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Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine Essay

Although Salk's vaccine was generally successful in combatting polio, other researchers searched for alternatives. Among these researchers were Herold Cox, Hilary Koprowski, and Albert Sabin. Sabin, who felt that a killed-virus vaccine like Salk's could not effectively prevent polio, developed his own live-virus vaccine. Adapting techniques used by Renato Dulbecco, Sabin made progress in the mid-1950s, and by 1956 he was ready to test his vaccine on a large scale. A massive field trial of the Sabin vaccine took place in the Soviet Union between 1957 and 1959, and the results were reported as successful. Tests of vaccines produced by Koprowski and Cox took place in Africa and Latin America during the same years.

In the early 1970s Dr. Salk began writing extensively on the subject of human evolution and the potential of mankind. Some of these writings appeared in two books: Man Unfolding (1972) and The Survival of the Wisest (1973). In the latter book, Dr. Salk discussed his theory of metabiology -- a theory that relates to man's potential for transcending the ordinary limits of living matter. He theorized that Mankind was on the threshold of a new era -- Epoch B -- in which a new form of human consciousness might prevail. Such a consciousness would, he felt, enable mankind to draw upon imagination and intellect for overcoming the serious physical challenges to survival that have arisen in the modern era. Dr. Salk further expanded his ideas in the book World Population and Human Values (1981), written in collaboration with his son Jonathan, and in his most recent book Anatomy of Reality: Merging of Intuition and Reason (1983).

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Jonas Salk Essay

Under the overall observation of the University of Michigan and Dr. Thomas Francis, a massive field trial of the Salk vaccine began on April 26, 1954. Children in grades one through five were inoculated. 441,131 children received the Salk vaccine, and 201,229 were injected with a placebo. In June the tests ended, and Dr. Francis and his associates began to evaluate the results. Meanwhile, in September 1954, Dr. Salk travelled to Rome with Basil O'Connor for the Third International Poliomyelitis Conference. There Salk and his supporters came under attack from proponents of live-virus polio vaccines, most notably Albert Sabin. This conflict, which had begun earlier in the decade, would intensify throughout the 1950s and 1960s, and it continues to the present.

The live versus killed polio vaccine debate reemerged in the mid-1970s. Because the oral live polio vaccine (OPV) had been used almost exclusively in the United States since 1961, data on the incidence of polio could be evaluated in a new light. It was shown that while the Sabin vaccine had virtually obliterated wild-virus polio in the United States, it in fact inflicted paralytic polio on an estimated 10 persons per year. Furthermore, countries such as Finland and Sweden, which had utilized only the killed vaccine in their immunization campaigns, did not have a polio problem. These facts provided Jonas Salk, his son Darrell, and other supporters with a new and compelling argument against the United States' preference for the Sabin vaccine. If the Salk vaccine was proven safe and effective in other countries, and did not cause polio, why was the U.S. using a vaccine that had been proven to maim and kill? Supporters of the Sabin vaccine countered that the benefits of the live vaccine far outweighed its deleterious effects, asserting that the live vaccine was easier to administer, it was cheaper and it could spread its immunizing effects on to people who merely came into contact with someone who had recently taken the vaccine. Furthermore, they argued, the incidence of vaccine associated polio was minor when compared to the millions of vaccinations given each year. These factors, though debatable, managed to keep the majority of the medical community and their preference for the oral vaccine unmoved by Salk's assertions.

Jonas Salk Essays - StudentShare

Papers of Dr. Jonas Salk, noted physician, virologist, humanitarian, and founder of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California. Salk is best known for his development of the world's first successful vaccine for the prevention of poliomyelitis, licensed in the U.S. in 1955. He also conducted important research in the prevention and treatment of influenza, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The Salk Papers constitute an exhaustive source of documentation of Dr. Salk's professional activities, but very few materials relating to his personal life. Most of the papers cover the period from the mid-1940s to the 1980s. The papers include extensive general correspondence, files relating to polio, subject files, writings by Dr. Salk, photographs, sound recordings, records of the Salk Institute, and other research materials.

Dr. Salk has three sons: Peter, Darrell and Jonathan. In 1970 he married the French artist Francoise Gilot. Jonas Salk died in June 1995.

Peter, Darrell and Jonathan Salk dedicate their donation of this Collection to the administrative, technical and support staff who worked with their father during his more than fifty-year career. He shared with them lasting relationships of mutual respect and admiration. The commitment, skills, patience and loyalty of his co-workers are reflected throughout these records.

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Essay about jonas salk biography - …


Free Research Paper jonas salk essay

Arguments against the Sabin vaccine did finally gain unprecedented attention when the victims of vaccine-induced polio began taking their claims to court and winning. One jury in Kansas awarded a victim 10 million dollars. These lawsuits had an enormous impact on the debate because they finally awakened the general public to the dangers inherent in the live vaccine and compelled the government and the manufacturers of the vaccine, who were often faulted in these cases, to look for alternatives. Furthermore, vaccine manufacturers, frightened by the lawsuits, either dropped out of the market or lobbied the government for protection from litigation, thereby making it more expensive to produce the live vaccine. The lawsuits also managed to shake up some physicians who were afraid of being sued for administering a potentially deadly vaccine and, as a result, caused the debate to flare within the medical community. Jonas and Darrell Salk realized the impact litigation would have on the debate and one or the other often served as an advisor to lawyers for the plaintiff. Darrell was an expert witness in many of the trials.

Life Of Jonas Salk Essay, Life Of Jonas Salk Research …

The Clock is now being machined and assembled in California and Seattle. Meantime the mountain in Texas is being readied. Why would anyone build a Clock inside a mountain with the hope that it will ring for 10,000 years? Part of the answer: just so people will ask this question, and having asked it, prompt themselves to conjure with notions of generations and millennia. If you have a Clock ticking for 10,000 years what kinds of generational-scale questions and projects will it suggest? If a Clock can keep going for ten millennia, shouldn’t we make sure our civilization does as well? If the Clock keeps going after we are personally long dead, why not attempt other projects that require future generations to finish? The larger question is, as virologist Jonas Salk once asked, “Are we being good ancestors?”

Jonas Salk Essays 1 - 30 Anti Essays

Papers of Dr. Jonas Salk, noted physician, virologist, humanitarian, and founder of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California. Salk is best known for his development of the world's first successful vaccine for the prevention of poliomyelitis, licensed in the U.S. in 1955. He also conducted important research in the prevention and treatment of influenza, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The Salk Papers constitute an exhaustive source of documentation of Dr. Salk's professional activities, but very few materials relating to his personal life. Most of the papers cover the period from the mid-1940s to the 1980s. The papers include extensive general correspondence, files relating to polio, subject files, writings by Dr. Salk, photographs, sound recordings, records of the Salk Institute, and other research materials.

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