Michael Specter Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 77 Michael Specter Quotes

#1. Universal vaccination may well be the greatest success story in medical history. - Author: Michael Specter
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#2. Newspapers and magazines are vanishing. But science writers are not. In fact, they are becoming so adept and varied that I hardly have time to read 'Gawker' anymore. - Author: Michael Specter
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#3. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#4. There has never been a verified scientific report that chelation therapy, a gluten-free diet, or anything else can cure autism. - Author: Michael Specter
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#5. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#6. Flu is easily transmitted, so if you are working with sick people - who are most at risk for getting seriously ill - you ought to be vaccinated. I am not really equipped to say whether it should be the law or not. - Author: Michael Specter
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#7. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#8. There are many theories about the best way to remove excess carbon from the atmosphere - some are ludicrous, others are at least worth study. The most commonly discussed plan is to lace the sky with reflective chemicals. - Author: Michael Specter
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#9. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#10. Experts chosen to represent a specific point of view are cheerleaders, not scientists. And people who rely on them are denialists. - Author: Michael Specter
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#11. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#12. People wrap themselves in their beliefs. And they do it in such a way that you can't set them free. Not even the truth will set them free. - Author: Michael Specter
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#13. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in the United States, and the incidence is growing rapidly. In 2009, the C.D.C. reported thirty-eight thousand cases, three times more than in 1991. Most researchers agree that the true number of infections is five to ten times higher. - Author: Michael Specter
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#14. If left untreated, Lyme disease can be crippling, yet it is a difficult illness to contract: a tick needs to attach itself to your body for at least twenty-four hours. Even then, two weeks worth of commonly prescribed antibiotics will kill the bacterium. - Author: Michael Specter
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#15. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#16. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#17. Industrial agriculture freed many people to pursue lives their parents and grandparents could never have. It made America modern. - Author: Michael Specter
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#18. Your dollar cheeseburger isn't a dollar if you factor in what it's going to cost in health care. - Author: Michael Specter
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#19. Just because you read a report in the 'New York Times,' the 'Economist,' or, yes, 'The New Yorker' doesn't make it true. But we do know that a few people have evaluated that story with what strikes me as fairly objective standards of reason. - Author: Michael Specter
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#20. Deliberately modifying the earth's atmosphere would be a desperate gamble with significant risks. Yet the more likely climate change is to cause devastation, the more attractive even the most perilous attempts to mitigate those changes will become. - Author: Michael Specter
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#21. 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.' - Author: Michael Specter
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#22. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#23. Most reputable scientists agree that climate change is real and that the effects are likely to be bad. But nobody can say for sure exactly what 'bad' means. The safest and most equitable way out of this horrific mess is simple: cut fossil-fuel emissions. - Author: Michael Specter
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#24. Without accepting some risk we would never have had vaccines, X-rays, airplanes, or antibiotics. Caution is simply a different kind of risk, one that is even more likely to kill people - Author: Michael Specter
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#25. Humanity has nearly suffocated the globe with carbon dioxide, yet nuclear power plants that produce no such emissions are so mired in objections and obstruction that, despite renewed interest on every continent, it is unlikely another will be built in the United States. - Author: Michael Specter
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#26. Nobody celebrates when they avoid an illness they never expected to get. - Author: Michael Specter
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#27. Those vaccines, and others, have prevented unimaginable misery. But the misery is only unimaginable to Americans today because they no longer need to know such diseases exist. - Author: Michael Specter
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#28. I think it's too soon to say that, and I think, basically - most of the people that I ran across and most of the studies that I saw suggest people don't go to McDonald's to eat healthy food. They go to eat fries and cheeseburgers. - Author: Michael Specter
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#29. Throughout the United States, at the dawn of the Progressive era, dozens of laws and regulations were established to empower police officers, public-health officials, and even the armed forces to vaccinate at will, and, if necessary, at gunpoint. - Author: Michael Specter
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#30. We are inhabited by as many as ten thousand bacterial species; these cells outnumber those which we consider our own by ten to one, and weigh, all told, about three pounds - the same as our brain. - Author: Michael Specter
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#31. Clearly, some of the reason people embrace alternatives and reject vaccines is that they are angry and mistrustful of government and of pharmaceutical conglomerates. More than that, we pay too much for health care, it's not good enough, and the system is too complex. We need alternatives. - Author: Michael Specter
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#32. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#33. In the Internet age, with the screaming on the radio, etc., it is hard to know what to believe and who is informed and who is not. - Author: Michael Specter
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#34. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#35. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#36. I think it is true that you can eat extremely healthy food at McDonald's, and you can eat amazingly badly at Chipotle. - Author: Michael Specter
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#37. But there is no such thing as safe. There is only safe than something else. Skiing and driving cars are thousands of times more dangerous than walking or cycling. Yet we never refuse to enter a motor vehicle because it "may" cause death. - Author: Michael Specter
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#38. Any chemical, whether is comes from the root of a tree or the shelves of your medicine cabinet, can cause serious harm. It depends how much you take. That is why one of the fundamental tenets of medicine holds that the dose makes the poison. - Author: Michael Specter
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#39. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#40. Be sceptical, ask questions, demand proof. Demand evidence. Don't take anything for granted. But here's the thing: When you get proof, you need to accept the proof. And we're not that good at doing that. - Author: Michael Specter
