can read more about it here:
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-48629469

    • Photo: Matthew Bareford

      Matthew Bareford answered on 14 Jun 2019:


      Neurodegenerative diseases would be my choice. They affect so many people in so many ways but as yet, there are no cures or really good treatment options for them.

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