Wednesday, October 29, 2014

He Let Go Seven Billion Dollars!!!


If you have a G mail account, you'd know what today's post is going to be about. This particular disease has been in the news for some days now when the disease raised its head when children were not vaccinated, and became the losers due to the adults' ignorance.


He Let Go Seven Billion Dollars!

Twelve-year-old, Sapna said, "Bhai, did you read the Google Doodle today?"

Her older brother, sixteen-year-old Sagar said, "Nope, not today, I am inundated with tons of Math and Biology homework."

"Well, lucky me! I'll tell you something about money and biology."

Sagar shut his laptop, "Really? What?"

Sapna said, "Have you heard of Jonas Salk?" 

"The polio vaccine guy?

"Yep, the very same. Well, not just any old guy, he was an American medical researcher and a virologist. He came up with the polio vaccine."

"Okay, that's the biology part, where is the math?"

"Well, I found out that Salk did not patent this vaccine."

"Why not, he could have made millions!"

"Exactly. His response was 'could you patent the sun?' He rightfully thought that polio was such a debilitating disease that if children were not vaccinated, polio would cripple them for life. He gifted it to children world over."

"Nice, a tough disease."

"Exactly, vaccination in childhood is the key to staying without polio. The father of Biophysiology would have been richer by seven billion dollars had he patented it!"

"That's a lot of money."

"Salk thought the vaccine belonged to the people. And can you guess why-how the polio vaccine is given for free?"

"With the government help, with taxes?"

"Nope, the public voluntarily funded the vaccine by giving money to the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. An entire generation of scientists and microbiologists received funds from the foundation, even Watson and Crick received money for their DNA research."

"Huh? National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis?"   

"That's renamed as the March of Dimes. You can donate a few cents to thousands, as much or as little as you wish, that's why the name."

"Oh, that's cool. Thanks for the biology and the math info, I am back to my homework."

"You are welcome, and let's see what other cool stuff's there."

The End

© 2014, Meera Desai Shah

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