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#41. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#42. I understand the horrors of having no insurance, but, believe me, eight hours of sleep and good meals are NOT going to prevent you from getting sick. Don't gamble with your life; it's a stupid bet. - Author: Michael Specter
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#43. Someone told me that they didn't want to take a flu shot because they didn't want to put a foreign substance in their body. What do they think they do at dinner every night? - Author: Michael Specter
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#44. Denialist arguments are often bolstered by accurate information taken wildly out of context, wielded selectively, and supported by fake experts who often don't seem fake at all. - Author: Michael Specter
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#45. We're lying ourselves into believing things are untrue, like organic food will solve all our problems, or vitamins will make us healthy, or we don't need to vaccinate our children. - Author: Michael Specter
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#46. The Maldives, a string of islands off the coast of India whose highest point above sea level is eight feet, may be the first nation to drown. In Alaska, entire towns have begun to shift in the loosening permafrost. - Author: Michael Specter
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#47. The best way to deal with climate change has been obvious for years: cut greenhouse-gas emissions severely. We haven't done that. In 2010, for example, carbon emissions rose by six per cent - the largest such increase on record. - Author: Michael Specter
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#48. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#49. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has established highly specific criteria for the diagnosis of Lyme disease: an acknowledged tick bite, the appearance of a bull's-eye rash, and, for those who don't live in a region where Lyme is common, laboratory evidence of infection. - Author: Michael Specter
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#50. Meat supplies a variety of nutrients - among them iron, zinc, and Vitamin B12 - that are not readily found in plants. We can survive without it; millions of vegetarians choose to do so, and billions of others have that choice imposed upon them by poverty. - Author: Michael Specter
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#51. Some people will deny anything that displeases or scares them: unusual pain in their chests, unwanted lumps beneath their skin, or the fact that humans share ancestry with apes are a few examples. Another is climate change. - Author: Michael Specter
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#52. Many of the most eloquent people I have ever met work in lab coats every day. - Author: Michael Specter
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#53. The history of agriculture is the history of humans breeding seeds and animals to produce traits we want in our crops and livestock. - Author: Michael Specter
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#54. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#55. Vaccination is a public health issue because influenza is a highly contagious disease. If you don't vaccinate your child, his or her schoolmates are much more likely to become ill. That is why some places (New York, for example) are making the vaccine mandatory for school children. - Author: Michael Specter
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#56. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#57. 'Natural' is a word that has become unmoored by its meanings. If you go into a vitamin shop, things are natural, and people look at that, and they think it's good. It's no different than any other thing you swallow. - Author: Michael Specter
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#58. If there is anything more frightening than the threat of global nuclear war, it is the certainty that humans not only stand on the verge of producing new life forms but may soon be able to tinker with them as if they were vintage convertibles or bonsai trees. - Author: Michael Specter
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#59. A plant bred in a laboratory is no more or less "real" than a baby born through in vitro fertilization. The traits matter, not the process. - Author: Michael Specter
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#60. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#61. Benjamin Franklin refused to have one of his children vaccinated against smallpox. The four-year-old boy died, and Franklin wrote later of how mistaken he was to expose him to the needless risk. - Author: Michael Specter
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#62. There are always potential side effects for every vaccine. - Author: Michael Specter
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#63. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#64. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#65. There are people who could watch a hurricane like Sandy blow out of the Atlantic every other day and blame it on anything but human activity. They are like those who, having been diagnosed with diabetes, eat donuts for breakfast. There's not much to do about them. - Author: Michael Specter
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#66. I started to write about science and medicine at the 'Washington Post,' in the early days of the AIDS epidemic. - Author: Michael Specter
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#67. Antioxidants are completely useless. - Author: Michael Specter
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#68. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#69. I have never earned one penny from any pharmaceutical company. I will never accept one penny from them either. Ever. - Author: Michael Specter
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#70. Newspapers and magazines have been valuable to us precisely because they apply filters to information, otherwise known as editing, and often the Internet seems valuable for exactly the opposite reason: You can get your news without a filter. - Author: Michael Specter
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#71. Many climate scientists say their biggest fear is that warming could melt the Arctic permafrost - which stretches for thousands of miles across Alaska, Canada, and Siberia. - Author: Michael Specter
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#72. There is a phrase used commonly in medicine: "true, true, and unrelated." It is meant to remind physicians not to confuse coincidence with cause. That kind of skepticism, while a fundamental tenet of scientific research, is less easily understood by laymen. - Author: Michael Specter
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#73. 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. - Author: Michael Specter
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#74. Any group that intends to sell laboratory meat will need to build bioreactors - factories that can grow cells under pristine conditions. Bioreactors aren't new; beer and yeast are made using similar methods. - Author: Michael Specter
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#75. To suggest that organic vegetables, which cost far more than conventional produce, can feed billions of people in parts of the world without roads or proper irrigation may be a fantasy based on the finest intentions. But it is a cruel fantasy nonetheless. - Author: Michael Specter
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#76. Daily vitamins are of no value. - Author: Michael Specter
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#77. NATURAL DOES NOT mean good, or safe, or healthy, or wholesome. It never did. In fact, legally, it means nothing at all. Mercury, lead, and asbestos are natural, and so are viruses, E. coli, and salmonella. A - Author: Michael Specter
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