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Jonas Salk

Data de nascimento: 28. Outubro 1914
Data de falecimento: 23. Junho 1995

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Jonas Edward Salk foi um médico, virologista e epidemiologista norte americano, mais conhecido como o inventor da primeira vacina antipólio .

Trabalhou em Nova Iorque, Michigan, Pittsburgh e Califórnia. Em 1960 fundou o Salk Institute for Biological Studies em La Jolla, na Califórnia, que é atualmente um centro de pesquisas médicas e científicas.

Ao longo da vida científica, foi um dos milhares de pesquisadores a utilizar a herança de Henrietta Lacks, uma mulher norte-americana que faleceu de câncer. A linhagem de células de Henrietta eram peculiares a ponto de se tornarem um dos maiores ícones da ciência até os dias atuais e ficaram conhecidas como HeLa. Foi a partir das células HeLa que Salk produziu a vacina contra a poliomelite.

Nos últimos anos de vida, dedicou muita energia na tentativa de desenvolver uma vacina contra a AIDS. Salk não buscava fama ou fortuna com as descobertas, e é citado como tendo dito: "A quem pertence a minha vacina? Ao povo! Você pode patentear o sol?"

Até 1955, quando a vacina começou a ser administrada, a poliomielite era considerada o problema de saúde pública mais assustador do pós-guerra estado-unidense. As epidemias anuais eram cada vez mais devastadoras no país. A epidemia de 1952 foi o pior surto na história do país norte-americano. Dos quase 58 mil casos notificados naquele ano, 3.145 pessoas morreram e 21.269 ficaram com algum tipo de paralisia, sendo que a maioria das vítimas eram crianças. De acordo com um documentário da PBS em 2009, o segundo maior temor dos Estados Unidos, na época, foi a pólio, perdendo apenas para o medo de o país ser atacado por uma bomba atômica.

Consequentemente, cientistas iniciaram uma corrida frenética para encontrar um meio de prevenir e curar a doença. Assim, segundo Denemberg, "Salk trabalhou dezesseis horas por dia, sete dias por semana, durante anos..." para chegar à descoberta da vacina.

== Referências ==

Citações Jonas Salk

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„Well, the people, I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?“

—  Jonas Salk
Context: Edward R. Murrow: Who owns the patent on this vaccine? Jonas Salk: Well, the people, I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun? CBS Television interview, on See It Now (12 April 1955); quoted in Shots in the Dark : The Wayward Search for an AIDS Vaccine (2001) by Jon Cohen

„Now at the moment the world is suffering from large numbers of people who have no purpose in life — for whom there is no opportunity — and that's sad.“

—  Jonas Salk
The Open Mind interview (1985), Context: I look upon ourselves as partners in all of this, and that each of us contributes and does what he can do best. And so I see not a top rung and a bottom rung — I see all this horizontally — and I see this as part of a matrix. And I see every human being as having a purpose, a destiny, if you like. And what my hope is that we can find some way to fulfill the biological potential, if you like — the destiny that exists in each of us — and find ways and means to provide such opportunities for everyone. Now at the moment the world is suffering from large numbers of people who have no purpose in life — for whom there is no opportunity — and that's sad.

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„What you see in living systems, and in genetic systems, is that the genes are already there, having arisen in the course of time, and when they are needed they become activated. If they had to be invented, the time would be too late.“

—  Jonas Salk
Academy of Achievement interview (1991), Context: What you see in living systems, and in genetic systems, is that the genes are already there, having arisen in the course of time, and when they are needed they become activated. If they had to be invented, the time would be too late. By the same token, I think that the people who are needed to help guide the future already exist. They simply need to recognize this in themselves, react to the opportunities that prevail, and also be valued and be encouraged. It's that very large, and as yet amorphous, rung that is of interest to me. I hope to articulate this, and see to what extent it makes sense to others as well.

„Reason alone will not serve. Intuition alone can be improved by reason, but reason alone without intuition can easily lead the wrong way. They both are necessary.“

—  Jonas Salk
Academy of Achievement interview (1991), Context: Reason alone will not serve. Intuition alone can be improved by reason, but reason alone without intuition can easily lead the wrong way. They both are necessary. The way I like to put it is that when I have an intuition about something, I send it over to the reason department. Then after I've checked it out in the reason department, I send it back to the intuition department to make sure that it's still all right. That's how my mind works, and that's how I work. That's why I think that there is both an art and a science to what we do. The art of science is as important as so-called technical science. You need both. It's this combination that must be recognized and acknowledged and valued.

„I have come to associate a kind of success that we are referring to, to individuals who have a combination of attributes that are often associated with creativity. In a way they are mutants, they are different from others. And they follow their own drummer.“

—  Jonas Salk
Academy of Achievement interview (1991), Context: I have come to associate a kind of success that we are referring to, to individuals who have a combination of attributes that are often associated with creativity. In a way they are mutants, they are different from others. And they follow their own drummer. We know what that means. And are we all like that? We are not like that. If you are, then it would be well to recognize that there were others before you. And, people like that are not very happy or content, until they are allowed to express, or they can express what's in them to express. It's that driving force that I think is like the process of evolution working on us, and in us, and with us, and through us. That's how we continue on, and will improve our lot in life, solve the problems that arise. Partly out of necessity, partly out of this drive to improve.

„My life is pretty well at peace, and the profession is more of an avocation. It's a calling, if you like, rather than a job. I do what I feel impelled to do, as an artist would.“

—  Jonas Salk
Academy of Achievement interview (1991), Context: My life is pretty well at peace, and the profession is more of an avocation. It's a calling, if you like, rather than a job. I do what I feel impelled to do, as an artist would. Scientists function in the same way. I see all these as creative activities, as all part of the process of discovery. Perhaps that's one of the characteristics of what I call the evolvers, any subset of the population who keep things moving in a positive, creative, constructive way, revealing the truth and beauty that exists in life and in nature.

„The idea of being constructive, creative, positive, in trying to bring out the best in one's own self and the best in others follows from what I've just been saying.“

—  Jonas Salk
Academy of Achievement interview (1991), Context: The idea of being constructive, creative, positive, in trying to bring out the best in one's own self and the best in others follows from what I've just been saying. Again, I repeat my belief in us, in ourselves, as the product of the process of evolution, and part of the process itself. I think of evolution as an error-making and error-correcting process, and we are constantly learning from experience. It's the need to dedicate one's self in that way, to one's own self, and to choose an activity or life that is of value not only to yourself but to others as well.

„Nothing happens quite by chance. It's a question of accretion of information and experience“

—  Jonas Salk
Context: Nothing happens quite by chance. It's a question of accretion of information and experience … it's just chance that I happened to be here at this particular time when there was available and at my disposal the great experience of all the investigators who plodded along for a number of years. As quoted in Breakthrough : The Saga of Jonas Salk (1966) by Richard Carter

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“