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All Quotes by author - Michael Specter
" All the food we eat - every grain of rice and kernel of corn - has been genetically modified. None of it was here before mankind learned to cultivate crops. The question isn't whether our food has been modified, but how. "
" All the food we eat, whether Brussels sprouts or pork bellies, has been modified by mankind. Genetic engineering is only one particularly powerful way to do what we have been doing for eleven thousand years. "
" Although it may seem callous to say so, millions of Americans are lucky that Magic Johnson was infected with H.I.V. There is no way of calculating how many lives he has saved. No advertising agency could have invented a better, or more effective, role model. "
" By themselves, genetically engineered crops will not end hunger or improve health or bolster the economies of struggling countries. They won't save the sight of millions or fortify their bones. But they will certainly help. "
" Consumers deserve the right to know what's in their food - and obviously, most people want that choice. It's hard to see how more knowledge about the products we eat every day can hurt us. "
" Even a two-degree climb in average global temperatures could cause crop failures in parts of the world that can least afford to lose the nourishment. The size of deserts would increase, along with the frequency and intensity of wildfires. "
" If caught early, Lyme is easily treated with antibiotics. But activists, and many researchers, have long contended that tens of thousands of people remain unaware that they have been infected - sometimes for years, during which the bacterium can spread to the heart, nervous system, and brain. "
" If people want to believe that our ancestors were riding around on dinosaurs or that the protracted, increasing, and devastating warming of the Earth is just nature doing its thing - I guess I feel I have more useful battles to fight. "
" I have covered wars, before the epidemic began and since. They are all ugly and painful and unjust, but for me, nothing has matched the dread I felt while walking through the Castro, the Village, or Dupont Circle at the height of the AIDS epidemic. "
" It doesn't seem to matter how often vaccines are proved safe or supplements are shown to offer nothing of value. When people don't like facts, they ignore them. "
" It is a remarkable fact that smallpox, a scourge for thousands of years, has now vanished from the earth, except for two tiny vials, one locked in a highly secure facility at the Centers for Disease Control, in Atlanta, and another stored in a similarly secure vault in Siberia. "
" It is not possible to assert publicly that Monsanto is anything other than venal without being accused of being a sellout, a fraud, or worse. "
" Most people prepare for travels by reading about their destination; it always seemed an odd approach to me. I find it much easier and more pleasant to focus with the sights and smells of a place rattling around in my mind. "
" Much of modern molecular biology and microbiology has been based on the effort to decipher the basic code of life, which is made up of four nucleotides: adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine. "
" Now, as the world's scientists focus with increasing intensity on transforming the genetic codes of every living creature into information that can be used to treat and ultimately prevent disease, Shenzhen is home to a different kind of factory: B.G.I., formerly called Beijing Genomics Institute, the world's largest genetic-research center. "
" One morning every spring, for exactly two minutes, Israel comes to a stop. Pedestrians stand in place, drivers pull over to the side of the road, and nobody speaks, sings, eats, or drinks as the nation pays respect to the victims of the Nazi genocide. From the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea, the only sounds one hears are sirens. "
" The history of agriculture is the history of humans breeding seeds and animals to produce traits we want in our crops and livestock. "
" The numbers matter: underreporting of Lyme disease obscures the true burden of the illnesses, on individuals as well as on health-care systems. It also makes it harder to convince Congress to fund research. "
" The passengers in our microbiome contain at least four million genes, and they work constantly on our behalf: they manufacture vitamins and patrol our guts to prevent infections; they help to form and bolster our immune systems, and digest food. "
" There is a major problem with reliance on placebos, like most vitamins and antioxidants. Everyone gets upset about Big Science, Big Pharma, but they love Big Placebo. "
" Universal vaccination may well be the greatest success story in medical history. "
" Until the Nineteen-Eighties, when Deng Xiaoping designated the area as China's first special economic zone, Shenzhen had been a tiny fishing village. Suddenly, eleven million people appeared, seemingly out of nowhere; factories sprang up, often housed in hastily constructed tower blocks. "
" When most members of a community are vaccinated, they protect those who are not by eliminating the viral reservoirs in the population. The effect is known as 'herd immunity.' "
" When people say they prefer organic food, what they often seem to mean is they don't want their food tainted with pesticides and their meat shot full of hormones or antibiotics. Many object to the way a few companies - Monsanto is the most famous of them - control so many of the seeds we grow. "
" Why do people refuse to vaccinate their children against measles or whooping cough? In many cases, because they have never seen measles and have no idea what it might do. "
" With a hundred and seventy-eight machines to sequence the precise order of the billions of chemicals within a molecule of DNA, B.G.I. produces at least a quarter of the world's genomic data - more than Harvard University, the National Institutes of Health, or any other scientific institution. "
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