Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek first saw bacteria through a microscope in 1676. 255 years later, viruses were first seen with the introduction of the electron microscope in 1931. The reason it took another quarter of a millennium to see viruses after bacteria is because of the size difference between them. Furthermore, visual identification was hampered by the limits of technology.
The first antibiotic was developed in 1910 to treat syphilis, and in 1944, during WWII, mass production of penicillin began. It wasn’t until a generation later, however, that antiviral therapy came into clinical use.
Again, size mattered. Bacteria are generally larger and have more parts to attack: cell membranes, organelles, etc. Viruses, although simpler, prove more difficult to attack, as they require attacks at the genetic level.
The first antivirals: vaccines
Vaccines were developed before the actual discovery of the virus. Doctors knew there was something m ...
For the sake of explanation, think of the brain as a graphic user interface (GUI), such as a web browser, translating a series of 0s and 1s into projections of sight and sound. It is a matter of assembling information into usable patterns. Likewise, the brain, through its sense organs of sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch, as well as other senses, puts the electromagnetic waves, and slices of time of the real universe into an order that makes sense. Presented on our “screens” are trees, people, music, noise, hot and cold, pain, intuition, cause and effect, and life in general.
Humans are creatures inundated with pareidolia. This refers to the tendency to see patterns and assign meaning to them. It is seeing an elephant in a cloud, white snakes along lines in a paragraph that separates the words, face profiles in the veins of marble, or the man in the Moon. It has been said that pareidolia is a sort of flaw, but on a grander scale, a simi ...