How realistic is Mark Zuckerberg's initiative to defeat all diseases?

How realistic is Mark Zuckerberg's initiative to defeat all diseases?

Q&A with Mark Zuckerberg, Dr. Priscilla Chan and Dr. Don Ganem

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answers (2)

Answer 1
September, 2021

Mankind has long had a dream to defeat all diseases. It is known that the word "panacea" - the name of the Greek goddess of the treatment of all diseases Panacea (Panakea - all-healing) has become a household word and is used to denote a remedy that can solve all problems. Alchemists also tried to create a remedy for all diseases. And it is no coincidence that the term "panacea", which is used today far beyond medicine, is usually used with the "not" particle.

It is impossible to defeat all diseases for many reasons. First, there is no generally accepted definition of “disease”. There are many descriptions of deviations from what is recognized as the norm in physical and mental states, these descriptions are considered diseases. Each person is individual, therefore the subjective feeling of the disease and the manifestations of pathological processes differ greatly.

Secondly, any disease has its own causes, which are irreparable. A disease is only a consequence of the effects of physical factors (for, for example, injuries, burns), chemical factors (for allergies and intoxication), biological factors (for infectious or hereditary diseases), social factors (changes in the structure of nutrition with changes in social status), psychological factors (phobias, disorders). None of these factors can be completely eliminated.

Third, the pain associated with the word "disease" is an indispensable companion of a healthy person (as a result of a fall on a slippery road, for example). It is possible to remove the pain symptom, but this does not mean victory over diseases and their causes.

Fourthly, life with an illness is life, albeit constrained in its freedom (according to Marx), but life. Remember the words of VS Vysotsky “... All mankind has colic, then cramps, And his whole history is a history of illness. All of humanity has long been Chronic painful, From the day of creation it is doomed to be sick ... ”. It is impossible to defeat all diseases, the task of medicine is to cure that which is treatable, and to facilitate well-being, increase the adaptive capabilities of a person, and mobilize the body's defenses. Disease is an objectively natural process of the development of life in time, a consequence of the finiteness of a person's biological existence.

Answer 2
September, 2021

I took this initiative as a beautiful mobilizing appeal. Indeed, in addition to infectious diseases, there are multifactorial ones, the causes of which are not fully understood.

There are hereditary diseases, for the treatment of which you must first understand what the essence of the deviation is, and then learn how to edit it in individual cells and different tissues.

There is a huge cohort of age-related diseases, the cause of which is aging, and it is the most complex and complex biological phenomenon that we are just getting closer to understanding. I think that this useful endeavor will eventually lead to a focus on two or three specific tasks. If aging is among them, money will not be spent in vain, because every person "gets sick" with aging.

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