Llewellyn King: Virus Hunters Turn to Chilli Peppers

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Excerpts from Llewellyn King’s article Virus Hunters Turn to Social Media — and Chili Peppers posted on Huffington Post, The Blog at 07/15/2015 3:33 pm EDT

Why were two of the world’s most eminent scientific researchers sitting down to munch their way through a plate of chili peppers, flavored with Tabasco sauce, setting their mouths on fire?

10292536_1621187348163665_8633007816672239382_n

Why indeed? They did so recently as a charity fund-raising stunt, like the Ice Bucket Challenge that has raised awareness and more than $220 million in donations to support the fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The scientific sleuths did it because they’re involved in critical research into one of the most awful and least understood of the so-called invisible diseases, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

They did it, too, because the government, though the National Institutes of Health, has failed the researchers and those who suffer from this debilitating disease. Out of its $30 billion-plus budget, NIH spends a paltry, insulting $5 million, on ME, which affects 1 million people in the United States. In my view, that’s a national disgrace.

11402964_1621187351496998_6864225230248116786_n

Is this what we’ve come down to in funding for medical research? The government has money for many expensive things, but not for two of our greatest scientists to do vital work.

11707864_1621187364830330_8094397674745741471_n

Yet progress is being made on the disease — infinitesimal, but progress nonetheless. Earlier this year, Drs. Lipkin and Hornig published a seminal finding that they’d been able to identify patterns of change in the immune systems of patients. This is a step toward early detection of the disease, and an indication these top virus hunters are closing on their prey.

11403445_1621187314830335_7432560641358678946_n

Maybe it’ll take generations, but there can be progress if there is research. But research is expensive. So I hope to see you suffering on Facebook or YouTube as you ingest a chili pepper too far.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on google
Google+
Share on email
Email

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest News

photo of a person holding mobile phone showing news

Meet the Long Haulers Developing ME/CFS

#MEAction sent out a press release last week to 300 major publications in the US introducing them to the long haulers who are experiencing symptoms of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), specifically post-exertional malaise. We alerted the press to the terrifying possibility that 1 million more Americans could develop ME following COVID-19 at the current rate of

Read More »

Meet the Volunteers: Karima and Pam

It was brilliant to find people who not only understood life with ME but were fighting to make it better. I soon realised there was a lot of work happening all year round, far beyond #MillionsMissing, and I’ve been helping where I can ever since.

Read More »

Help keep our work going

We rely on donations from people like you to keep fighting for equality for people with ME.

Donate

Get actions alerts and news direct to your inbox

You can choose what you want to be kept up to date on.

Subscribe