• Question: Because living organisms can get a resistance to different bad things like diseases and stuff, can we eventually be immune to every disease assuming that we are aware of every disease and harmful micro organism? Thanks:)

    Asked by tentativesugar22 to Bethany, Hannah, Keith, Peter, Ramya on 24 Jun 2014.
    • Photo: Peter Elliott

      Peter Elliott answered on 24 Jun 2014:


      I dont think we will ever become resistant to every single disease.

      Firstly mutation. Viruses will mutate their DNA every single time they make a new copy of themselves. This can lead to the generation of a novel strain of virus that our body will not recognise and so will cause a new infection.

      Another reason is the lethality of some diseases, such as Ebola and tuberculosis. These diseases, when contracted, will eventually kill the host which means it has no time to try and build up an immunity. It is possible that they may be some people more resistant to these deadly diseases but I think it is highly unlikely that their resistant DNA would fill the worlds gene pool, therefore there would always be people at risk of dying from the disease.

    • Photo: Hannah Tanner

      Hannah Tanner answered on 25 Jun 2014:


      For you to be develop immunity to every infectious disease you would have to have been exposed to every infectious agent. That would be a LOT of vaccinations needed even if we could create an effective vaccine for every single infectious agent.

      An individual cannot become resistant to anything. You are born with genes for resistance or you are not. If you have resistance genes you could pass them on to your children but as every time we reproduce genes get mixed up there’s no guarantee that all your children would be resistant.

      Added to that, the pathogens mutate all the time as well to create things we haven’t seen before.

      It’s always going to be an on-going “battle” between us as a species and the pathogens.

Comments